The Complete Guide to Building Your Own Walk-In Garden Bed

A walk-in garden bed offers the ultimate in gardening convenience and enjoyment. You can take care of your plants without having to bend over or kneel inside a waist-high enclosure. These stand-alone buildings are great for people who have trouble moving around and for experienced gardeners who want to add more planting space.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to plan and construct your own customizable walk-in raised bed garden from scratch

Benefits of a Walk-In Garden Bed

Walk-in garden beds provide many advantages over conventional gardening

  • Comfortable standing access reduces back strain and joint stress
  • Keep critters and pets out of your prized veggies and flowers
  • Customize the layout, shape and size to your space
  • Design it tall for deep root crops like potatoes and carrots
  • Creates a focal point in your yard or garden area
  • Often portable if you later want to relocate it
  • An all-in-one enclosure with built-in trellises and seating

The main feature is the waist-high walls that let you step inside and work without bending over constantly. The enclosed design also helps deter deer, rabbits and other freeloading animals.

Design Considerations

When you’re making plans for your walk-in garden bed, remember these important things:

Size and Layout – Measure your space and sketch ideas. Smaller is 4×4 feet while 4×8 or larger is common. Consider multiple segments.

Height – Standard is 2-3 feet tall but make taller for root crops. Add trellises.

Material – Rot-resistant wood like cedar and redwood or recycled plastic/composite boards.

Access – Include gates, doors or other entryways for easy access.

Customize – Add benches, storage shelves, cold frames, irrigation and more inside. Make it your own!

Use – Maximize every inch. Plant flowers, vines, shrubs, herbs and vegetables together.

Soil – Build up with bagged garden soil and compost for excellent drainage.

Finish – Stain and seal the wood or let it weather naturally. Match your aesthetic.

Planning Your Walk-In Garden Bed

Careful planning is key to constructing a walk-in raised bed garden that suits your space and needs. Follow these planning steps:

Check Local Building Codes

Most areas allow small structures like garden beds without a permit, but check to be sure. Also call 811 before digging to avoid underground lines.

Decide on Size and Layout

Measure your yard or garden area and sketch ideas. Standard sizes are 4×4, 4×8 and 4×12 but you can go bigger or smaller. Design multiple beds or U-shaped beds.

Pick a Height

Common heights are:

  • 18-24 inches for accessibility and flowers/herbs
  • 24-30 inches for most vegetables
  • 30+ inches for root crops like potatoes or carrots

Choose Building Materials

Rot-resistant wood, recycled plastic lumber or a wood-plastic composite are common options. Treated wood is budget-friendly but avoid direct soil contact.

Include Entryways

Plan doors, gates or openings for easy access. A centered gate with a path is typical but get creative.

Add Custom Touches

Benches, shelves, cold frames, vertical growing walls – get ideas online and personalize it!

Maximize Planting Space

Use vertical growing with tall trellises and archways. Interplant flowers and herbs with vegetables.

Structural Components to Build

A walk-in garden bed is essentially a short fence that you step into. The main structural components are:

  • The outer walls – front, back and side boards
  • Interior framing and bracing
  • Posts or feet to elevate the bed
  • Entryway gates or doors
  • Optional accessories like trellises

Recycled plastic or composite boards use a simple post and panel system. Wood designs are built like a typical raised bed but on a larger scale.

Let’s look at how to construct each part of the structure:

Outer Wall Boards

These make up the sides that enclose the area. Wood or composite boards in cedar, redwood or a composite material are common choices. Pick a taller height for deeper rooting plants.

Cut two boards for each side, securing them together to achieve the needed height. For example, use two 3 foot boards if you want 6 foot high walls.

Framing and Bracing

The walls need bracing and framing for stability. Install wood frames on the inside at the top and bottom. Use wood cleats or composite mounting strips in between.

Posts or Feet

Elevate the walls by attaching wood 4×4 posts or composite decking boards as feet on the outside. Bury posts or attach feet to the wall framing.


Cut an opening for your access door or gate. Install with hinges, handles and a latch. Add a second gate for wider openings.


Get creative with handy features like:

  • Benches and seating
  • Vertical growing walls
  • Storage shelves and potting tables
  • Covered archways or cold frame lids
  • Trellises for climbing plants
  • Irrigation and electrical

Now let’s look at how to actually build a walk-in raised garden bed from start to finish.

Building a Walk-In Garden Bed Step-By-Step

Follow these steps to construct your own walk-in raised bed garden enclosure:

Assemble the Outer Walls

Cut your front, back and side wall boards to length from rot-resistant lumber. Use multiple boards stacked to achieve your desired height.

Screw or bolt the boards together using exterior wood screws or bolts. Check for square.

