This TikTok Hack for Building Raised Garden Beds Requires Zero Power Tools
Whether it's a few pots on your porch, some on your kitchen windowsill or a full blown plot in the backyard, gardening can be such a rewarding pastime (and it can even have some pretty impressive health benefits, too). If you're looking to expand your garden this year, then you need to see this easy TikTok hack for building a beautiful raised garden bed—no power tools required.
Sonja, fellow garden enthusiast and founder of Partly Sunny Project (an online storefront for succulents, cacti and air plants), recently shared how she built her raised garden beds on TikTok—and it couldn't be easier to replicate. All you need are some concrete planter blocks (Buy them: Lowes.com, $3 each) from your local home improvement store and a few 2- by 6-inch wooden boards—and that's it! You can create whatever shape and size garden you like with these items. And when you get the wooden boards pre-cut at places like Lowe's or Home Depot, not a single power tool is required to get the job done!
How to Create a Raised Garden Bed Using Concrete Blocks
You can do a standard rectangle, square or could get creative and make a u-shaped garden bed like Sonja has in her video. There are a number of configurations you can go with—it just depends on how much space you have. Also, note that 2- by 6-inch boards come in varying lengths, including 8- , 10- , 12- , 14- , 16- , 20- , and 24-foot long boards.
1. Decide the shape and size of your raised garden bed.
If it would be helpful, sketch out your desired plot before going to the store, so you're certain of what you'll need. Plus, if you have questions, you can simply show an employee your design and get their opinion on the required items.
See More: Food Gardening for Beginners
2. Buy your concrete planter blocks.
If you plan to do a simple rectangular garden bed, you'll need four concrete blocks. You can also stack the concrete blocks on top of one another to create higher garden walls, in which case you'll need eight blocks for a standard rectangle (just know you'll need twice as much compost or topsoil to fill your beds). For Sonja's double level, u-shaped garden bed, you'll see in the video that she uses 20 blocks (or 10 per level).
3. Buy your wood planks and have them cut to length.
When shopping for wood, make sure you're getting a natural wood. Pressure-treated wood contains chemicals that can leach into your garden. Go for naturally rot-resistant wood, like cedar, oak or redwood to get the most longevity out of your garden bed. The nice part about these beds is that if rot does occur on one or more of the boards, you can can easily replace them without having to take apart the whole bed.
Home improvement stores can cut the wood to the proper length for you (bonus: this service is free of charge at Lowes and Home Depot), which is especially convenient and economical.
4. Assemble, fill and start gardening!
Once you have all the necessary components, simply assemble your garden bends by securing the boards between the concrete blocks. Now you're ready to fill your beds with compost and/or topsoil and eventually with plants! (Here are 7 easy foods to grow if you're a newbie).
Sonja does suggest that if you have gopher issues to lay down a piece of hardware cloth on the bottom of your bed before filling with compost or topsoil.
Related: How To Start a Vegetable Garden
5. Try these optional add-ons.
While not necessary, Sonja does use metal re-bar to secure each concrete block into the ground. You can get these metal rods from the store and just need a rubber mallet to drive them into the ground.
Additionally, you could add a wood capping along the edges of the walls, like in the image below. This definitely looks nice and gives you something to sit on as you tend to your garden. Although, you would need a drill and screws to secure these caps.