13. June 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: General · Tags: , , ,

Planting a raised bed garden is really not anything new.   Take a look around and you will see raised beds in your neighbors yards or in public places.  It’s simply the act of creating a space with borders(wall, wood, stone,etc..) so you can add good soil.  They look really nice in addition to being easier to work than the hard ground with inadequate soil. 

The first thing you need to do is select your sight.  Take in to consideration what you will be planting and what type of light it needs.  Usually you would pick a  site with sunshine at least six to eight hours a day.   Next decide how large of a raised bed you would like.    You need to be able to get to the plants for trimming, deadheading, picking or staking.  A good rule of thumb is no more than four feet wide or 3 feet wide if you are up against a wall or fence.  Ideally it is best to be able to get to it from all sides but if you need to place it agains a fence or wall, just make it narrower so you can reach the plants in the back.  There needs to be water accessible near by and leave enough space around the bed for you to work on the garden.  Placing mulch or stones around the bed gives you a place to walk without getting muddy.

  • The next step is to decide what you will use to create the raised garden.  Stones and wood are the usual choice.  You want to pick something that will make your bed at least six to eight inches deep.  This would be adequate for most plants and vegetables.  If you choose wood, be sure it is made weather proof by staining or painting. 

  • Create the foundation by leveling the soil that will be underneath the raised bed.  If there is grass there it is best to remove the sod.  Place newspaper or lanscape fabric over the area so that weeds will not grow though into your new soil.  Some people prefer to have no barrier beneath their bed so that plants can grow deeper.  This is an option especially if you will be growing plants like carrots that need extra depth.  If this is the route you take, simply dig the soil that will be beneath your new soil so that it is loose and even.

  • The next step is to  build the raised bed.  If you are using stone or pavers just build them up as you would a wall but go completely around the area you will be planting in.  If you are using wood, using 2 x 6 makes the depth 6 inches which is ideal.  Join the corners with screws and place on the ground  keeping the bed level.  Simply dig down on a side if it is too high or build up the other side if you prefer, level is best.

  •  The next step is to add your soil.  A mix of compost, garden soil and pete moss will make a nice texture that feeds the plants while also staying loose. 

  • when this is all complete you are ready to put in your plants.

There are many advantages to raised beds, here are a few: 

  • ~You add the soil so its’ good right from the start.  This means you don’t have to ammend the soil that is already existing in a garden.

  • ~Your plants are healthier since the soil is new and full of nutrients

  • ~The beds have better drainage than in the ground (just be sure they get enough water because of this.)

  • ~Beds warm up faster in the spring so you can plant earlier

  • ~Since you don’t walk in the beds they don’t get compacted 

  •  ~you can build them to a comfortable height for yourself

In the end, it’s all about making gardening easier and more relaxing, so if you have a flower bed with awful dirt, or need your garden higher to make it more comfortable to garden, consider a raised bed, it eliminates a lot of problems and is pretty easy to do.  The rewards will be worth your trouble.

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finished

This is a follow up from a previous post.

On Sunday it was very nice outside.  It  may have been the nicest day of the summer so far.  It was clear and sunny with no humidity and only about 75 degrees or so.  My kind of weather!   I was able to level the stones( I use the word level loosely).  I planted the flowers I had bought for the edges, then I robbed many plants from around my yard to add to the new flower beds that surround the stones.  I wanted it to look like it had always been there.  I planted some grass seed and Viola! A new stone patio. 

yard2

 thunder

 

 

Below are a few pictures that let you know why I am so happy with the end product.  ww

This is when we were first putting in our fence just after buying the house two years ago. (The red chairs are roughly in the same place as in the finished picture.) The junk there is what was removed from the back of the yard.

 

This is how it looked early this spring.  

bbefore

 

yyard

This is the finally.  Yay! 

 lilly

  

Laying out grounds may be considered a liberal art, in some sort like poetry and painting.

 ~William Wordsworth

stones

 Day 1

We started a new garden project.  A new stone patio in the afternoon shade.  A friend gave us a bunch of blue stone so the price was right.  We have the space so we thought we might as well put in the work and make our garden more comfortable to enjoy. Yesterday we got a load of dirt to even out the very uneven lawn that we will be putting the stone on.  Today we put in the stones, leveling as we go. We had yet another cloudy day filled with gnats.  I won’t even tell you how silly I looked with my buzz off hood on my head, knee pads, and a swarm of tiny black flies around my face.  That was when I looked good.  Of course the rain came and poured and poured.  The rest of the afternoon was mud pies.   But we were able to finish laying the stones.  I am going to let the mud dry so tomorrow I can sweep it away.

Day 2

Another level?  Sure…. why not.  My back is strong.  Many more gnats visited the work site to nibble or should I say chew on the humans in the area.  But we persevered and Level two was completed…Sort of. 

Day 3

Could barely walk today.  My legs are not used to crouching for two days in a row.  Pulled muscles I didn’t even know I had, so no working on the rocks today.  Besides we both have jobs to go to.  But… We need more stones, so off went my honey bunch for more stones this evening.  Hopefully I will finish the job tomorrow.  I think it is supposed to be cloudy again.  More gnats.  great, can’t wait.

Day 4

Rained..Again…All day.  Even cloudy with bugs would have been better.

Day 5

Finally got to put in a few hours on the stones.  The bugs even seemed to give me a break.st

  Leveled them and now all that’s left is finishing touches, dirt and some plants to make it look like it has always been  there.  I couldn’t do more because it started raining again!… Getting tired of gloomy skies and muddy soil.I will post a picture of it when it is done.daisy

 

I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.” ~Ruth Stout