Add Interior Framing

Cut cross bracing and top/bottom frames from 2×4 lumber. Install inside the walls using exterior screws to reinforce.

Attach Posts or Feet

Elevate the bed by attaching 4×4 posts at the corners or use deck boards as feet every few feet along the bottom. Bury posts or anchor feet to framing.

Build the Entryway

Cut an opening in one wall for your access door. Install a gate or door using hinges and hardware. Include a latch.

Add Custom Touches

Get creative with benches, trellises, storage hooks and other handy accessories. Stain and seal the wood too.

Move into Position

Move your completed garden box into the desired position in your yard if built offsite. Level and anchor it into place.

Fill and Plant!

Shovel in bagged garden soil and compost. Mix in fertilizer. Plant flowers, vegetables and herbs. Add vertical grow systems. Enjoy!

Always check for level, square and plumb as you build. Use exterior rated wood screws and hardware.

Material Options for Raised Garden Beds

Let’s examine the benefits of common fencing materials used to construct walk-in garden beds:

Cedar wood

  • Naturally rot and insect resistant
  • Requires staining every 2-3 years
  • Prone to splitting, warping and cupping


  • Extremely durable for outdoor use
  • Expensive and limited availability
  • Needs sealing to prevent graying

Treated Pine

  • Budget-friendly pressure treated wood
  • Can leach chemicals into soil over time
  • Requires re-sealing every 2 years

Recycled Plastic Lumber

  • Made from recycled plastic like milk jugs
  • Won’t rot, crack or splinter
  • Can fade and become brittle in sunlight

Wood-Plastic Composite

  • Blended material resists weathering
  • Costly but very low maintenance
  • Less risk of leaching chemicals

Composite is a great choice for durability and performance. Cedar and redwood also make attractive raised beds. Use above-ground planting beds if concerned about treated wood.

Tips for Growing in a Raised Garden Bed

Follow these tips to make the most of your walk-in gardening space:

  • Use vertical growing systems like trellises, poles and cages
  • Try square foot gardening and densely plant crops
  • Include flowers to attract pollinators
  • Interplant compatible vegetables like radishes with lettuce
  • Use grids to divide the space into organized rows
  • Add soaker hoses or drip irrigation inside the walls
  • Use kneeling pads to avoid compressing the soil
  • Fertilize plants with a balanced organic fertilizer
  • Rotate crop locations each season to replenish nutrients
  • Cover with hoops, cold frames or removable lids in winter

A walk-in garden bed lets you grow abundantly in a compact, controlled space. Turn your garden visions into reality by planning and constructing a customized walk-in raised bed suited precisely to your needs and preferences. With the right materials and a DIY spirit, you’ll enjoy growing fruits, vegetables and flowers in comfort and convenience.

Enclosed Walk In Garden with Raised Beds


How long will an untreated garden bed last?

Regular pine board can be used as well. Pine will last an average of 5 years as a raised garden bed, and redwood will last more like 10 years.

What is the cheapest way to line a garden bed?

You Can Use a Layer of Cardboard at the Bottom of Raised Beds to Prevent Weeds. If your budget doesn’t allow for weed barrier cloth, you can add several layers of cardboard to the bottom of your raised bed before filling it with soil. The cardboard will decompose in about 4 to 6 months.

What is a sunken garden bed?

Simply put, sunken beds act as if they were a valley instead of a mountain (raised bed). Valley landscapes tend to have more accumulated water, be richer in organic matter, and boast more biodiversity.

Can you build a walk-in Garden?

Building a walk-in garden is a great spring, summer, or fall project. A permanent garden fence can be used and enjoyed season after season and will protect plants year round. I’m sharing how to build one below, but if you’d like to watch, I also have a complete project video here on my YouTube Channel:

How big is a garden in a box?

The Outdoor Living Today 8 ft. x 8 ft. Garden in a Box, Natural Wood ship in 3 boxes 34 in x 21 in x 47 in. We appreciate your business and look forward to serving you in the future. Helpful? I could not be happier with this kit, took my wife a few autumn weekends to assemble, but thats due to our medicre skills.

Can you put treated wood in a garden bed?

Then it came be picked up easily enough and plopped down into the bed. Then there is also the plastic. Even though treated wood is acceptable material for a garden bed, any wood choice will rot when it’s constantly in contact with wet soil, even treated wood or cedar.

Is the garden in a box a rectangular unit?

A: The Garden in a Box is designed to be installed as suggested. The manufacturer currently does not offer a rectangular unit. Helpful? Q: What are the size of the boxes that this is shipped in? A: Thank you for your recent inquiry with The Home Depot.

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