Life is a tad crazy these days and we’ve been cooped up in the house too long so we’re taking our DIY projects outside. I’m so excited with how this turned out. Gardening is most definitely out of my element but I’ve always loved the thought of growing our own food. I’ve dabbled with herbs in the past so we’re kicking it up a notch and starting with a small raised-bed garden in the backyard. We went with a raised bed mainly because of how it looks and figured it would be easier to keep the rabbits (and dogs) out of.
We currently have some starter seeds growing in the house – carrots, kale, broccoli, watermelon, cucumbers, lettuce, and bell peppers. Very ambitious for our small garden, but trial and error.
After it was all said and done, we ended up building a 4′ x 7′ garden, which is a great size for starting out. We didn’t dig too deep, just deep enough to make sure it was level. This isn’t pictured, but we mowed over the grass and dirt we dug up and mulched it so we could put it back in the garden. Here’s some basic items that we used for the frame:
- 3 – 2 x 10s
- 3 – 2 x 4s
- 3 inch construction screws
- Circular saw
- Miter saw
You really can make your garden whatever size fits the space you have. The 2x4s aren’t necessary but we thought it would give it a more finished look. The extra wood we had from the 2x4s we used make ‘cleats’ or supports to make it more stable.
We then took the 2x4s and screwed them into the support pieces and the frame. It definitely gives it a more finished look.
If you’re concerned about weeds, you can put a weed control tarp in the bottom and staple it into the frame. This won’t prevent all the weeds but it will at least slow them down, keep your soil cleaner (if you’re going the organic route), provide better drainage, and serve as a barrier to pests.
Once we had the tarp how we wanted, we cut off the excess and began filling it up with the mulch we made from the grass as well as added in organic top soil and potting soil. FYI, if you live near a Costco, they have massive bags of organic soil for a lot cheaper. We also plan on using the compost in the garden for extra nutrients once it’s ready.
Then came the tricky part of figuring out how to build a fence around the outside because the dogs decided this looked more like a sandbox than a garden. We went with 2x2s and chicken wire and added gates to one of the long sides so we would have full access to all areas.
We haven’t figured out the irrigation system yet but we will most likely use this soaker hose on the top of the soil (until we find the time and energy to build a rain barrel). One project at a time. It’s not perfect but it’s a great start for us and our gardening adventures.
Where are my fellow gardeners at?! Hit me with your tips and tricks!