Sunday DIY: Bring the vege plot to you

By Greig Morgan

Add a comment

Greig Morgan shows us a handy way to take the backache out of gardening.

Sturdy boxing made with macrocarpa sleepers will stand up to the worst the weather can throw at it. Photo / Jason Dorday
Sturdy boxing made with macrocarpa sleepers will stand up to the worst the weather can throw at it. Photo / Jason Dorday

Usually I transplant my summer vegetables from seedling trays to the vege garden at Labour Weekend, but I'm a bit behind the eight ball what with all the great rugby that the world had to offer right here on our doorstep.

But plants wait for no man so, this week, I made a raised vegetable garden using macrocarpa sleepers to house my summer crops.

Sleepers add structure and a natural look to any garden. Macrocarpa is not treated with chemicals, so your produce will be contaminant-free, and the wood will last for years.

Having a raised garden is a lot easier on your back, and a wide rim will even provide extra seating when it's time to sit down and have a drink.

Step 1

Find a position where your garden will get sun all day. Clear the area and level it if necessary using a spade.

Step 2

Using a builder's square, scribe a mark just in from the end of a sleeper to make the ends square. Cut along the waste side of the line with a skillsaw or handsaw.

Step 3

Now measure and mark a square line at the other end of the sleepers, making sure they will all end up the same length. Cut along the waste side of the line on each one.

Step 4

Measure and mark the halfway point on two of the sleepers. Use your square to mark a straight line down the centre, then cut the sleeper in half. These are your end pieces.

Step 5

With the ground now level, place your front piece flush with an end piece, and the back piece flush on the outside of another end piece so you have them interlocking.

Then, using a 6mm drillbit, pre-drill holes into the corners for ease of nailing the 150mm nails.

Step 6

With the first level now interlocked and the ends fixed together, follow the same procedure for the second level, except interlock the pieces in the opposite direction, as shown in the photo.

Step 7

Your planter box is now complete and ready to be filled with garden mix. Then plant your chosen seedlings, give them a water, and wait for nature to do the rest.


* When marking out the area for your raised garden, allow enough space for easy access right around it.

* Use a hand trowel rather than a spade for planting, then firm up the soil around the plant.


200x100 macrocarpa sleepers x6 @ 2.4
Bag 150x6mm flathead galvanised nails
Garden mix x1 cubic metre
Vegetables of choice
Stakes for support with ties if growing the likes of tomatoes


Tape measure and pencil
Skill saw or a sharp handsaw
Builder's square
Drill or screw gun
6mm drillbit
Garden trowel

- Herald on Sunday

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf03 at 25 May 2017 17:16:37 Processing Time: 535ms