raised garden bed

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DIY Raised Garden Bed

I built this raised bed for ZERO dollars. All of the wood was salvaged (the panels are cedar, mmmm!), and the only tools I used were nails, a hammer (both which were given to me), a handsaw (which was borrowed), and a shovel (that my boyfriend bought years ago) to make holes in the ground for the wooden stakes. The cardboard lining the bottom of the bed was leftover boxes from when we moved into our new house. I filled the bed using soiled straw from my rabbit’s cages (rabbit poop is an awesome natural fertilizer!), and fresh soil from the compost pile.

As the straw breaks down I’ll keep adding compost soil to the bed. I was considering building a cold frame for the raised bed, but I have too many other partly-completed projects to finish first! (I’m also working on a hugelkultur raised garden bed) So, any outdoor veggies will just have to wait until the spring!

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The different stages of our raised veggie patch!

These photos were taken over about two weeks, because as it turns out gardening is hard work and we’re slouchy procrastinators. First we had to cut up and shovel out the existing lawn, followed by extensive removal of any roots (there were a lot). I put down layered newspaper to block the light, in order to prevent any new weeds from shooting through. I left a bare patch of soil in the centre so the worms have a little window to come and go. I then hosed the newspaper down and lightly covered it all with dirt. We had a huge pile of quality soil from the local landscapers delivered - a fantastic mix including peat, compost and manure. We left this out to age for a week or so. Today Mum came over to help Dad and I finally fill the box and plant the seedlings. We have broccoli, celery, mini cos lettuce, basil and carrots growing. Excited to see how they go!

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Progress shots of my raised bed. We’ve been very busy lately as we’re expecting our third (and final) bundle of joy next week! But finally FINALLY I got around to building this. This is the second thing I’ve ever built in my life (both being garden beds) and I hadn’t thought we’d be able to afford it but I happened upon some lumber so I threw together a quick and dirty raised garden bed. Its 5 feet by 5 feet so I thought it’d try my hand at square foot gardening in an effort to get as much as I can out of the space available. I ran out of daylight so I didnt get a chance to plant it out yet so stay tuned for an update.

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330 | 365 let’s by sweethardt 

Veggie patch update! Everything is thriving and I’m considering getting a second garden bed. The tops of carrots are starting to show, we harvested our first head of broccoli (which dad and the birds say was delicious), I’ve been feasting on multiple varieties of fresh lettuce for weeks and the celery is just about to take off. Having a green pantry outside is so enjoyable.

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i designed a raised bed garden box last night and made it today! it’s crude and chunky, but it should work as intended and last a couple years, and if i make more, they’ll turn out even better. 

we still have to pound the stakes into the ground, staple mesh to the inside, and fill it with dirt, but so far, so good. 

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On a whim, we decided to start a small raised box garden for vegetables and herbs.  This turned out to be a more enjoyable and worthwhile investment than we ever imagined it could be!  I picked up a few tomato plants on clearance from Lowe’s (25 cents each!) and some sweet basil plants.  We planted seeds for zucchini, beans, carrots, Armenian cucumbers, and broccoli.  Craig built some A-frame trellises for the cucumbers and beans to climb on.  Four months later, we’re enjoying our cucumbers, fresh herbs, and carrots.  We pulled the zucchini (after a struggle with squash vine borers) and we’ve planted cauliflower and lettuce in it’s place.  The 25 cent tomato plants I purchased are covered in green tomatoes that are getting bigger every day. 

Starting again

It has been a while since I last posted.  I could come up with a million reasons and excuses, but the reality is life just got in the way.

Shortly after moving into our new home, we uncovered that termites had eaten us out of house and home; it was the plaster on the wall that was holding the whole place up. 

As renovating hadn’t been on the agenda when we purchased the place, this sort of through a spanner in the works.  And so, for the past twelve months we have been renovating.

As such, the garden has been a little neglected.  

The fence needs replacing so this means, no chickens…. but, my gorgeous husband has built me a lovely raised garden box so I can commence some urban farming.

Given there is still so much to be done, we decided to opt for one long raised box on the west side of the garden.  The patch gets plenty of sunshine and better yet, sits just outside my kitchen.

You can build a raised bed in just a couple of hours, so long as you have the tools, timber etc ready. 

When selecting the wood for you box, you need to avoid treated pine (as the chemicals can leech into the patch).  If you are in our predicament where termites are of high concern and treated wood is the only way, you’ll need to fully line the box with black heavy weight plastic, to eliminate soil contamination.

A raised bed not only makes gardening easier, it can also be dismantled and moved if needed.

When selecting the spot for your bed, you want to orientate the bed from North to South, this will provide your harvest with enough sunlight to grow.

Materials & Tools

  • One 6-foot-long 4-by-4 
  • Six 8-foot-long 2-by-6s 
  • 32 3½-inch #14 wood screws and 16 ½-inch #8 wood screws 
  • 1 cubic meter of soil mix (look for combination of topsoil, compost, and potting soil).
  • You’ll need a table or power saw to cut the wood, an electric drill is helpful.

Building 

With a table or power saw, cut the 4-by-4 into four 400mm tall corner posts. Cut two of the 2-by-6s in half.

Assemble pieces on a hard, flat surface, building bed upside down. Set a 4-foot 2-by-6 on its thin edge on pavement, and place a 400mm post at one end. Secure post with two screws. Repeat at other end of board. Repeat with other short board.

Join short sides with an 8-foot board; and secure with two screws. Add other long side. Add second layer of 2-by-6s.

Position

You will now need some help and muscles for the next step, flip the bed right side up. Move it into position in your garden, marking with a shovel each corner post’s location. Move the bed aside; dig a 150mm deep hole for each post.

Put the bed back into place, with posts in holes; fill around posts with soil.

Finishing

Top it up with good quality soil and start planting.  Once completed mulch around the plants with straw (make sure you use a sterile variety to ensure it doesn’t run ramped in your garden).

And voila!  You have yourself a homemade raised bed. 

Happy farming.

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Borage seed harvest.
July 21 2016

Borage has been a great companion flower in our garden beds this summer. It has done a great job of bringing in pollinators. Also, the flower and small leaves are very tasty with a light cucumber flavor. It was always a great experience to place a few flowers on top of an ice water. It’s now recorded in our memory banks as one of the smells and tastes of summer.

Children are well-suited for this type of work. They have small hands, are fond of gathering, and seem to be excited to place little things in little jars.

Here is a wiki link for further reading on Borage: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borage

Fondly,

K

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hugelkultur - the ultimate raised garden beds (by paul wheaton)

You can find some hugelkultur tips here.