raised beds
Published October 3, 2022 by Nicole Burke

How to Build a Raised Garden Bed on Wheels

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Easy Raised Garden Bed on Wheels DIY

This DIY moveable raised bed is a simple beginner garden that you can fill with loads of herbs, leafy greens, and flowers. I've been growing herbs in my own rollable steel planter for years, and it's helped me find so much more container garden success than I ever thought possible. Each plant has plenty of room to grow, and I can roll the container around my patio to find the best light. The result is a thriving garden space.

If you've ever failed to grow a plant in a container, the problem probably wasn't you but your container. One of the biggest ways to challenge your green thumb is to try and keep edible plants in small pots. When a vegetable plant is growing in a super small pot, it's got very little room to stretch out and look for help. All the responsibility is on you.

Raised beds and large containers, in comparison, allow plants to send their roots deeper and wider to grab more resources like nutrients and water when they need to. That means the care demands for your plants decrease (and the likelihood of success increases).

Let's look at the supplies you'll need for this moveable raised bed DIY project.

supplies for raised garden bed on wheels diy project

Raised Garden Bed on Wheels DIY Supply List

supply checklist for raised bed on wheels diy

A Large Steel Container to Build a Raised Garden Bed on Wheels

Since these raised beds will be growing edible plants, we want to use materials that are food safe and as natural as possible. Stainless steel and galvanized steel are both great options. Steel is strong enough to support the weight of the entire raised bed once it's lifted off the ground on wheels and filled with soil.

The container you select will, obviously, need a closed bottom so that it can be lifted off the ground. That means it'll probably be up to you to add drainage holes since vegetable and herb plants don't like their roots sitting in water. Our goal is for the container to be level and drain quickly.

Make sure that the container you select is deep enough for the roots to stretch out and grow unimpeded (at least one foot deep).

movable raised garden bed on wheels

Casters to Build a Raised Garden Bed on Wheels

A caster is basically a wheel plus the mounting system that holds the wheel in place. Casters can also swivel, allowing you to move the wheels in more than one direction and overall reducing the effort needed to roll something heavy (in this case, our raised garden bed).

Casters allow you to move your heavy raised garden bed in and out of sunlight as needed throughout the season. Also, the casters make it much easier to add drainage holes to the bottom of the raised bed and keep the container draining easily. The added height these casters will add even make tending and harvesting from this moveable raised bed easier.

You'll need two casters on each end of the bottom of this steel container, for a total of four. You want to be sure when you're buying your casters that they can handle all the weight the soil and water will add to the garden planter. To calculate the weight, first find the container's cubic footage (multiply L x W x H) and then assume about 40 pounds per cubic foot.

diy raised garden bed on wheels

Nuts and Bolts to Build a Raised Garden Bed on Wheels

To secure the casters in place at the bottom of your raised garden bed, you'll need the right size bolts, washers, and nuts. Double check at the hardware store that each of these bolts will fit nicely into the holes of the casters, and of course, you also want to make sure that you're picking up enough bolts per caster. Generally, each caster needs about four bolts each, but it's a good idea to check your package for instructions.

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-the $100 raised garden bed used in Salad Garden School

-the rolling steel planter used in Herb Garden Guide Course 

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Use a Weed Barrier Cloth to Build a Raised Garden Bed on Wheels

Weed barrier cloth is available at your local hardware and landscape supply stores, and you don't need a heavy duty one for this project. The main idea is to use a porous cloth to keep your soil from washing out of your raised garden bed once the drainage holes are in place. The cloth will lay on top of the drainage holes and prevent small soil particles from draining onto your porch or patio or wherever you happen to have your rolling steel planter. You can see in the picture below that weed barrier cloth has a similar texture to coffee filters (and it serves a similar purpose of letting water through).

weed barrier cloth
Learn Every Step to Set Up Your Own Growing Space

Kitchen Garden Academy is an online video course that teaches new(ish) gardeners how to design and create beautiful raised bed kitchen gardens and grow the most productive organic plants—even if you have a small backyard and limited time. And yes, even if you don't have a "green thumb"!

Raised Garden Bed on Wheels DIY Tools List

tools for adding casters to moveable raised bed

Drill and Drill Bit

You'll need a strong drill that can handle working with steel. A handheld battery-powered drill might work, but you'll need a lot of power to drill through that steel planter.

You also want to make sure that you get a drill bit that matches the size of the bolts you'll be using, and that it's meant for hardened steel. Always check the packaging and look for something that says it can cut through hardened steel. You can also always ask a hardware store employee (like I do!) to help point you in the right direction.

Scissors, Tape Measure, Etc.

