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DIY Projects Outdoor

In-Ground Garden Box

Two DIY posts in less than a month? What! It's definitely because of all this free time I've had on my hands lately with being quarantined at home and all. I've made about 4790321 different cocktails and developed and tested…

In-Ground Garden Box

Two DIY posts in less than a month? What!

It’s definitely because of all this free time I’ve had on my hands lately with being quarantined at home and all. I’ve made about 4790321 different cocktails and developed and tested about the same number of sweets. I thought I would give my oven and cocktail shaker a break and work outside for a little while.

It’s also been gorgeous outside lately. Sunny and between 70-80 with low humidity. I’ve been spending equally as many days just relaxing in the backyard doing nothing as well. Oh, and I’ve also been shooting a lot of beer.

Like a lot of beer.

But I digress…

In-Ground Garden Box -

The other day I just got a bug up my butt to make a new garden box for our new home. Isn’t that how they all work though? Or so it seems?

I all of a sudden want to build or make something then it just happens. I’m so spur of the moment sometimes, it’s crazy.

Anyway, remember the above ground one I made a few years back?

Yeah, I wanted something like that but in the ground. I didn’t want an above ground one this time because I have big plans for our outdoor space and an above ground one just doesn’t fit into the design.

But we do have a bunch of bare, lone walls in our backyard that I thought would be perfect for the project.

The hubby has actually been begging me to build a garden box so he can grow hot peppers. And I also wanted this garden bed to be big enough to fit more than just herbs.  

I chose the wall that is just off to the left of our pergola when you walk out the door. It’s about 14 feet long from the edge of the concrete to the edge of the house. Perfect – then off to the store I went.

In-Ground Garden Box

This is what I bought:

  • 2 – 2 x 6 x 8
  • 4 – 2 x 6 x 12
  • 1 – 4 x 4 x 6
  • 1lb – 3 1/2 inch deck screws
  • Garden liner
  • ~ 20 bags of dirt
  • 16 inch sprinkler riser (if needed)
In-Ground Garden Box
In-Ground Garden Box

I had the guy at the store cut the 2 x 12’s for me – just in half – and he did a crappy job. Reminder to myself to never to let them do it again. However, if you have a guy that does it right, by all means have them cut the boards for you.

The only reason I had him do it though was so they would fit in my truck, but next time I’ll just tie them down. You’ll see the crappy cut job by him later. It took me way too long to match the cut boards again so it would be symmetrical and I wouldn’t have to re-cut the wood, thus, making the box smaller.

Moving on…

I got all the supplies home and started framing out the box.

This is the cut list you’ll need to recreate this box:

  • Cut 2 x 6 x 8’s into 6 – 32 inch sections (2 sides and 2 middle)
  • Cut 4 x 4 x 6 into 6 – 11 3/4 inch sections (corners, and middle supports)
  • 2 x 6 x 12 can stay whole

Let’s get to building this in-ground garden box!

Once you have all the cuts you’ll start by attaching two of the corner legs to the short side cuts with the 3 1/2″ deck screws like so:

In-Ground Garden Box

Notice I left a little space between the boards and also a little of the leg out of the bottom. I did this so I could sink the leg into the ground slightly to provide a little more stability.

In-Ground Garden Box

You’ll build 2 of these, one for each side of the box.

In-Ground Garden Box

After you have both short sides built, you’ll build the middle.

You’ll actually need to cut off some of the extra 2 x 2 x 6 that you cut in the beginning if you want it to be exactly center like I did – about 2 inches or so. If you don’t then you would just build them as show above and you’ll have one side of the box slightly larger than the other.

No big deal, and definitely a personal preference, but I have a weird thing with symmetry so I cut and screwed at a 45° into the middle 4 x 4’s, like shown:

In-Ground Garden Box
In-Ground Garden Box

Now you have your 2 sides and middle!

Next we’ll attach the long sides to the short sides. Just center the middle piece and butt the ends of the 2 x 6 x 12 boards to the edges of the sides. Attach with the 3 1/2″ deck screws making sure that the extra hang of wood for the legs is hanging off the same side.

In-Ground Garden Box

Flip the box over and do it again to the other side. You’ve got yourself a box!

In-Ground Garden Box

After I had the box built, I started working on the grass that was where I wanted to put the box.

First, I dug up the sprinkler head that was going to be inside the box now and added the 16″ riser to it. I wanted it to still sprinkle the lawn and box instead of just capping it. I went with the 16″ so that it wouldn’t eventually get covered by the growing plants and not work. With this height it was sure to keep watering over the plants and the grass outside the box.

In-Ground Garden Box

After getting the sprinkler situated, I dug a small trench into the ground where the box was going to sit. Then got the hubby to help me carry it to it’s resting place.

I grabbed the level and placed it on top and dug and packed the ground under the edges to make sure it was perfectly level.

In-Ground Garden Box
In-Ground Garden Box

Since the ground is graded to drain away from the house, this did take some time. The back needed to be dug down a little more than the front.

After I had the box level in both directions, I finished pulling the grass out from the middle.

In-Ground Garden Box

Next came the fun part! Getting the garden liner and dirt in.

In-Ground Garden Box

I overlapped the garden liner and stapled it to the inside of the box. This would help keep out any weeds.

Then I poured equal amounts of garden soil into each side. Each side took about 10 bags.

In-Ground Garden Box

Once all the dirt was in and the plants arranged, it was time to start getting them in. This was the fun part and the kiddos helped me get everything situated.

In-Ground Garden Box
In-Ground Garden Box

Finally, water your plants in and you’re good to go!

In-Ground Garden Box
In-Ground Garden Box
In-Ground Garden Box

I absolutely love the finished product! I have a herb side and a pepper side for the hubby. He obviously bought way too many peppers and I’m not sure how some of them are going to do once they start growing, but whatevs.

Now I’m excited to start using more fresh herbs and for the pepper plants to bloom so I can use some of those too!

Have you built a planter box before? I would love to see some of your creations! Tag me on Instagram @JenniferMeyering.

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