Friday, April 23, 2010

#144 Create a Raised Garden Bed

So, this was a project we really wanted to complete, a raised garden bed for the kids. My daughter is so pumped that she has her own garden. Really, this is going to hold a bunch of other veggies that might not have made it into the big garden because of space.

The raised garden bed is 24 feet long by 2 feet wide by (approx) 10 inches deep. In the spirit of reusing what we already have, we used cinder blocks that were in the basement (if you know me, you know there used to be a hot tub sunk in the floor of one room in our house from previous owners & these cinder blocks helped support the tub from the basement). Well, once we removed that hot tub and made that room a playroom we were left with stacks of cinder blocks in the basement. In reality, we only used about half, so I suppose we could build another raised garden bed to match at some point.

We also already owned a roll of a permeable weed barrier from when my daughter & I put a couple of raspberry bushes in another location. But don't start thinking this project was free, we still had to fill the garden bed and we only had so much compost in our bin & grass clippings. So, we had to buy black dirt, hummus & straw to help add more layer.

For those of you who don't know, I garden by Lasagna Gardening. I started doing this several years ago and I love it. Each year my garden looks better & better and I have less & less weeds (I really should have no weeds, but I got a huge batch of BAD compost and have been fighting thistles since.)

Eventually the straw & grass will decompose more and I will have to add more layers on top, but that's it. There is no nasty weeding or tilling or digging.

Anyways, back to the construction of the raised garden bed. We did buy cedar planks to put up on the back side so that the layers did not fall through the lattice on the porches. On the tops of the cinder blocks are solid blocks (perfect for sitting & gardening, or for my daughter to walk on) and on the ends we still placed dual cored cinder blocks so that we can plant flowers in them.

My husband & I built all of this and we are starting to feel some soreness from heavy lifting. It looks good and my daughter is so proud. Today my daughter & I planted cool season (radishes, spinach, lettuce & peas) seeds in 1/3 of the garden bed. In 2 weeks we will plant our next 1/3 of seeds and then 1-2 weeks later we will plant the final seeds. And then we can start over with planting seeds int he first third.

I had taken a class on advanced organic gardening this year and the focus was on success planting, so I am excited to try this.

The large garden on the ground will have plants that have a harvest time that take the entire growing season. So, many vine-type plants & some of my tomatoes. I also have some pots by the house as well that will hold some other tomatoes & banana peppers & herbs.

Here's to an Excellent Gardening Season!

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