How to Build a Cheap Garden Box

Concrete blocks can make a budget garden box.

If you have challenges in your garden soil with drainage or composition, a raised bed may solve some problems and help you grow the fruits or vegetables you desire. Although you have many options for constructing a raised bed, doing so inexpensively will help you conserve resources. Build a cheap garden box using concrete blocks that will contain the soil effectively.

Step 1

Determine how many concrete blocks you need to construct the garden box. Standard block size is 6 inches wide, 8 inches high and 16 inches long. You can make a 4 1/2-foot square garden box with 12 concrete blocks (three on each side).

Step 2

Measure the 4 1/2-foot dimensions for the garden box with a tape measure. Mark the outside perimeter of the garden box along the ground with the chalk.

Step 3

Cultivate the soil inside the chalk lines with the garden spade to break up the soil that will be beneath the garden box. Remove any sod from the ground, if necessary. Rake the soil smooth with the rake.

Step 4

Saturate the soil with the white vinegar to kill any remaining weed or grass seeds that remain in the soil.

Step 5

Cover the soil within the chalk lines with five to six layers of newspaper to form a barrier for the bottom of the garden box.

Step 6

Place the concrete blocks with the holes facing up around the perimeter of the garden box space, three blocks end-to-end on each side. Make sure the concrete blocks cover the outer edge of the newspaper to block weeds from growing up through the holes in the blocks.

Step 7

Fill the garden box with soil, filling it to within about 2 inches of the top edge of the concrete blocks. Fill the holes of the concrete blocks about halfway with soil.


Use the holes of the concrete blocks as planters around the perimeter of the box. Place one plant in each hole and add additional soil to cover the roots of the plants. Concrete blocks cost an average of just $1 each (at the time of publication). This puts the price for a 4-foot garden box at $12, not including the soil. Using concrete blocks also minimizes the construction process.

Things You'll Need

  • Concrete blocks

  • Tape measure

  • Chalk

  • Garden spade

  • Rake

  • White vinegar

  • Newspapers

  • Soil