How to build a multipurpose raised bed protective cover

In my last post, I briefly mentioned a deer had come by and had eaten my fall garden down.  Of the two 4 x 8 beds I have, one was almost completely destroyed, but the other was only munched on a little.  I knew that if I did not protect the beds, the following morning, I would have nothing left.  I had to act fast.  But I wanted to build something that would last, protect against the deer, and also when the time came, protect my garden from freezing.

First, I built a frame.

Here is a list of supplies to build the frame:

3 – 4 ft pieces of PVC,  6 – 2 ft pieces of PVC,  4 – 3’8″ pieces of PVC,  6 – 3″ pieces of PVC,  4 – 3/4″ 90’s,  8 – 3/4″ T’s

Below is a  diagram of how the pieces fit together.  The 2′ pieces are the legs and they attach to all the downward facing T’s. (I forgot to add those in the diagram.)  Don’t worry about glueing the fittings, this is not load bearing and it will be fine without glue.  If you are having a hard time connecting the pieces use a rubber mallet to help bang them together.

Okay, so now you have a frame.  For my purposes, I wanted to keep the deer from eating my garden, so I used some plastic fencing I had on hand and covered the frame.  I used zip ties to hold the fencing on the frame.  From personal experience, I know that zip ties will not hold up in the outdoors for more then about 1 year.  If my fencing keeps the deer at bay, I will exchange the zip ties for wire.  Wire fencing or chicken wire could be used in place of the plastic fence, though it would more difficult to work with.

I will cover the entire frame with plastic when the first frost warning for our area is announced.  Also, if you have veggies that need protection from the sun,  put some shade cloth over the frame.  I only made my frame 2′ tall, but if you need it to be taller, since it is PVC, this should not be a problem.  Some couplings and extra PVC should do the trick.


How to build a multipurpose raised bed protective cover — 18 Comments

  1. Charlotte, what an awesome idea!! I just showed my husband and we both want to put this up around our raised beds next year. We have a squirrel problem, do you think this fencing’s holes are small enough so a squirrel does not get through?

  2. Nice job! And on such short notice! I don’t have trouble with deer but with the neighborhood cats! They like to use my raised beds in the cover of darkness – not a problem once things are grown up – but a big problem when I’m trying to start seeds. This is a solution. Cayenne works but I have to keep at it, and if it rains … I had hoped to make a hoop house this fall – very similar to what you have done here – but it looks like early spring instead. I will also be planting rue next year – a big turn off for a lot of creatures.

    • Since the cover is made with pvc and plastic fencing it is light enough for me to move by myself. I just remove it to weed and harvest as needed.

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  4. THis is a very helpful website. I am considering building a raised bed cover. Was the one above moved everytime the gardener needed access to the bed? (wedding, harvesting, etc)

    • Hi Sandy, Yes, I moved the cover whenever I needed to work on the bed. It is rather awkward but not too heavy. I was able to move it by myself, though, it is much easier to move if you have a helper. Hope it works for you!

  5. Charlotte

    Great just what I require!

    Where do you buy all the pipe work and fittings from.

    Advise please!

    Many thanks


  6. Love the cover. How wide is the spacing in the webbing?
    And does it keep the bunnies out?


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