DIY with Mr. Green Thumb

By Kate Riley May 31, 2009

I have some good friends, David and Robyn, who have been remodeling their country property for the past year.  They are also adding massive amounts of fruit trees and vegetation to their very special 10 acres, located here in Sonoma County. David happens to have a very green thumb, and yesterday I had the pleasure of touring his culinary garden, and also watching him and his assistant build a redwood planter box.


How to build a simple raised planter box out of redwood:

Step One:  Prep soil with amendment and with a rototiller or good rake.

Step Two:  You can cut your lumber yourself, but it is easier to have the wood supplier cut your redwood to your specifications.  In David’s case, he went with a 12 foot length.  He reminded me that you cannot use pressure treated lumber, since those chemicals would leach into your prized vegetables.

Step Three:  Screw your 4 x 4 posts to your side lengths with 3” deck screws.


Step Four:  Attach your long lengths of redwood to your finished ends.

Step Five:  (optional)  Attach gopher netting to base of your planter if you have problems with this type of rodent.

Step Six:  Stake your raised planter to the ground, and fill with good potting soil.

Sorry for forgeting to shoot the entire planter, but you can see part of it in this photo, where David has just started his strawberry patch:

I was also impressed with David’s waist high raised planters that he built for his 80 year old mother, so she doesn’t have to bend down.  Check these out:

He built a platform to support this mega raised bed, and held it all together with galvanized bolts.  Then he created a detachable hot house with PVC pipe, some fittings, clamps, and plastic.  Brilliant !


And he starts all of his plants from seed, and nurtures them right here on this potting bench:

I am so glad to have friends like Robyn and David, not only because they teach me so much, but because I hope to enjoy some of their garden bounty all summer and fall.




  1. The planter box looks awesome, and not too difficult to make!

    Because I love your blog, I nominated you for an award on mine. I hope you enjoy!

  2. Very cool! I would KILL to have a culinary garden like his!!

  3. Thanks for sharing, we put in our garden this weekend but it's much smaller in size. I am known to have a brown thumb so this going to be an adventure – start small and home for the best. Can't wait to see what this garden looks like in a few months.

  4. I love your blog!! I just wanted to let you know I gave you an award on my blog! – Stacey

  5. I SO want hubby to build me some raised beds for some veggies out back!! I've even told him that he could just start with one, if he would like! (Now that we planted an apple tree over the weekend with six different kinds of apples grafted to it, hopefully, he'll catch the bug for more!!) Thanks for the info and pics!!! Maybe it will inspire him! :>:>:> (Let's hope so! :>)

  6. Nice looking raised beds! I’m wondering what the cost was to make beds like this? Can anyone tell me?

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