How to build a garden border

Updated April 17, 2017

Building a border around your garden provides a clear and designated boundary, allowing you to grow plants within its confines and use it as a line that children shouldn't pass. Whether in the form of a garden fence, simple lumber border or brick border, the options are endless. One of the more common types, a simple lumber border, is easy to build and serves its purpose well. You don't need many materials and it can be done in just a few hours.

Dig a straight trench around the border of the garden with the shovel. Make sure the trench is a bit wider than the plywood so you can comfortably fit the wood into the trench. Additionally, make sure the trench is as deep as a third of the depth of the plywood.

Lay the plywood into the trench. Two-thirds of the wood should be sticking out of the ground when put in the trench.

Fill in the area around the plywood with dirt, making sure the wood is standing straight. Pack the dirt tightly against the plywood, as that is the only support the beam will have.

Fill your garden with soil and begin planting. The fence will require little maintenance, but periodically make sure the 2-inch by 4-inch wood is staying firmly in the ground.


Buy treated or rot-resistant wood to prolong the life of your garden border. The edging needs to be immersed at least two inches into the ground to prevent weeds from flowing over from your yard. Before you buy the plywood, make sure to measure the perimeter of the garden to know how much wood to buy.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • 2-inch by 4-inch plywood
  • Mallet
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About the Author

Mitchell Holt has a bachelor's degree in print journalism from Abilene Christian University and has been freelancing since 2009 with work published in various newspapers and magazines like "BostonNOW" and "The Abilene Reporter-News." Holt also writes sales copy for small businesses. His clients include The Kyle David Group, ITNewton, 18 Vodka, RoboQuote and more.