First Project of the Summer : E Shaped Raised Garden Bed

We started the season with a HUGE project.  It's was huge for two reasons.   First, this raised bed was to be big enough to (hopefully) allow us to grow lots of food for the year to come.  Secondly, the whole material getting and transporting demanded a lot of creativity and quite a bit of elbow grease.  We managed to do everything with our two seddans!
The idea for this project came from The Gardening Channel With James Prigioni on YouTube.  Recently, he posted a video tutorial showing how to build a raised bed from pallets.  Since budget is an issue during these uncertain times, we started to look for FREE pallets.  Finding them on the side of the road or asking friends on Facebook, we were able to find all the pallets we needed to make our raised bed (and more!).  BUT, since we don't have neither a truck nor a trailer, we had to cut the pieces on site and transport the pre-cut pieces of wood in our Corollas.  Yup!


We rolled with what we had on hand
It seems like James had identical pallets to work with, witch wasn't our case!  The width and the thickness of the pieces of wood were all different; but we made it work! The only thing that made it tricky was that we needed 3 different lenght of screws because of the different thicknesses.  We did 4 feet sections for the lenght of the beds and 3 feet sections for each end side.  Then, we used lin seed oil and applied it on every sections we  had built as well as on all our extra pieces for the braces and finishing borders.  We loaded our two Corollas with the sections, the tools, the screws, extra wood (just in case) and brought everything to the building site.

The ''E'' shape
The space we had to build our raised bed was17 feet by 14 feet.  As I mentionned in my previous blog, our objective for this gardening season is to grow as much of our own food as possible.  We needed this bed to be as big and fonctionnal as possible.  So building the bed in an ''E'' shape seemed like the best option for us right now.  With one 15 feet by 3 feet bed of 18 inches deep as well as three 8 feet by 3 feet beds of 15 inches deep, we end up leaving 1 feet around every external wall of the raised bed as well as 3 feet between the beds to take care of all the flowers and vegetables.

We added brakets

To make them more sturdy, we added cross brakets in the middle of the beds. This will keep the sides from comming appart under the pression once they are filled with dirt.  We just used the original brakets from the pallets and made it work.


How much did it cost us: 
-Pallet wood : free
-Lin seed oil : 80$
-Screws : 60$ But we didn't use them all.  (because our wood pieces had different thicknesses, we had to buy 4 different lenght of screws)
-6 2x4 of 8 feet : 17$

How long did it take us :
-To disassemble the pallets : 6 hours
-To cut the pieces : 5 hours
-To assemble the 3 and 4 feet sections : 3 hours
-To oil the sections : 4 hours
-To assemble the whole ''E'' shaped bed : 8h

What tools did we use :
-Sawzall : To take appart the pallets
-Crow bar : To take alllllllllllllllllllll the nails out
-Mesuring tape : To take the mesures
-Miter saw : To cut the pieces the right length
-Tablesaw : To cut 2x4 into 2x2
-Drill : To drill holes and assemble everything with screws
-Paintbrush : To apply the lin seed oil

You can watch a 3 minutes montage of what took us 8 hours to do!

We're now ready for the gardening season to begin!

Mel & Jay

The Gardening Channel with James Prigioni


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  4. Wow, this is amazing. The pallets are amazingly used. Even recycle pallets can be used for these purposes.


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