How to Build a Raised Garden Bed in 2 Hours for Under $200 (Without a Single Tool!)

Two apartments ago, Kylie McConville and her boyfriend, experienced a rare New York City luxury: a small backyard. This unexpected perk allowed them to transition from small-space indoor gardening to constructing their own DIY raised garden bed, where they enjoyed bountiful harvests of kale, herbs, zucchini, and eggplant for two blissful years. When the couple moved again, they adapted their green thumbs to balcony and hydroponic gardening, sharing their passion with friends and family. This led to them building a raised garden bed as a housewarming gift for Kylie’s sister when she bought her first home. Her enthusiasm was so infectious that when she wanted another garden bed this spring, the couple jumped at the chance, determined to make it even easier by using no power tools—just wood and concrete planter wall bricks.

To construct the raised garden bed in under two hours for less than $200, Kylie needed a few essential materials: eight concrete planter wall blocks, eight pieces of 2×6 cedar wood cut to size, landscape fabric, garden staples, soil, and a few basic gardening tools. The cedar wood was chosen for its durability and resistance to moisture. By getting the wood cut to size at the store, she eliminated the need for any power tools. The couple started by framing the bed and clearing the grass, then placing the concrete blocks at each corner to anchor the cedar boards. After laying landscaping fabric to prevent weeds, they added the second layer of blocks and boards, filled the bed with soil, and raked it smoothly. Finally, they planted herbs and sowed seeds, leaving space for future additions. This streamlined, tool-free process made it accessible and enjoyable, ensuring that her sister could enjoy her new garden with minimal effort.

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