Saturday, March 27, 2010

Finally a raised garden!!!

After living in this house for four years, we're finally putting in raised garden beds!!! Yay! In the past, I've just had a small area for gardening in the landscape beds that produced "eh" results. Lots of strawberries, some zucchini, etc. Usually I supplemented with a weekly CSA delivery (love love love Community Supported Agriculture). CSA's force me to be creative with what's in the box...  but I've always wanted to experiment with lots of other veggies myself.  :)

So off to Home Depot I went to buy enough cedar for three large beds. NOT....... Holy cow! Sticker shock! So after talking with the HD guy for a bit, he explained that fir would be fine for about 4-5 years. Cedar (at triple the cost) would last more like 8-9 years as a garden bed. Decision made! So I bought enough lumber for three raised beds. All were built with 1x12's and 4x4 posts in each corner. The largest bed is 10'x4', then 8'x4', then 6'x4'. It actually looks really pretty staggered in size like that for the sunny area we chose.

I got the design idea from Anything Pretty. Fun website for doing various DIY type projects to make your house pretty! Once I saw how simple it was to build the beds, I knew I had to build some right away before we got too far into spring.

And then of course, right AFTER I built them and we spent all afternoon FILLING them with soil... my mom says, "Oh look at the latest Sunset Garden magazine I bought this morning! It has a whole section dedicated to raised garden beds!" OF COURSE! :) The website shows the same design I did, but the magazine itself has several extra ideas I definitely wish I had done. So for you readers, here are some additional tips if you decide to build raised beds.
  • Add remesh (mesh rebar) to the bottom of each bed so moles don't dig UP into your garden. We have lots of moles around here, so I wish I had done this.
  • Add 1" pipes and pipe clamps (before filling it with soil) so it can easily be covered during bad weather or problems with animals.  With the 1" pipes clamped all around, you can quickly attach 3/4" pipe to make a canopy frame and throw a tarp or netting over the top.  I might add this next year.  :)
  • Add 4x4 posts to the OUTSIDE of your project rather than on the INSIDE.  I made mine like Jenny from Anything Pretty for structural reasons.  I wanted to make sure the garden beds were nice and square.  And Sunset Garden did that too... but they had several other photos where the 4x4 posts were put on the OUTSIDE so a 1x12 could be placed on top as a bench.  LOVE this idea!  I could do that on mine now, but then it would cover up a small portion of my soil for planting.  

So excited to start planting!  My first project is to move my ENORMOUSLY overgown strawberry patch into the largest planting bed...   See there to the right of the bamboo?  That USED to be my garden area, but the strawberries smothered everything out.  To the right of the strawberries are five blueberry plants that I'm trying to grow.........  :)

1 comment:

petraJ said...

My husband put in a garden bed for me too and I wish I had done the mesh as well. We definitely have moles/mice that eat my bean and corn seeds...


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