Right now, we just plant our seeds directly into the ground, but we have big plans for an extensive raised garden bed system. Oh yes, I coupled the raised bed with the Square Foot Gardening technique of the garden ninjas. If this type of gardening system is not for you, maybe consider a square foot garden that will have more dirt to provide more nutrients. There are commercial raised wicking beds, self-watering containers , and container gardens on the market, which are convenient for those who want instant gratification, but for those of us on a strict budget, building a DIY wicking raised garden bed can be affordable and fairly simple to do.
I am using it right now for a couple of vegetable plants and in the fall, will use it at the base of a small tree for decoration and protection and also to keep the ground around the tree looking neat and free of grass and weeds. Raised garden beds can be misshapen rectangles, triangles, trapezoids, or whatever. I remember watching my mother working in her garden when I was a teenager, not truly understanding any of the benefits.
I’ve had suggestions from others here, that I should put concrete under the first row of cinder blocks (below ground level), but I don’t see how that would stop the entire thing from collapsing under the weight. An urban garden is a garden that is in a city or similar area with lots of people and little space. The half-moon edger is wider and shallower than a garden spade, so you cut more edge done each time, and it’s set to the right depth, so you can push it all the way down.
Yes, my garden does not have neat little rows of identical vegies in traditional monoculture style, which is just a pest insect banquet arrangement in real terms. So I dug a small trench to even things out, which was not an easy task, due to the various-sized rocks in the ground. Mark out a 4 x 4 foot square in your chosen location, and either loosen the sod with a garden fork or remove it completely. Initial investment is about $35-$60, depending on whether you buy the basic box or the full kit.
It is basically a bottomless box with an optional removable top made of glass, fiberglass, or plastic to let the sun shine through to warm the soil early in the season. I’ve made a squarefoot garden myself, but I’ve never seen that type of irrigation system before. We’ve been renting our home for a few years now and I have struggled with my garden. Here’s what the wood looked like as it bowed out requiring me to place the rebar support stakes for my raised garden bed. This type of garden can also be planted in garden boxes or raised beds, but you have to be sure to purchase organic seeds and organic soil. I will also make rows of fresh soil mounds in the box with a trench in between each.
To build a 4-foot by 8-foot bed, you’ll need two 2-by-12 planks 8 feet long, two 2-by-12 planks 4 feet long, and 12 pieces of rebar, each 24 inches long. All told, I would imagine we spent several hundred dollars to set up our custom 7-container raised bed garden including tool rental, tools, lumber, and soil, and installing irrigation (which we’ve yet to finish setting up). For example, most of my vegetable containers are approximately 12 to 14 inches wide and 10 to 12 inches deep.
To take the raised garden bed concept one step further, it’s possible to build them as wicking beds, which will greatly reduce the amount of time it takes to water them (virtually eliminating one regular garden chore), as well as reduce water consumption in the garden beds by as much as 50%. Once you’ve mastered the basics, move on. There’s nothing more satisfying than watching your very own vegetable go from seed to table, and you’ll save a lot of money in the long run. Raised beds allowed us to set up an irrigation system that included a hose bib in each box.
Lumber is often cut in 4-feet increments, and you also want to be able to access the garden without stepping into the bed. Open the remaining four bags of garden soil and rake it evenly across the surface of your raised bed. This allows 4 or 5 inches of the board to extend below the garden box to help hold it in place, and to keep the box from bowing due to the weight of the dirt in it. I used a 4″ x 4″ post for each corner of the box, and a 2″ x 8″ board for extra support for each long (10 foot) side of the box. Believe it or not, the local nursery is not the only place to find great vegetable and fruit seeds for planting.
Your local home improvement store is also a good place to start in you are planning a raised bed garden. You might want to line the inside of the box with plastic (cutting holes lined up with your drainage holes) to protect the wood from moisture, which will eventually warp and rot it. It’s optional; but it depends on how long you want it to last.
Won’t work with deer, but for those short to the ground animals, it keeps them away from the goods. Grandkids visiting this week and hoped to get a memory garden made by them before they move to Texas, but the weather is not cooperating – hopefully today or Sunday…. These are great ideas — but still a lot of work for gardening-challenged folks. Plan on filling at least 1/3 of your raised bed with compost or composted manure (available from nurseries or garden centers in 40-pound bags).
Thanks, I am happy to hear you say that the beds appear to be ornamental, actually, that suggests the garden must look aesthetically pleasing, I consider that a compliment. If the frame of the bed is intact with sideboards, you can simply add more sideboards to create a box within the bed. I think I’m going to try to stick to the square foot garden formula this year, but in the past I’ve used regular old potting soil with a lot of success.
We felt that these are a great fit for our yard, and the size of beginner’s garden we wanted to use. Now that I live on a sizable family farm with acres of viable gardening space, I’m still drawn to cultivating a small square foot garden. But concerning your question, if someone was to use a pressure treated wood to make a garden planter…… you can isolate pressure treated wood by lining the inside of the bed with heavy plastic to prevent leaching of chemicals from the wood into the soil.
I also drilled a few 1/8″ thick drainage holes in the bottom of the box to allow standing water to flow out the bottom. Over the years, we have slowly removed the concrete paving between the boxes and replaced it with a thick layer of pea gravel that allows the little rain we get to percolate into the ground. By raising the soil level, raised garden beds also reduce back strain when bending over to tend the bed. Raised garden boxes are easier to plant, weed, water and harvest than in-ground beds. The dense planting in a raised garden makes weeding difficult, so it’s a good thing that it also crowds weeds out.
You can bring your small garden ideas to life in Phoenix, Arizona with just a few basic organic gardening supplies. So even the soil mix can help reduce how much water gets used, and wasted, in a garden bed. In early spring, begin sowing vegetable seeds in the above ground garden or cold frame. Better to go with an organic soil mix, or better still some compost from last year’s vegetable peelings etc. I made it and lined the box with pieces of pallet to add to the look, combined 2-3 different pallets for different color combinations. Get half Garden Soil half Compost and a big bag of perlite or vermiculite to mix in the Garden Beds as you fill.
Turn the soil in the area for ease mixing planting box soil with underlying soil, to avoid making a perched water table. Fewer weeds: Raised beds tend to hold more plants in less space than a traditional vegetable garden layout , which means there’s less room for weeds. Succession and companion planting also help keep weeds down, because they ensure that there’s very little bare ground on which a seed can find purchase.
They are an effective and water-efficient DIY gardening implement that can be created and adjusted according to your budget, materials, space, and garden plan. The raised garden bed kit assembles easily without tools, allowing you to plan for a successful crop. This is a great way for seniors to garden and enjoy the benefits of the exercise and the great taste of on-the-plant ripened vegetables. Using this method, you can build your bed to any desired length, width and height.
I am thinking of making a wooden frame around my garden box and putting shade cloth on the roof of my frame only and maybe cheap bird netting around the sides. If you don’t find what you are looking for there, you may have to go to a specialty garden store. It’s perfect for lasagna gardening, and there is no shortage of container gardening ideas online.
But once I was done, I had the pleasure of knowing I would have a raised garden bed for years and years to come. It is basically a bottomless box with an optional removable top made of glass, fiberglass, or plastic to let the sun shine through to warm the soil early in the season. Of Potatoes In 4 Square Feet for an impressive potato growing technique (think of it as a mini-garden box just for growing potatoes). Adding soil – In the typical garden setting where crop roots will spread down into the soil below the bed, it is best to use similar soils.