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Want Rot-Free Raised Garden Beds? Use Composite Decking

A closeup shot of the corner of a raised garden bed made from composite decking and aluminum angle irons.
Bob Clagget/Youtube

Anyone who has set up a wood box to use for raised-bed container gardening knows all too well that, a short few years later, they’ll be rebuilding the box. The workaround? Use composite decking.

You can certainly buy PVC or composite wood container box kits, but they’re not cheap and they have one massive shortcoming—to save on cost and shipping weight the “planks” that make up the side of the raised bed are hollow. Read any of the reviews of the most popular composite kits on Amazon, Costco, or other big retailers, and you’ll quickly see more than a few people complaining about how one or more planks arrived cracked or were damaged by a lawnmower, rowdy kids, or other hazards shortly thereafter.

If you’re handy enough to screw four real wood planks together, then you’re certainly handy enough to screw four composite wood planks together and, in the process, get all the benefits of the kits without the cheap materials. Composite deck planks are extremely sturdy, will definitely survive you running your push mower into them, and they’ll last as long as your interest in backyard gardening does (and possibly longer).

In the following video, Bob Clagget of I Like To Make Stuff, you guessed it, makes some stuff—specifically a really fantastic DIY take on the composite bed trend. While you might not have the workshop he has, he offers plenty of alternative ideas along the way, such as replacing his use of angle iron with a simple rebar stake system.

When you’re done, you’ll have garden beds that are impervious to rot but as sturdy traditional wood beds—no risk of bowing or cracked sides in sight.


Jason Fitzpatrick Jason Fitzpatrick
Jason Fitzpatrick is the Editor in Chief of LifeSavvy. He has over a decade of experience in publishing and has authored thousands of articles at LifeSavvy, Review Geek, How-To Geek, and Lifehacker. Read Full Bio »
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