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Raised vegetable garden so easy a 4-year-old can do it!

Thanks to Miracle-Gro for sponsoring this post!

My black thumb has been well-documented and established

…So when I see friends growing their own organic vegetable gardens, I just sigh wistfully and go fork over $400 for a head of organic lettuce at the grocery store.

I mentioned to my mom that I wanted my 4-year-old son Weston to learn about seeds and how to grow plants and photosynthesis or whatever, but that I was afraid to make little seedlings with him because they would never sprout and all I would’ve contributed to his education was confusion.

Fortunately, she took over and helped him plant some little seedlings that actually DID end up sprouting. (Miracle!)
Kids making seedlings

Little sister was concerned about this.

When we saw them sprouting, we instantly forgot that all we know how to do is kill plants, and decided to let Weston create his own little raised veggie garden. We built the easiest raised bed ever and ended up with this little situation:
Easy raised garden bed
(We let Weston choose the location and arrangement of all the plants. He’s a free thinker.)

Here’s what you need to make the easiest raised garden bed of all time:

  • Wooden decking (preferably not pressure treated)
  • Plastic sheeting (if your decking IS pressure treated)
  • Miracle-Gro garden soil
  • Composted manure
  • Inexplicably-surviving seedlings

I’d read a bunch of tutorials that all involved stakes and weird saw cuts and trigonometry and whatnot, but this method is stupidly simple.

Since this is Weston’s garden bed, he got to do all the work. First he and his dad screwed the four boards together to make a simple box.
How to build a raised garden bed
Pressure-treated lumber has chemicals that can leak into the soil, but we had this wood left over from our deck project and really wanted to use it or get rid of it, so we lined the inside of the wood with plastic sheeting which we stapled in place to block the leaching of the chemicals. If your lumber is not pressure-treated or chemically treated, you can skip that step.
How to line a garden bed
Then we literally just set the wooden box on the ground where we wanted it and started filling it up.

Weston was in charge of moving the bags of Miracle-Gro from the driveway to the yard to start filling the bed. He and his sister did not mind this job.
Transporting garden soil with power wheels
My mom worked with the kids to fill the bed (some of the time) and play with earthworms (most of the time).
Filling a vegetable garden bed
And my mom helped Weston plant everything.
Planting a vegetable garden with kids
Weston very carefully and meticulous chose this seemingly random arrangement of plants.
Easy raised garden bed
I was planning to make little DIY garden markers, but I have no idea what is what in that little garden! We’re in for a very surprising season!

Easiest ever raised garden beds!

Here’s hoping Weston inherited his gardening skills from his grandma and not his mama! Do you plant a garden? Anyone want to tell me what I’m growing? 🙂

Prepare for your home and garden for spring with HGTV. Check out Miracle-Gro for all your gardening inspiration needs including planting, potting, harvesting and growing. Share the reasons why you garden with Miracle-Gro, and your story could be featured.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Scott’s Miracle Go. The opinions and text are all mine.

Let's connect


  1. I know exactly what is what in Weston’s little garden, but I have NO idea what it’s called in English. Great help, I know … you’re welcome !

    • Only thing I recognize in your little man’s garden is the basil and parsley…The other things look like lettuces. lol. But that is such a great idea. I know next year we will make one but probably use large containers instead. We move too often to have a ground garden.

  2. I wish I’d have room for a vegetable garden.
    Your kiddos are so cute

  3. Oh my. Just had ALL THE FEELINGS when I looked at Andy and Weston building that box.

  4. Your kid sized garden bed is adorable! Every time I see posts about gardening, I feel terribly guilty that I’ve started no plants at all. I might have to go plant tomato seeds right this second.

  5. Looks like you have some different varieties of lettuce, a basil plant (in the middle) and a cilantro plant (lower left). Lettuce likes cool weather, so it won’t last all summer. But, you can replant in August for a fall crop too. My experience with cilantro is that it goes to seed fast, so pinch back those leaves as it grows and start using them. To keep your basil nice and bushy and producing all summer, pinch off any flowers that start to bud. Good luck. A garden is a great project with kids!!

  6. Your kids are adorable!

    I too have a black thumb. I can kill a plant just by looking at it too early in the day. But I think you are doing a great thing by giving your kids the experience.

    BTW, I just saw the perfect garden markers on Etsy (not affiliated, I found this as a Pinterest post):

  7. The plant in the middle, a third down in the picture is basil. The red-leafed plants at the top of the picture are leaf lettuce salad (keep piecing the leaves, and sow some more so that you get lettuce through the summer). Looks like you have green leaf salad at the bottom of the photo as well. The plant at the bottom left is Coriander – great little herb for curries, but don’t do well in cold conditions. Hope this helps 🙂

    I’ve planted all these in the last few weeks, but mine are all still tiny…

  8. This is just all together too cute! Especially the hauling of the dirt. HA!

  9. 🙂 So sweet. Love Weston’s concentration face moving that Miracle Gro! Can he come plant a garden for me?

  10. To ease your mind, I think the “dying plant” is supposed to look like that. It’s just an ugly plant. I have one too that looks the same as yours. If anyone tells you differently they’re a liar (I can pretend that I know what I’m talking about if I want to). But seriously, every one of those I’ve seen look like that – it’s the ugly duckling of succulents.

    Swiss chard is really pretty to grow, the stalks are red and it’s good for you too!

    • This is funny. It’s a jade plant, and personally one of my faves. Probably you are over-watering it. Let it go bone dry in between watering. And pinch off new growth at the end of those stalks to promote some branching out.

  11. So cute!

  12. omg that photo of them hauling the dirt! so cute.

