My First Raised Bed Garden – The Build

Over the past few weeks I have been gathering supplies in preparation for building my first raised bed garden.  The weather has been unusually cold this winter, so I was very pleased when I woke up this morning and it was nice outside.  Time to build the raised beds!

Before I get to the pictures of the actual build – a little back story.  Several years ago I stumbled across Mel Bartholomew’s awesome book Square Foot Gardening: A New Way to Garden in Less Space with Less Work and have always wanted to give square foot gardening a shot.  Recently, I discovered Emily’s site – My Square Foot Garden – and I knew that the time had finally come.  I needed to stop procrastinating – and start planting.

Here are my first two raised beds -

Both beds are made from 2 x 8 x 4 boards, screwed together to make a box.  I also added some  braces across the bottom of both boxes, for a little extra support.

I lined the boxes with cardboard (a recommendation I’ve found on several square foot gardening website) and then added a mixture of peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, and compost.  As you can see, I still need to add a bit more “soil” to both boxes.  I really didn’t know exactly how much soil I would need – and I underestimated.  I’ll fill them up tomorrow.

Here are the two boxes, side by side -

I left enough room between the two boxes for the lawnmower to pass.  (Please forgive the shade, but I took the pictures around five in the evening and we have tall trees in our side yard.)

The boxes are located in close proximity to our new compost bin.  Unfortunately, the compost bin is only a few weeks old, so I had to purchase compost at the hardware store.  Next year, I should have my own, homemade compost to use.

The 2 boards (which were originally 16 feet long) cost about $16 each.  The soil ingredients were roughly $40 dollars, so both beds cost an estimated $80 to make.  I used 3 cubic feet of peat moss, 4 big bags of compost (sorry, I didn’t get the information from the bags and have already disposed of them) and a small bag of both vermiculite and perlite.

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2 Responses to My First Raised Bed Garden – The Build

  1. slug says:

    I actually had someone else build my beds, but I did build my cold frame myself. I planted some spinach just this past weekend actually.

    sunkcostsareirrelevant.com/2010/12/building-a-cold-frame-frugally/

  2. Katrina says:

    Somehow I had never read this email, but in doing a search through my gmail inbox, it came up. Wow! I wish I had seen it earlier this year (or last, for that matter!). Anyway, thank you for sharing these great resources. Our neighbors have chickens and a large garden, which is inspiring us. The book and site you linked to are great. Did you know the “My Square Foot Garden” website has an email alert service that will email you when it’s time to plant, based on your location? Neat stuff!