Raised Beds – How to build raised garden beds for $35

Build Raised Beds for less - as low as $35DIY Raised Garden Beds on Pinterest

I originally published this in spring 2012.   Our DIY raised beds are still growing strong and we’ve added a few more over the years.  Prices may have increased slightly over the last few years – but should be pretty close

Raised Bed Tutorial

I’ve dreamed of raised beds for years – but I was intimidated by the idea of building something. Intimidated by the cost. But in Spring 2012 we jumped in head first and we built our first raised garden bed – in an afternoon – and I realized just how easy and inexpensive they can be! We now have six raised beds that provide a bounty every summer and I’m so grateful that we went for it!

This tutorial is based on what we did to build our raised beds – but we don’t proclaim to be experts.

The price. I know there are probably cheaper ways to make these. I wanted a mixture of simple design, easy to acquire supplies (no stalking Craigslist or driving 30 miles for “free wood”) and frugal. I built two 8×4 raised beds and one 8×2 with an average cost of about $35 each, which I think is completely reasonable considering the bounty that will hopefully come from these and the years they will last. AND it’s about half of the going rate that I found for pre-built raised beds on Craigslist or the kits at Home Depot.


The design. I’ve spent plenty of time over the last two years reading online tutorials. I went with the easiest method and design possible (in my opinion). I had Home Depot even pre-cut my wood, so I wouldn’t have to bother. It was SIMPLE.

I’m no expert. My raised bed resume is short. This is it. I don’t pretend to be an expert and if you’re looking for a tutorial that would be certified by someone with a Bachelors in Raised Beds – this isn’t it. But I’ll share what we did, in hopes that it’s helpful.

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Worm compost bin in 10 easy steps! With video tutorial from my 4-yr-old son

Create your own Worm Compost Bin #compost #garden

Find this post and other gardening/DIY tips on my Gardening Pinterest board

DIY Worm Compost Bin

I shared this post originally in May 2012 – but it’s one my most popular posts and I wanted to bring it back for those of you who haven’t seen it. 

Worms creep me out. Sorry, it’s true. But I do have a four-year-old boy, so for better or worse, they have become a part of my reality as of late. I can’t touch them or even look at them too closely without getting the heebie-jeebies. But nobody can deny it – worms are good for eating food. Worms are good for composting! Worms are just generally helpful fellas – so I’m making a worm composting bin – and I’m going to show you how!

Believe it or not, my husband and I used to have a worm bin back when we were first married – it was a wedding gift from one of my bridesmaids (I have the coolest friends!). But for whatever reason that worm bin, made out of a rubbermaid tote, only lasted us a couple years before it turned into storage for our halloween decorations. :) So we’re bringing it back and I’m going to show you how to make a Rubbermaid Worm Composting Bin! 

What’s so great about worm composting? Worm composting is a fabulous way to take your family’s food waste and turn it into nutrient rich fertilizer for your garden or lawn. If you have a lot of space you could skip this whole worm composting thing and just create a big ole compost pile in your backyard. But compost piles aren’t for everyone – especially if you’re short on space. A worm compost bin can be a great way to take care of your food waste – but do it in a contained, mess-free, smell-free, easy-to-maintain system – that in-turn gives you rich soil amendments for your garden or yard.

 Mouse over image, top right to PIN this


  • Red worms – about one pound
  • Two (2) 8-10 gallon Rubbermaid totes
  • Power Drill 
  • A couple good size rocks or wood pieces for spacing
  • Newspaper and cardboard


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Shopko – FREE 4-pack of Annuals through tomorrow!

Shopko has released a new coupon for a FREE 4-pack of Annuals (up to $2.59). There’s no purchase necessary to redeem this freebie. There’s a limit of one per family while supplies last. This offer expires tomorrow, Saturday, May 24.

You can find a Shopko location near you here.

(Thanks, Bargains with Brittanie!)

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Great Western Supply – Awesome selection of soil, beauty bark, rocks, more (Olympia, Washington)


For the last two years – ever since we built our raised garden beds – we’ve been ordering our gardening mix and our beauty bark from Great Western Supply in Olympia, Washington. I adore the company so much that I wanted to do a post just about the products they offer and because I’m often asked where I get my soil for my garden. If you live in the Thurston County area – this post is for you!

