Sunday, February 19, 2012

Building the First Raised Bed

Since my seedlings are making so much progress and the weather has been unseasonably warm, I decided it was time to get started on the prep work for the new garden.

Maybe it's wishful thinking, but I'm hoping this plastic will kill the grass and make it easier to remove in a few weeks. The first raised bed will go to the back of the plastic, next to the compost bin.

At my last house I used plastic raised bed corners and 2X6's. This time I decided to use untreated 2X8's and screw the corners with deck screws. I know this won't last for many years, but I'm not sure how I will like the placement of the beds as I've never grown anything in this spot. I can try it out and then in the future replace the beds with cedar and reinforced corners.
The bed will be 4'X6', I had them cut the lengths at the store so they would fit into my car.

I added 6 sections of  1" PVC pipe attached with brackets. These will hold the 1/2" PVC I plan to bend into hoops to create a hoop house.

The location is part shade so this bed will mainly be used for spinach, lettuce and other greens. I'll also use it to harden off my seedlings.

First I removed the grass with a shovel. I then used some potting mix from last years planting containers to level the area. I was amazed how dark and rich the potting mix looked next to my heavy clay soil.

I added some chicken wire that I had hanging around, left over from another project. I hear rabbits can chew through chicken wire, but I thought it was better than nothing...and it was free.

The image above shows the bed upside down. I attached the chicken wire to the bottom of the boards with galvanized staples.

I priced weed barrier cloth at the hardware store and decided to go with the free alternative: cardboard.

Now I just need to fill it with dirt. I'm planning to use the Square foot garden method for this bed so I need to take a few trips to the garden center to get everything I need for the soil mix.


  1. Thanks for joining my blog. I look forward to reading yours too. I see you're hard at work this new season. I think the plastic will kill the grass for sure. It will become the perfect mess of green compost to nourish your new garden soil for years to come!