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DIY Raised Garden Bed Backyard Makeover

DIY Raised Garden Bed with Planters

We love our backyard, but we’ve wanted to improve the area around our deck for years.  The under the deck space was open, so the junk we kept underneath was on display.  But the biggest change we wanted to make was installing a DIY raised garden bed with planters.   And we’ll be doing it with the help of Vigoro which is available exclusively at The Home Depot.

Why did it take us so long to get going?  Getting started was overwhelming, and we tend to procrastinate.  But once I added beautiful upcycled deck skirting to my deck, I was on a roll.  So when I got to opportunity to partner with Vigoro (available exclusively at The Home Depot) on this project it was the perfect fit.  Their tagline is “Build bigger, bolder, better gardens and lawns” and that’s exactly what we’re going to do!

This project is sponsored by The Home Depot

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Here is what you’ll need for the project:

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Our Steps for a Backyard Makeover

1. Plan your project

The first step to planning our project was choosing the location for the raised garden beds.  In our case it was an easy decision.  We knew they needed to be close to the deck in order to get enough sunlight.  I could have pushed the easy button and installed them right in the grass… but I had bigger plans.

I decided to go big and install a hardscaping area along with the raised garden beds.  The plan was to surround the raised garden beds with paver edging and put a couple planters in the bed surrounded by river pebbles.   I’ll also add pavers to easily access the under deck storage.

2. Gather Your Materials

After doing some research, I realized I would need A LOT of materials for this project.  Thankfully I was able to get everything I needed from my local Home Depot.  I put my truck’s weight limit to the test by hauling everything home myself… in multiple trips.  Ordering your materials online is a much easier way to get what you need, and save your back.  HomeDepot.com makes this easy and they’ll deliver what you need right to your house.

3. Prepare for Hardscaping

With the hardscape materials I needed on hand, I got to work by outlining the area I’d be working with.  First I used garden stakes and mason string to run a straight line where the edge of the bed would be.  Then I marked the line on the grass with spray paint.

With that done I was ready for the fun part, digging.  I used a spade shovel to cut a straight edge along the line.  Then I removed the grass and soil. My plan was to remove two inches of soil everywhere in the garden bed.  After that I would remove another three inches of soil where the brick edging pavers and paver stones would go.  

The next step was to make sure the ground was level.  To do this I ran a string from the highest point in the bed, to the top of where the edging pavers would be.  Then I made sure the soil was 2″ below the line from top to bottom to give me space for the river pebbles later.  I repeated this process throughout the bed, leveling the ground as I went.  

Finally I tamped the soil where the brick edging pavers and paver stones would go. Tamping the soil down helps to prevent the pavers from settling lower than you’d like.  I also installed Vigoro landscaping fabric to the whole raised garden bed.  This will help prevent weeds from breaking through.  

4. Install Hardscaping

Now that the ground was prepared, I was ready to install the hardscaping.  I started by installing the edging pavers along the outside of the bed.  The first step was to add two inches of paver base wherever the pavers would go and tamp it down with a beam. 

After that was done I added 1 inch of paver sand on top of the paver base.  I made sure the sand was level, placed the edging paver on top and used a rubber mallet to pound it into place.  I repeated this process as I installed the edging pavers, making sure to keep them straight. 

When I reached the curve I marked the parts of the pavers I needed to remove, and used a tile saw to make the cuts. 

I continued this around the entire bed and was left with a great paver edging that I reinforced with polymeric sand between the joints.  And I activated the sand with a good spraying of water.

Finally I repeated the same process to install the large pavers, making sure they were level.

5. Install the Raised Garden Bed Planters

With all of the pavers in place, the ground level and covered in landscaping fabric, I could add in the planter. We chose the Antique Iron Raised Garden Bed by Vigoro and love how they look.  They are metal so they won’t break down over time and I assembled them in less than five minutes.

I put the planters in the bed and cut away the weed control fabric to the plants can reach the soil.  I also adjusted the ground a little get them level.

Now it was time to add in the decorative rocks.  We chose Vigoro River Pebbles for our project because of their size and color.  Adding the river pebbles was easy, and they looked perfect with the pavers and raised garden bed.  

6. Add Soil and Plants to Raised Garden Beds

With all of the hard work behind me it was time for the fun part, filling the raised garden beds with soil.  After doing some research, we learned that rich soil would help our garden perform at its best.  To get good soil we followed the 40/40/20 rule.  40% garden soil, 40% compost and 20% aggregate.  We’re using Vigoro Garden Soil which is specially blended for garden beds.  Combining it with compost and aggregate should set us up for success.  The aggregate we chose was Vigoro Perlite.  It’s very lightweight, easy to handle and will help keep the soil from compacting.  This should allow more space for the roots to grow and help with drainage. 

I added each material in layers; first the garden soil, then the compost and finally the perlite.  Then I used a rake to combine them, and repeated this process until the raised garden bed was full.

Finally we planted all our veggies and we were done.  Our backyard has never looked this good.  Installing raised garden beds, along with the hardscaping and deck skirting has transformed our outdoor space!

Check out all of my outdoor projects for more ideas to spruce up your yard! 

The Home Depot provided me with product and/or monetary compensation as a sponsor of this build.  All opinions are my own and are not filtered by the sponsor.