Greg made me a raised garden bed a few months ago. I’ve been wanting to do this for such a long time! For the last two years I have had a garden plot at the community garden in town. My community garden plot gave me a chance to experiment with growing my own food. I really enjoyed it. The only drawback was that I had to get in my car and drive (just a few miles) to the plot to water and pull weeds. Even though I loved going over there to tend to my plot, it sometimes was hard to find the time. In any event, I decided not to renew my plot this year. With a toddler and a baby on the way, the community garden plot is just not practical for me right now.
Greg said he would build me a bed in our yard and I was thrilled. I decided I wanted to go with the Square Foot Gardening method. You can find out more about Square Foot Gardening here.
2- inch galvanized screws (approximately 70)
(9) cedar boards (1/2 inch x 4 inches x 8 feet)
NOTE: Do not buy stained or treated wood as the chemicals can leach into your soil.
(2) balusters 1x2x36 inches (used in the corners and middle of the bed to add support).
Roll of landscape fabric
Roll of wire mesh
NOTE: Make sure it’s fully charged. Ours wasn’t!
We decided to go with a 8′ x 4′ bed. First, Greg measured and cut three of the 8 foot boards in half. Next he pre-drilled the holes. Using a 3/32 drill bit, he pre-drilled three holes at the end of each board. He spaced the holes 1 inch apart.
He squared up the corners using a carpenters square and screwed the boards together. He repeated this process two more times.
He stacked all three boxes on top of each other and attached the balusters to each corner. He then added balusters to the middle sections on the 8 foot sides.
He dug out the grass and put the bed in place. He laid down the landscape fabric and stapled it to the boards. He then put down wire mesh to keep the critters out of the garden. We have a lot of burrowing animals in our back yard.
Since we went with the Square Foot Garden, we decided to use Mel’s Mix, which is the recommended soil. Traditionally, Mel’s Mix is a combination of 1/3 compost, 1/3 peat moss and 1/3 vermiculite. Luckily I was able to find Mel’s Mix at my local garden shop. If you can’t find it premade, you can always mix it yourself. There are lots of YouTube tutorials out there to help with this.
Greg used wire to make 32 1-foot squares.
He used screws to attach the wire to the top of the boards.
Let me just say that I don’t 100% know what I’m doing! This will definitely be a learning experience for me. I have plenty of space to plant. I still have some empty squares. I tried to make sure I followed the companion planting guidelines. Here’s what I have so far:
- 6 kinds of tomato plants
- spring mix
- 3 pepper plants
I also planted a few marigolds to keep the critters away.
I am very happy with the way it turned out and although I don’t have super high expectations this year, I am excited to see what happens. We all love going out to the garden to see how the plants are doing and I’m always astonished when Greg comes in and tells me I have sprouts coming up. Hazel absolutely loves to water. She has her own watering can and takes it very seriously.