Raised Garden Beds
It was time for us to invest in Raised Garden Beds. We moved to the country over 17 years ago and when we first got here we planted a huge garden. We were ready for fresh veggies all summer long!
We were so stupid.
After learning that our sandy soil wouldn’t support life we spent hundreds bringing in black dirt only to see the fruits of our labor decimated by gophers. What the gophers didn’t eat the deer polished off.
Still we ploughed on. See what I did there. Total pun intended. We added chicken wire to the bottom of some planting boxes we made and invested in deer scaring devices.
We did manage to eek out enough veggies to keep the dream alive but as we were getting older and older it was more and more difficult to get out there and weed those lovely gardens.
We Finally Invested in Raised Garden Bed Kits
My husband surprised me a few weeks ago and brought home 2 Raised Garden Beds Kits. He was being cautious and not buying thousands of dollars work to garden beds. Especially if we (I) didn’t like them.
These are the nice tall Raised Garden Beds that come up to my waist. No more bending and stooping, which is a huge YES PLEASE for my knees and back.
If you’ve been following my YouTube channel you know I had an accident a few years back that makes it difficult to bend at the waist now. These make it so I don’t have to bend at all!
Our Raised Garden Beds are from a local Minnesota company called Gronomics. The company is located about 10 miles from my house but they sell all over the place and even on Amazon. They make a bunch of different raised garden bed kits in different sizes that are exceptionally easy to put together. I think for both it too my hubby less than a half hour to put them together. WITHOUT TOOLS!
They weren’t too heavy to move once we set them up. They’re much heavier with the dirt in them, but If we ever decided to move them from where they are we could easily take them apart and move them.
How Do you Plant a Raised Bed?
There were so many questions after my husband brought these home and set them up in the back yard. Do I need to put anything in the bottom? How deep should the dirt be? How often should I water them?
What do I put on the bottom of a raised garden bed?
That was my automatic first question. The bottom of the beds are just boards that are close together (no tools remember) I was worried that the dirt might ebb through the cracks eventually no matter how tightly butted up to one another they are.
I decided to use an inexpensive weed barrier for the bottom. It was easy to cut down to the size we needed for the bottom and it allows for water drainage. I would hate for it to rain and there’s too much water puddled on the container.
How Deep Should the Dirt in Raised Garden Beds Be?
You want to make sure the dirt is deep enough for what you’re planning to grow. 8 to 12 inches is a pretty good estimate of how deep most boxes should be.
For our beds we planted the one with our broccoli at 8 inches so the tops of the plants which will grow tall had some protection from the winds we have in the country. Having the seedlings just below the lip of the box creates a small windbreak so the plants don’t lay down in a strong breeze.
The second bed with our carrots and other “deep” growers is planted all the way to the top of the raised garden bed.
How Often Should I water My Beds?
Watering these beds is very important as it is with most gardens but because these garden beds are raised off the ground there is a) better drainage and b) air flow all the way around the beds. Both of which make these beds dry out quicker than a traditional garden.
Working with the ounce of prevention theory you should amend (add to) the soil with something like peat moss, vermiculite, or Miracle Grow Water Storing Crystals to help retain moisture.
I still water my gardens twice a day. Once in the early morning and once as the sun is setting just to make sure they don’t dry out. Obviously if I think the soil is still moist I will skip a watering. And if Mother Nature kicks in a little help by raining for me, I can skip some days altogether.
We Will Be Installing More
Where were these when I lived in an apartment and only had a balcony to grow on! I would have been an urban farmer for sure if I could have gotten my hands on these beds.
After a few weeks with my new raised beds I’m now planning a bigger area to install more. I know I specifically want to get a small one just for my Rhubarb Plant which isn’t doing great in it’s current location. Rhubarb is one of my favorite sprint treats and I use it in a bunch of recipes so I would like it to grow a lot bigger.
My husband and I discussed getting at least another 4 beds. I can’t wait to be able to harvest fresh veggies the day I want to eat them and canning all the extra veggies we can’t get through!
Yes, I love canning and cooking. You should check out my Beef Bourgeon post. It’s scrumptious. It’s even better the second day. You have to love a meal that makes even better leftovers.
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