We love planting a vegetable garden each spring and summer and reaping the harvest in the fall. Whether your garden area is a large backyard or a small apartment patio, you can grow a garden! Here are some of our favorite vegetable garden ideas for raised garden beds and DIY garden trellis plans.
DIY Vegetable Garden Ideas
Now is a great time to plant a vegetable garden — it’s a great homeschool activity for kids to learn responsibility and self-reliance, and it can save you many trips to the store for fresh produce! We also found that our kids are also much more likely to try a new food (or one they’ve snubbed before) if they’ve helped grow it themselves.
Related Reading: 25 Tips for Gardening with Kids
Even a small garden can produce a large yield of vegetables (the zucchini really do take off!) which can be great to share with neighbors, too. My kids love delivering our bumper crop of vegetables (with printable garden gift tags!) around the neighborhood in their wagon.
Plus, in these historic times we are living in, a vegetable garden is something you can put effort and faith into. As one of our beautiful printables says (quoting Audrey Hepburn): “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” We are living in unprecedented times, but we will get through it, together (but apart!) and enjoy the fruits of our garden labors.
How much space do I need for a vegetable garden?
As you’re considering how to add a garden to your backyard or patio, one of the biggest concerns is space. “But I don’t have space for a garden!”
Here’s a secret: if you really want a garden, you can find the space. From a small space vegetable garden in just a dozen square feet, to a large in-ground vegetable garden that yields hundreds of pounds of fresh produce, vegetable gardens come in all shapes and sizes!
Interested in small space container gardening? Read Tips for Creating the Perfect Container Garden and 10 Creative Container Garden Ideas
DIY Raised Vegetable Garden Beds
One of the first things we did when we moved back to Utah a few years ago was start working on the backyard! Before installing our own concrete patio and building the seat wall and fire pit, we built custom raised garden boxes from scrap lumber we’d been given. (#youknowyoureaRemodelaholic when scrap lumber just seems to find you!)
Related Reading: 20 Garden Building Plans and Projects
What shape is best for raised vegetable garden beds?
The best shape for a raised garden bed is the one that fits your space! We built two large L-shaped boxes with a smaller center rectangle garden box because it was an accessible and efficient use of the space we had. This gave us about 230 square feet of vegetable garden space!
For a smaller garden in a smaller backyard, you can build a set of 3 smaller garden boxes like Yarnnation surprised her friend with for her birthday. Three 3-foot square raised garden beds gives you 27 square feet of gardening space!
A combination of longer raised garden beds and smaller squares can help divide your vegetables to stay organized, too, like this garden layout we featured here.
A raised garden box doesn’t have to be square — at our Texas house, we built a triangle raised garden bed (for square foot gardening) using pavers. The triangle shape looked really great and interesting (in a good way) in the back yard. A triangular garden box also meant we could have a large raised garden box area BUT keep all the plants accessible for weeding and watering.
This year, we raised our sights for our garden — literally! — by building a counter height raised garden bed. Having a “table” to garden at is going to save our back and knees some aches this summer! Our 4’x4′ raised garden bed gives us 16 square feet of planting space. We designed the table to be extra strong to support up to 16.5″ of soil, too, so we can develop strong root systems (and grow carrots!)
For a smaller space, Mindi build a raised planter box for strawberries about half the size of our large one (24″ x 48″). We used rot-resistant redwood and cedar for a box that will last a long time. Mindi used reclaimed lumber, which might not last as long but it was FREE, which is hard to beat.
Related Reading: 30 More Raised Garden Bed Ideas
DIY Vegetable Garden Trellis Ideas
To save space and help certain plant varieties thrive, a vegetable garden trellis can be a good idea. Letting the vegetables grow vertically can save you a lot of ground space — I’m looking at you, squash!
We built a beautiful vegetable garden arbor trellis that made our raised garden bed area look amazing! The wire mesh sides make it easy to grow vine vegetables, like cucumbers, squash, or certain types of beans.
Our wooden wedding arch garden arbor also features a smaller trellis along the sides — you could easily extend that pattern to make it work for a vine growing from the ground or a planter.
For a magical garden arbor that can also help your vegetables grow, build a house-shaped arbor!
If you have other trees you’re trimming in the spring, build a bean frame from branches like Shortie’s Funny Farm’s garden.
A chevron trellis is easy to build and looks great. A pretty trellis is a great way to use a flower bed as a home vegetable garden!
Combine our two favorite vegetable garden ideas and build a raised garden box with an integrated trellis with the tutorial by Addicted 2 DIY. This is a great idea to give your kids a garden space all their own!
For a super classy garden trellis, build a set of French tuteurs with She Holds Dearly’s tutorial. They’re cheap to build and give you a lot of vertical growing space — plus they look amazing!
More vegetable garden ideas: