DIY,  Urban Homestead

DIY Raised Garden Beds

The beautiful thing about gardening is that you can be completely creative with how your fruit and veggies are grown. There are many different container options for growing. When plants have plenty of room to grow along with the nutrients needed, they can be grown in almost anything. Some examples: tires, plastic totes, pvc pipe, barrels, pallets, milk jugs, large yogurt containers, gallon ice cream tubs, etc. Your raised beds can be as simple or as complex as you like. I could go on for DAYS about how many different containers you could use and recycle for growing plants.

What we chose to do.

We decided to use recycled wood from our old porch to build our raised beds. The only thing we had to buy was soil to fill the beds. We could have tilled our yard up but we had multiple reasons for choosing not to.

  1. We have a dog who loves to dig. It was easy to teach her not to dig in the raised beds.
  2. We live in Alabama. Alabama is known for its red clay soil.
  3. Raised beds, along with said dog, help keep critters out of our veggies.
  4. I love how aesthetically pleasing raised beds are.

Building the beds.

Here is a picture of our back porch that we recycled the wood from. We decided to take it down due to leaks and some parts were rotting. The wood was not treated and safe to use for garden beds.

The boards that we used were about 14ft long. We made the beds 11ft x 2 1/2ft. It’s best to not make your beds wider than 4ft, because reaching the center of the bed can become an issue. Be mindful about how far apart you space your beds. We spaced ours far enough that we could fit the lawn mower between them.

My husband cutting the recycled boards for the raised beds.
We used L brackets to hold the boards together. They were recycled from the porch as well.
I put cardboard in the bottom of the beds to help kill the grass, though I started to run out of cardboard.
After the bed has been filled with garden soil.
Our early crops that are ready to show off. Broccoli and butter crunch lettuce.

Filling the raised beds.

We used horse manure that we obtained from a family member and garden soil specifically for raised beds. There are cheaper ways to fill your beds such as having a productive compost or using a mixture of top soil and compost. If you do not have a compost, that’s okay. You can buy bags of fertilizers meant for raised beds to mix with the top soil. It is recommended to fertilize your veggies at least once a month. As soon as our plants were established we put wood chips around them to help control weeds and hold moisture in the soil.

Now plant your garden!

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