Elevate Your Salad: Make a Raised Bed Lettuce Table

Author Tara Nolan shows you how to upcycle a table into a clever raised bed.

Raised bed gardens are wonderful for a variety of reasons: they bring gardening up to a comfortable level, they allow you to garden in a small space and they get your edibles close to your kitchen. Author Tara Nolan's Raised Bed Revolution: Build It, Fill It, Plant It...Garden Anywhere! is a great resource packed with raised bed tips and projects and plenty of smart ways to incorporate raised beds into your own growing repertoire.

Upcycled Raised Bed

Upcycled Raised Bed

This clever raised bed transformed a table into a growing space for lettuce.

Photo by: Cool Springs Press

Cool Springs Press

Nolan was kind enough to share her brilliant idea for an upcycled salad table using a repurposed table with Made+Remade. "Lettuce and other greens don’t need the same depth for their roots to grow as bigger plants, like tomatoes and zucchini, or root veggies, like beets and carrots," says Nolan. "That’s why this old table that I found at an antique market worked perfectly to create a shallow garden for greens." 

Raised Bed Revolution Book

Raised Bed Revolution Book

Author Tara Nolan offers tips for upping your gardening game using raised beds.

Photo by: Cool Springs Press

Cool Springs Press

Follow these steps, excerpted from Raised Bed Revolution and you will soon be lording your perfect arugula and bibb over friends and neighbors. Swap out lettuces for kale come fall and winter and you can keep the growing going all year long.

Raised Salad Bed How-To

Excerpted from Tara Nolan's Raised Bed Revolution

What You'll Need

Author Tara Nolan

Author Tara Nolan

Author Tara Nolan assembles her DIY salad table.

Photo by: Cool Springs Press

Cool Springs Press

  • drill, impact driver or screwdriver
  • tin snips or wire cutters
  • measuring tape
  • hand saw or mitre saw (to cut cedar strips)
  • an old table, desk or other upcycle-worthy item
  • small finishing nails and hammer OR stainless steel staples and heavy-duty stapler
  • hardware cloth (this looks like wire mesh – or a closer-knit chicken wire)
  • landscape fabric
  • work gloves
  • thin cedar strips (for this project, I used lattice that is roughly 1.5" wide and 3/8" thick.)

How to Do it

1. Create the basket that will hold your salad table’s soil

Hardware Cloth and Landscaping Fabric

Hardware Cloth and Landscaping Fabric

Convert a desk or table into a raised bed with the use of hardware cloth and landscaping fabric.

Photo by: Cool Spring Press

Cool Spring Press

Flip the table upside down and place it on a workbench.

Put your work gloves on and measure out the hardware cloth (it’s sharp!). Use wire cutters or tin snips to cut so that it will fit across the bottom of the table.

Stretch the hardware cloth across the table bottom and use small nails or staples to secure in place. (This could be a two-person job, depending on the size of the table—one to hold the hardware cloth, the other to attach it. Make sure you’re both wearing protective gloves!)

2. Secure the hardware cloth

DIY Raised Bed

DIY Raised Bed

An old desk or table can be repurposed into a raised bed for growing vegetables or lettuce.

Photo by: Cool Springs Press

Cool Springs Press

Measure out your cedar lattice and secure it around the undersides of the table, so it covers the edges of the hardware cloth. Use the impact driver or other tool to attach it with screws. Depending on the size of your table, you may also want to create a support beam across the middle.

Look around the edges to ensure there is no hardware cloth peeking out from under the cedar strips. Snip away any loose bits.

Adding Soil

Adding Soil

Add soil to your raised bed.

Photo by: Cool Springs Press

Cool Springs Press

Salad Table

Salad Table

An old table or desk can be transformed into a raised bed for growing salad.

Photo by: Cool Springs Press

Cool Springs Press

3. Line your mini garden

Turn the table back over and measure out a piece of landscape fabric. Line the bottom of your salad table. Add soil, tucking in the landscape fabric’s edges so they’re not peeking out the sides. 

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