Saturday, May 10, 2014

Raised Garden Bed

One of the selling points of the house we live in was the backyard.  We were coming from an upstairs condo.  Obviously, there is no yard in a condo community.  So when we went looking for houses, our real estate agent would open the door and I would immediately head for the back yard.  The size of the house was not as important as the size of the back yard.

I resisted looking at our house at first because it was slightly out of our price range.  Our agent told us what he thought we could offer and have a chance.  I raised an eyebrow at the number.  It was considerably lower than the asking price.  Then he said the magic words; "big", "back", "yard".  Good enough for me.  It was a foreclosure so there was no chance of offending an owner with a low ball offer.  Two days later and to my surprise our offer was one of three and was accepted.

I was half stunned and in a daze but my wife didn't miss a beat.  She immediately started making plans for garden beds among other things.  We added a 4x8 bed right off.  We quickly realized that wasn't enough.  In went a second, then a third, fourth and fifth.  The sixth one I thought I would share with you.



4 - 1x4x8 Furring strips (not the normal pine boards, these are cheaper.  They run less than $2 for an 8' board.)

1 - 2x4 (I just used some scrap 2x4's in my shop since I only needed 14" to make the four corners.

1-1/2" screws

Cut list:

 4 - 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" x 7" boards (I cut a 2x4 to length and then ripped in half on the table saw.  14" makes the four corners.)

8 - 1" x 4" x 48" (Four 1x4 furring strips cut in half.  Technically the measurement is 47-15/16".  You have to take into account the kerf of the blade.)

I used the table saw to cut 1/4" deep daddos on two sides of each corner.  Then I cut the furring strips in equal halves.  No need to edge glue the furring strips.  Just slide them into the daddos and secure with glue and screws.


Step one - Grass or sod removal

We have bermuda grass for our lawn.  It is great for Florida lawns.  During the dry season it goes dormant.  As soon as the rains come back so does the grass.  However, this stuff is persistent and invasive.  If you do not remove it from under your raised garden beds it will come back to haunt you later.

I remove it not just from under the garden beds but also about 3 or 4 inches beyond the garden bed.  It sends out runners from underground and has no issues traveling to your beds.  It is a lot of hard work to dig it up and this one 4x4 section took me about an hour to do. 

Step two - Set the garden bed in place and fill with dirt.

I failed to pick up enough compost and peat moss to fill the bed.  Oh well, just another excuse to go to the toy store, I mean, home improvement store.  As if I needed one.

Step four - more filling

Step five - Plant some stuff.

One row of orange bell peppers at the far left and the rest was green beans.  We direct sowed the green beans and transplanted the orange bell peppers.

Wanting to get into gardening but not sure if a raised bed is right for you? Don't worry! We have a solution for that. Click here to read about gardening in grow bags! They look great and are so affordable!

Our 2020 success!

If watching videos is more of your thing, then maybe watch the installation of our new garden bed at the new house. We'd love for you to join us on our adventures and subscribe to our channel. Welcome!

Here's hoping for a good harvest.

Happy Homesteading!

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