You'll also need some scissors to cut your weed cloth, as well as a tape measure and permanent marker to mark where you'd like to drill the holes for your casters. A framing square is also helpful to make sure everything is in nice, straight lines. Last but not least, you should wear thick gloves and safety goggles to protect your hands and face from the steel, as it can be very sharp.

Now that you've got everything, pop on your safety glasses, and let's get started!

How to Build a Raised Garden Bed on Wheels

Steps to Build a Raised Bed on Wheels

Step One: Mark Your Drill Holes

Begin by flipping the container over to measure and mark the center of your planter. And then you want to measure away from the center and find the four corners that are equidistant from your center. Each of these four marks are where your casters will be secured. Don't be discouraged if it requires some adjusting to get the four marks lined up.

Double check that all your markings are equidistant from each other so you don't end up with a wobbly planter or casters that are not evenly distributing the weight of the planter.

Just in case you're wondering, it took me quite a bit of time to get this lined up. But once you've got it, mark the four spots on each caster with a sharpie so you know where to drill your holes. Flip over your container and make sure they're all lined up and straight. It's important to always measure twice (or even three times!) so you only have to drill once.

Step Two: Attach the Casters

Now it's time to put those casters in place. You can use a framing square to ensure that you have good straight lines and that all your casters will be lined up with one another. Put your gloves and safety glasses on and drill the four holes you measured for each caster. It's going to take a little bit of muscle to make it happen, but you've got this!

Once those holes are drilled, insert the bolts, fit a washer on the back of each, and screw them in with a nut. Be sure that each caster is as secure as possible with a bolt tightener once you've got them screwed in by hand. This is honestly much easier if you have a partner to help you hold the container on one side while you screw in the other, but it can be done by yourself too! I started out constructing this bed by myself but then recruited my son to come and help. So, grab a partner if you can.

Shop Gardenary's Favorite Corten Steel Garden Beds

Corten steel lends a beautiful, earthy vibe to your garden space. The sides of the bed will weather over time to a certain point to achieve a rusted patina, but this steel will stand the test of time.

add wheels to bottom of DIY moveable raised bed

Step Three: Add Drainage Holes

Now that you have the casters attached, it's time to put in drainage holes. Aim to create one drainage hole every one to two feet in a larger container and every six to twelve inches in a smaller container.

On this particular container that's 12 square feet, I drilled about 8 to 10 different holes. Use the same drill and bit that you used to place your casters.

Once you've drilled some drainage holes, test the drainage speed and quality by filling up your container with some water and noting how quickly it drains. This is a simple way to be sure that the water isn't just sitting in your container like it would in a bathtub—something we definitely don't want in our edible garden.

add drainage holes to bottom of raised bed
Learn Every In & Out of Setting Up Your Own Growing Space

Kitchen Garden Academy is an online video course that teaches new(ish) gardeners how to design and create beautiful raised bed kitchen gardens and grow the most productive organic plants—even if you have a small backyard and limited time. And yes, even if you don't have a "green thumb"!

Step Four: Line the Bottom of the Raised Bed

Once you've got the drainage holes drilled and tested, cut your weed barrier cloth to the right size of the container and place it inside your container, just over the drainage holes and the nuts and bolts you used to secure your casters. I recommend mixing a nutrient-dense soil blend for your container, so you definitely don't want it to be falling out of your raised bed every time you water.

best raised garden bed on wheels

Now the container is completely set up.

By attaching the casters, you've added a mobility function to this raised bed that will make it so much simpler to grow in. And you've also gotten your container off the ground so that it will drain much more quickly and efficiently.

You can apply these same principles to any kind of container you'll put together for your garden now that you know the complete step by step to putting together this particular type of moveable raised bed.

Now, it's time to take off those safety glasses, but keep your gloves on. You're about to get dirty adding soil and plants to your new raised bed garden!

soil in raised bed

How Much Can I Harvest from a Raised Garden Bed on Wheels

best raised garden bed on wheels

How Much Does This Moveable Raised Bed Cost?

Total: $185

Not factoring in tools, you can complete this project for under $200. Spend the rest of your garden budget on the best possible soil to fill this container and good-quality seeds and plants.

raised bed on wheels diy for about $200

I hope this step-by-step guide helps you find as much success in your moveable garden as I've had in mine.

Learn Every In & Out of Setting Up Your Own Growing Space

Kitchen Garden Academy is an online video course that teaches new(ish) gardeners how to design and create beautiful raised bed kitchen gardens and grow the most productive organic plants—even if you have a small backyard and limited time. And yes, even if you don't have a "green thumb"!

How to Build a Raised Garden Bed on Wheels with pictures

Learn More About Raised Beds