How to Create a Raised Garden Bed


 

This year my wife and I decided we wanted a garden. The only problem was that we didn’t have that much space. She wanted quite a few different plants; strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, and a bunch of others. We’d have to improvise. We came up with the idea for a two tiered garden that goes up against  an existing fence. I always like to draw things out first.

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First we had to level out the ground and measure out all the dimensions. Then came the bricks. We chose cinder blocks for the front of the garden. They were chosen half for an aesthetic reason, but also because the holes in them would be great to plant strawberries in. Because strawberries often spread, the holes can help keep them in their places. Tying a simple string from one side to the other helped to keep them straight, and a leveler made sure they were level on the ground.

Cinder Blocks

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Next came the wood. 2 x 8’s worked perfectly. Because of the particular size of our backyard, one 12 ft piece worked to run the whole length of the second tier. It rested on four 2×8’s that were laid perpendicular under it. Two on the sides and two placed evenly inside, cutting the space inside in thirds. All the pieces were cut to reach from the fence to me flushly with the cinder blocks. They had steaks nailed to them so they could be pushed in the ground to hold their place. Again a leveled string run across all four boards helps to keep them straight. Decide how far out you want your second tier to jet out from the wall and cut your 2 boards accordingly. Then nail them both on top of the longer boards that meet with the cinder blocks. Depending on the wall you’re garden is going up against, it’s smart to put wood and possibly a layer of plastic up to keep the soil from rotting any other wood like a fence. Put the long front piece on and your structure is ready.

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Now you’re ready to pile it on. Now we had a two tier frame that was 8inches from the ground on the bottom and 16inches from the ground on the top. This means a LOT of dirt to fill it up. Luckily for us, another part of our yard had many mid-sized stones put there by the previous owners. We had never liked the stones and were wondering what to do with them. Filling up the bottom was the perfect fix. It greatly decreased the amount of soil and compost we needed to buy and the space in the rocks creates a great drainage for the garden on top.

Next comes the dirt. Unfortunately we didn’t have any extra dirt lying around but the local Home Depot had all the soil and compost we needed. Depending on what you want to plant you can find many types of soils.

IMG_3432You’re almost done. Now its time to plant, water, and enjoy.

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