  13. Love it! I think I might actually be able to handle this kind of garden! I’m trying to figure out what the little things are that the kiddos are planting there with your mom for the seedlings. Are those little dirt clods? I’m so confused! 🙂

    • It’s a little seedling starter kit that I think she got from Walmart. It’s pretty brilliant, has everything you need (except seeds, I think) and it’s (obviously) very hard to mess up. 🙂

  14. I’ve got to get some seedlings going for my little ones too. Our garden needs some serious help from last year. Definitely some sort of soil amendment, I’ll look into the Miracle Gro.

  15. Wonderful! I’m a black thumb then started growing lettuce in my garden. It’s easy to grow and tastier than store bought salad. Start simple and enjoy the killer salads.
    Btw I’m too lazy to build a raised garden so I bought a few 10 gallon size “dirt pots” from amazon. They’re cheap, transportable and fit in tight spaces.

  16. I love Weston’s garden and I think he should be in charge of any and all living green things in your home and outside!! I just started my seedlings, Radishes, lettuce, herbs, sunflowers, morning glories, watermelons and pumkins, and a type of Indian corn that when it grows (hopefully no critters get it) and I dry them, the kernels look like glass beads!! I’m so excited!
    My tomatoes and peppers and stringbeans and eggplant are all grown in old 5 gallon paint cans and other old big pots. You should do that with Weston and the wee one too! I love it even more than planting in the ground because there’s hardly any weeding at all! You’re both such great parents!

  17. If you want to plant a few other little things, potatoes, green onions and zucchini are all nearly impossible to kill.

  18. I just planted my garden on Easter! It’s my 2nd garden; my 1st was about 7 years ago and all I grew was weeds. 🙁 I’m feeling optimistic this year. I even started the seeds in a mini greenhouse on my kitchen island. They seem a bit droopy now that I put the in the ground, but I’m going to keep watering them! I might have to pray for them, too…

  19. Love him in that little jeep! We’re all black fingered over here as well but thank you for giving me some hope 😉

  20. You must not have a dog or cat cause the dog would pee on the plants and the cat would use the bed as a litter box. My raised beds are 4 feet tall (got a large male dog with long legs) and an old cat that no longer jumps that high (too much effort). I didn’t want the taste of urine on my lettuce, nor have the cat fertilize my plants. I am picky that way. 🙂 The planning stage before I determine the height of my beds was to follow my dog around for a few days with a tape measure to see how high his urine stream was. Yep, good times being a gardener with pets.

  21. I LOVE how concerned your daughter is in all the pics. Or contemplative. Either way, she’s on QC full-time.

  22. The reddish stuff is Red Cimmaron, a type of loose leaf lettuce. The other lettuce is also a loose leaf, or possibly a Romaine, but there are so many different varieties it would be impossible to know which one it was. The others are basil and parsley…looks like you are in for a yummy salad!! 🙂

  23. Everyone is telling you different answers on what you are growing! I googled some pictures of “green leaf lettuce” and “red leaf lettuce” and I have concluded this: the green *could* be green leaf, but I’m pretty certain the red is not red leaf. Very helpful, I know. I can tell you that the red one is NOT basil. Nor is the green one.

    As for the lower left corner, I say it is cilantro, because I eat it all the time and feel I should be an expert on it’s look. But guess what? Coriander looks exactly the same. Cilantro is usually darker, at least in the grocery store. But who knows, maybe when it is a baby plant it is light?Again, I am no help. However, you can smell it and that should clear it up.

    This comment includes zero help and I can’t even tell you tips on how to keep these babies alive and producing.

  24. Whoops I missed the little green plant in the middle! That one IS basil.

  25. Ummm maybe i need to do this. Because I have possibly the blackest thumb of all time? Plants are so needy. They always want to be watered, or have light, or be weeded or something…maybe when we are done remodeling we will be kinder to our gardens?

    I also am jealous of that purple jeep!

  26. I love that you let your son make all the decisions on this project. It’s a great way to nurture creativity. If he’s not already a great veggie eater I bet he will be now.

  27. So much fun! I hope that Henry loves gardening this summer. I need someone to help me weed. Or just, do it for me.

  28. My husband and I were just talking about doing a few raised beds in our yard! What sweet little helpers you have though!! Enjoy!!! They grow up so fast! ( I know, this post is about raised beds…but all I can think is that my little helpers are not so little anymore! …and my youngest is taller than me now! 😉 )

  29. It’s time to start harvesting that garden! Use scissors to take off 2 leaves per lettuce plants to make a salad. Repeat in a few days. Cut off leaves from the basil and parsley to use, too. If you don’t start soon they will bolt (go to seed) and turn bitter and then die. Lettuce is a cool weather crop so you can make salads for maybe another month before it bolts even if you’re trimming it. Now is the time (getting late) to plant war weather crops: tomatoes, zucchini, pumpkins, things like that. All you will have left soon are the herbs if you don’t plant warm weather crops.

    You’re doing a great job! Gardening is addicting, one successful year and you’re hooked. Or maybe it will be your 4 year old that is hooked. 🙂 My 2.5 year old loves that we planted raspberries and strawberries.

  30. I have a track record of killing green things, too but a few months ago we had to buy a bag of potatoes rather than the few we usually buy. Needless to say, they got some very huge eyes before we could eat them all. So I decided to plant them. I’m so happy to report that most of them seem to have sprouted and a few seem to be getting quite big! Other than that one I accidentally pulled while attempting to weed…

  31. That looks like a great little bed for kids and I love your son’t method of moving the dirt. 🙂 How did your mom start the seedlings?

  32. Aww, love the shots! Especially the one where the kids move the bags with their tiny car. It’s so motivational and inspiring. Are they still into gardening? I bet they are big green thumbs now.


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