This year we decided to make raised garden beds for our garden after a pretty much complete failure last year. Last year was our first year in our current home and I really wanted a garden so that we could have fresh vegetables. We got out our rototiller and tried to create a decent size garden. Well we discovered that the ground here wasn’t as good as the ground at our previous home and I struggled all year getting things to grow. We also had outside factors that made our garden a complete failure (like free range chickens) that completely ate everything as soon as it started growing.
This year I made a ton of changes and I really hope that our garden turns out! We locked our chickens into a fenced in pasture so they are no longer able to get out and eat my plants and we built the raised garden beds. I started this winter reading a ton of books on raised gardening and was a little overwhelmed at first but decided to go ahead and try it out. I am happy to say that it was not nearly as hard as I thought and I was able to plant twice as many plants in half as much space! 🙂
Here’s how I did it…
- You need to figure out how many garden beds you will need for what you want to plant and what sizes. This was actually the hardest part for me and we ended up over calculating by a box or two so now I will get to have a box dedicated to my herbs! We created all of our garden beds to be 4×8 other than the one we planted corn in. This one measures 8×8. *Corn needs to be planted in a square to help with pollination so you will want your garden box to be a square rather than a rectangle if you are planting into a garden bed.* You never want your garden boxes to measure over 4 feet wide so that you can easily reach into all the plants on both sides without having to step in the box. We chose 8 feet long because that was the size that the wood came in so it was a complete convenience choice there.
- Buy your lumber or you can use lumber laying around or you can even get creative and use things like cement blocks if you have them lying around. We purchased 3- 2×4’s at 8 feet long for each box that we created.
- Figure out your Soil. We had to order in Top Soil because we had no other way to get any from our property. If you have a tractor or equipment that you can dig in the ground and get your own soil to fill the boxes then great but if not you will need to have it brought in. We purchased 3 yards of top soil to fill our boxes. We really should have probably gone with 4 but it was already quite pricey to get the 3 yards. This will be the biggest expense of your garden boxes by far if you have to purchase it. We paid 136.00 for the top soil that we had delivered. I would highly recommend you call around locally and try to find someone who will deliver it in bulk because you DO NOT want to purchase it by the bag at a retailer. It will cost you a fortune and take a million bags. 🙂
- To create the boxes we took 1 of the 2×4’s and cut it in half to make it 4 feet in length. You then take 3″ screws and screw 2 of the 8 foot length boards to your 2- 4 foot length boards to create rectangle boxes. You will then need two people to move and place the garden box where you are wanting to keep it.
- Before you fill the boxes with dirt you will need to place a layer of newspaper down completely covering the bottom of the box. Then fill the box with the top soil and I would recommend adding a layer of fertilizer of your choice into the top soil.
- You are now ready to plant! Before you plant you will need to measure out 12″ boxes and tie string to it creating the boxes. Now depending on the vegetable plant your seeds or starter plants into these boxes. There are a ton of resources out there if you do a google search for how many plants to plant per square.