Sunday, April 10, 2011

#185 Make a Wooden Raised Garden Bed

I was planning on saving this project for Earth Week when I plan to do a new project or test out a natural cleaning method each day of the week, but my husband really wanted to thatch and I really wanted all those clipping starting out as a base layer in my new raised bed.

This project was super easy for me because all I had to do was help hold the wood in place while he hammered. But it's not a difficult project. I had seen a post on making a $10 raised 4'x4'x8" garden bed and thought that price sounded perfect. And even better price was FREE when my husband told me he could make me a 4'x4'x10" with untreated lumber that we had in our garage not being used.

We are planning on making two more of these and the price of the untreated lumber in 10" was increased to $15 per bed. So, in the end I will have 3 new raised beds that are taller for the same price as three of the 8" beds because we used what we had available.

The only supplies you really need is untreated lumber that you will cut in 4' lengths and galvanized nails (these won't rust.) Make sure you buy untreated lumber because you don't want anything that is in treated lumber to leech in to your plants & food. The article that inspired me to make these garden beds ourselves out of wood claims that her beds out of untreated lumber lasted 15 years.

After we finished assembling the pieces, he placed cardboard on the bottom to prevent grasses from growing through and eventually the cardboard will compost. The next layer we placed in here was brown grass and leaves that my husband thatched from the lawn. My preferred method of gardening is called Lasagna Gardening, so we will continue to add more layers including straw, peat, compost, etc.


Carla said...

I have a bunch of questions! First what is Lasagna Gardening? Next will the cardboard compost enough for you to plant this season? Next what else can be used besides straw, peat, compost....I really would like to give this a try!

Mom of Two said...

I don't plan on planting anything this year that will need to root further in to the ground that 10". One of the beds I plan to put in strawberries, another bed is for tomatoes and the third bed I have not decided on yet.

Next year I should be able to plant root vegetables in there, but if you want to plant them this year then you will need to dig out the grass.

As for Lasagna gardening, I first read the book featured here: It's an old enough book you should be able to find a copy in the library. I started lasagna gardening years ago in our "regular" garden and it has been so much easier that when I used to have to weed or till. The book lists lots of thins you can use to layer including newspaper, fire pit ash, manure (if you have access to it), sawdust, & more. The layers will compress as they settle and breakdown, so you just add more.

Then each year you just add more layer. It has been so great to have a place to put all my grass clippings & leaves in the fall. It all gets used to give me a better garden the next year.

Let me know if you have more questions. Maybe I will have to create a post on Lasagna Gardening as I start these new beds.

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