Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Have you started your garden yet? Here's my new raised bed garden!

I've been "poking around" on Pinterest, looking for ideas on gardening, when I ran across a picture of this raised bed garden.  I fell in love and really wanted one.  So, I put the pencil to the paper to see how much one of these little babies would cost me.  Each of the raised beds came to about $78.  Pretty pricey, but I've just about had it with my cast iron tubs out in the backyard.  After our drought a couple of years back, I had determined I would find something with an open bottom. 
Well, here it is!
 We began with a trip to the local Lowe's store.  We opted to go with cedar on the wood, rather than treated.  After all, who wants to grow their own vegetables in a pressure treated wood garden?  Ew!  I don't want that leaching out on my veggies!

We took one 2x2x8 post and cut it into four equal posts and notched the tops, for aesthetic purposes.

Here is Tim cutting the posts into four separate pieces.  He also used this to cut the tops off of each of the posts.

 Here is a picture of the completed top on one of the posts.  You get the idea.


Next, Tim cut the corners of the cedar planks so they would fit with 90 degree angles.

 There are four boards for the top of the box and another four boards for the bottom of the box.

 Okay, I will tell you we tried this two ways.  The first time, Tim simply put the base together with the posts.  Then, he added the panels.  Finally, he had to add the top boards.  This was quite difficult trying to get everything square.  The panels keep wanting to shift and move.  Not fun.  So, on the second box, we did it differently.

This time, Tim decided it would be much easier to build the box and then simply cut out the corners on the panels before adding it to the box.  Yep!  That was much easier!

Tim measured out the four panels first and cut them to size (the two sides and two end pieces).

Next, he simply cut out the pieces and the corners, to fit around the posts.

Here, you can see how the panels are simply cut around the posts. 
Next, enlist the assistance of your children!  Here, Harrison staples the panels to the end posts.  He is a pretty good stapler!
Make sure and staple both the ends and all of the inside sections to make sure the panels stay in place.

Hailey came along and hammered in the staples that didn't go in all the way.  As you can see here, we added some trim to the end corners, too. 

Now for the trim on the sides. Tim placed a piece underneath and then added a trim piece on top.  Here is a picture of the underneath piece.

Here, Tim is adding the outside trim piece.  This gives added stability for when the box is filled with all of the fresh compost!

There you go!  Our completed, raised bed, garden box!

Here it is after we carried it to it's final destination in the backyard!  Isn't that nice looking? 

 After getting the box in place, we needed to make two compost tubes, per box.  This is easily done with chicken wire, hog wire, or "whatever" wire. 

 Here is a finished compost tube. 

 We placed two tubes in the center, on each end of each garden box and initially, filled with newspaper, to aid in keeping the compost from going in the tubes.

 Yes, we are lucky!  We have a tractor with a front end loader AND we have fresh compost, since we have alpacas, chickens, cows, and horses.  A menagerie of poo!  This compost has been sitting for a year, so it is ready to go into the boxes.

 Here is an idea I got off of Pinterest.  We had some tubes out in our barn from a prior project.  We took the tubes and drilled holes on one side all the way down the length of the tube for slow drainage.

 These tubes are then placed in a "U" shape inside the box, with the ends sticking up for filling with water.  The holes are facing down.  We placed these approximately 6 inches below the top fill of compost.

 Here are some completed pictures of the completed garden box.  You can see the tubes on the left side, sitting up out of the box.  I fill these up with water and walk away.  The tubes slowly release the water via the small holes in the bottom into the soil sitting 6" underneath the surface.

Here is a picture of the second box.  Again, the compost tubes are in the center.  I add vegetable and fruit scraps to it, as well as fresh cut grass after we mow, and whatever else I can find to compost.  This releases the nutrients into the bottom of the soil.  The black tubes are, again, for watering.  I'm trying this out this year.  If it works, awesome! If not, they are only 6" underneath the surface and can be easily dug up for next year.
That's it!  I hope you get some good ideas from this!  Have fun!

1 comment:

  1. You come up with some awesome ideas, Cyndi! And I love the way your whole family works together to accomplish the tasks! I can't wait to see how these boxes work for you!