Nothing compares to the flavor—or sense of accomplishment—of a meal made with herbs and vegetables that you grew yourself. Whether you have a large backyard, a small patio, or a tiny balcony, you can create a DIY vegetable garden at home. With a little creativity, even the most compact spaces can be used to produce a plentiful harvest if you use them efficiently. Here are some DIY vegetable garden ideas to inspire you.
Related: How to Cultivate the Perfect Soil for Your Vegetable Garden
A vertical tiered planter is a great way to get a lot of use out of a small space. It also makes for an easy woodworking project for beginners. Cedar is a good choice when building pieces that will remain outdoors because it fares well in a number of different weather conditions and wears beautifully over time.
Metal Raised Beds
Those with a little more backyard space will appreciate this DIY vegetable garden idea (building plans available on Etsy). Raised beds are typically made entirely from wood, but this version uses corrugated galvanized roofing to ensure its longevity even in harsh climates. The decorative corner posts add an element of visual interest. These raised beds can be customized to any size or shape to fit the space you have available.
Tiered Barrel Planter
This DIY vegetable garden idea could work well as part of a larger garden or as a standalone piece on a small balcony or patio. It involves repurposing old barrels—or crafting new ones from scratch—and attaching them to hinged wooden posts so the planter can be expanded and contracted to fit into the available space.
Cloth Pocket Hanging Garden
This vertical garden is made of cloth material and features 12 pockets for planting herbs or vegetables. It can be used either indoors or outdoors and works well even with next to no floor space. This version is made from recycled plastic bottles, making it an eco-friendly choice. While you can purchase this one (available on Amazon), it also makes for an easy DIY project if you’re adept with a sewing machine.
Cold Frame Winter Garden
No matter which hardiness zone you live in, this DIY garden idea can help extend your growing season. Because it’s designed with a double-walled polycarbonate top, it absorbs sunlight and retains heat. It’s a great solution for hardening off seedlings as well as growing winter vegetables or low-growing greens.
Related: The Winter Garden: Hedge Your Bets
While some DIY vegetable garden ideas require a certain level of skill in terms of woodworking, this one can be purchased ready-made and assembled to your liking (available on Etsy). Take the top off a vintage barrel and fill it with potting soil to create a perfect vessel for growing vegetables. If you don’t have access to a vintage version, barrel-style planters are readily available at nurseries and craft supply stores as well as online at Amazon.
Reclaimed Wood Raised Bed
This DIY vegetable garden idea uses reclaimed wood to create a rustic raised bed. Raised bed gardens keep weeds away from your veggies and provide optimal drainage. One of the unique aspects of this design (building instructions available on Etsy) is the wide lip around the edge, giving you an extra surface for placing gardening shears, seedlings, or other equipment while you work.
Vinyl Raised Bed
One problem gardeners encounter when using raised bed gardens is that the wood used to build them rots over time. By building with vinyl siding rather than wood, however, you can prevent this problem and ensure your garden box will last for decades. This model (available at The Home Depot) comes ready to assemble, which makes for an easy DIY project.
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Create a miniature ecosystem to keep your plants warm in the spring and fall with an extendable greenhouse cover like this one (available at The Home Depot). The base of this vegetable garden is made from steel framing and PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) material which extends your growing season and helps to start seedlings out when the weather is still chilly. The cover is designed so that it can be zipped together and extended to cover as many garden boxes as you need.
Waterfall Garden Table
A waterfall-style garden table is a great way to grow a number of herbs and veggies in a small space. This ready-to-assemble DIY vegetable garden (available at The Home Depot) is made from rot-resistant solid fir wood and features self-wicking liners to regulate moisture. Built-in drip holes help with drainage.
Octagonal Raised Bed
Most raised garden beds are designed with a square or rectangular frame, this one has eight sides for an interesting visual effect. Consider using cedar, which is generally acknowledged as the ideal wood for outdoor projects because of its weather resistance. While one of these octagonal frames can be placed directly on the ground, they can also be stacked on top of one another to create a taller raised bed.
U-Shaped Raised Bed
If you struggle to reach plants in the middle of traditional rectangular raised beds, a wrap-around U-shaped version might be the perfect solution. The main advantage of a U-shaped garden is that while it provides a large planting area, everything is within easy reach. This DIY vegetable garden kit (available on Etsy), allows you to simply put together the pieces in your own backyard, but the design is also fairly easy to recreate from scratch.
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