My favorite things about Great Western Supply:

  • Amazing customer service. A real person answers the phone and answers your questions and/or takes your order.
  • Reliable delivery times. Every time I’ve ordered products that were delivered – they pulled into the driveway right on time (even early sometimes!). So grateful for punctuality!
  • Great delivery crew. I set out tarps ahead of time and the delivery crews have always taken great care in getting the huge pile of soil or bark right on the tarp.
  • U-haul options – Don’t want to pay for delivery? Haul it yourself for lower prices.
  • Awesome products. My garden has flourished in the Great Western Garden Mix that I’ve used the last two years in my raised beds. The beauty bark is top-notch stuff and has definitely transformed our yard.
  • Affordable prices. You can go to the local hardware store and spend $3-$5 on a small bag of beauty bark – or you can get a haul yard for as little as $17.95 from Great Western! See product/price list here.
  • Lots of products – They have soil, organic soil, soil amendments, beauty bark, mulch, sand and gravel, decorative rock and more. See product/price list here.
  • Yardage calculator – It’s hard to visual a how big a yard of soil is, but Great Western has a yardage calculator to help you gauge how much product you’ll need.


Let’s talk Soil

So you want to start a garden. If you build raised beds like we did, you’re going to need to fill them with soil! Great Western Supply has a few different options to choose from. They have a Simply Organics line, they have eight different non-organic soil varieties and they have soil amendments.


The last two years, based on conversations I’ve had with Great Western Supply employees, I’ve ordered the Garden Mix. It’s 1/3 topsoil and 2/3 mushroom compost. The mushroom compost comes from Ostrom’s Mushroom Farm here locally – which I love. I’ve been so pleased with how well my garden has grown in this mixture. I had very, very few weeds and/or sprout issues.


I didn’t supplement my garden with any fertilizers or additives last summer and everything grew like gangbusters. I give all the credit to the soil, because I had no idea what I was doing!

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Snow in the Northwest! Sliding, sleds, snowballs and snow much fun


Waking up to snow on a warm Sunday is pretty sweet. The snow was PERFECT. It was the stickiest I’ve seen in a LONG time and the best for snowballs, snowmen, snow slides. . .we spent most of the day out in the snow and had so much (free) fun.


What started out as a big snowball ended up turning into a pretty sweet slide, that strangely resembles an elephant. My fingers haven’t quite recovered from all the scooping and packing – and I’m fairly certain I’ll be a bit sore tomorrow – but what fun we had building this!


My daughter saying, “faster, faster!” as we give her nudge from the top of the slide. She is quite a daredevil.

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Urban Farm Magazine subscription $8.99 a year, today only!


Today only, you can subscribe to Urban Farm Magazine for $8.99 a year (69% off the cover price)! You can order one year at this price. Just enter coupon code QUEENBEE at checkout to get the special pricing. I think it’s worth every penny and would probably buy it off the news stand at full price I like it so much.

Magazine description: A guide for those in cities or suburbs looking to become more self-sufficient by growing some of their own food and treading lightly on the environment in the space they have. Articles include how-to projects, gardening basics, composting, beekeeping, roof-top gardening, preserving and freezing, and time and money-saving ideas.

This offer expires at Friday 11/22/13 11:59 p.m. EST.

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Saturday in the yard – Chickens enjoying the fall weather, lots of leaves to rake (someday)


It’s been a long time since I’ve posted chicken photos. We’ve just been busy truckin’ along this fall and the chickens are doing the same. Thanks to the beautiful, dry, weather we’ve had here in the Northwest the chickens have spent a LOT of extra time running around the yard. I love looking out my kitchen window watching them peck and waddle around the yard. Combine that with the gorgeous fall leaves and it brings me joy to watch.  I still dream of having an actual farm someday and we are saving our pennies to someday make that dream a reality.


Family photo. All eight chickens are here. Of course they are more interested in eating grass and finding grubs than they are about getting their photo taken.

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