Saturday, March 20, 2010

Project Raised Garden Bed has begun!

Last year I started an herb garden on the side of the house. It was wonderful! All I had to do was go from my kitchen to the side of the house to snip some herbs to throw into my cooking. I made delicious batches of pesto every week. In order to keep it going, I decided a raised bed would be perfect. A raised bed keeps the edge tidy and would help the plants reach the sunlight better.

I have browsed a few different raised bed tutorials, but this one from The Pioneer Woman was the most useful in my opinion. From her step by step guide, I think it's important to point out a few things that are helpful if you should decide to do this. Pre-drilling pilot holes seem tedious, but well worth the time and effort. Also, driving the stakes into the ground on the inside of the frame BEFORE screwing them to the frame will also save you a lot of trouble later.

The goods. Long galvanized screws, stakes, and 8"x8' pieces of untreated wood (fir).

Basil and I supervised while my husband assembled the first bed. Measure your dimensions before going to the store. Decide what height and lengths you need. Make sure you use untreated wood.

After he assembled it, we lifted it up and I drove the corner stakes and frame into the ground with a hammer. It was surprisingly really difficult. It could be that the ground was still too hard from the cold winter we had. Be careful not to split the wood. Use another scrap piece of wood between the hammer and the frame to keep the frame from splitting.

Then drive the remaining stakes into the ground pushing them up against the frame to keep it sturdy. THEN put screws into them.

Tadaa! In time, the wood will weather and blend into the surroundings. Tomorrow, I will fill it with garden soil, peat moss and compost. On each end, I'm going to lay some rocks down or plant a skinny tree of some kind.

This is where my herbs will go and hopefully I won't have to replant them every year. Now that I have a permanent bed, I am going to let the herbs self sow or just rake in a packet of seeds rather than starting seeds indoors.

No comments: