Building a Raised Vegetable Bed

If our lack of posts here haven’t been an indication, we’ve been getting a bit, er, stir crazy working in the house.

So of course, when we had an amazing weekend, we couldn’t wait to get outside and do some work in a less confined space.

Our yard needed some help. It was a blan yard mixed of various patches of grass, but mostly just weeds. Lots and lots of weeds.

Being all domestic and such, we were really stoked about being able to grow lots and lots of vegetables this year. So first on the list of yard transformations: a raised vegetable garden!

Here’s what we were starting with. Front Yard Before

What’s funny is that we actually thought redoing the yard would be simple. I mean the patch of grass is about 15×15, how hard could it be? ha.

After a couple of hours at Home Depot this is what we ended up with.

Starting with 1,240 pounds of top soil, 8 cubic feet of mulch, and two hulking bags of peat moss.

The first batch of mulch, soil and peat moss

Then lots and lots of wood.The wood!

And new power tools (yay!) flowers and other fun garden accessories.Some of the plants and goodies

When exploring how to approach the project, I kept coming up with various prefabricated kits that you spend a couple hundred dollars on and spend 20 minutes putting together. But what fun is that?

So obviously, that’s not what we were going to do. Plus, any excuse that I have to play with lots of power tools is always the right decision in my book.

Gabe started clearing the area where the garden was going to go, right under our porch, while I started cutting wood and having malfunctions with the new circular saw.

4 x 6 cut woodremnents of the wood cutting

We decided to build a 4’x8′ bed for ease of purchasing wood’s sake. Also to accommodate a big variety of plants, we wanted to make two 4’x4′ beds, one that is 12″ high and one that is 18″.

Clearing and leveling the yard

Lots of digging and hoeing and leveling had to happen before we could position the bed in place.

A fun surprise greeted us when we were digging close to the house. A cool old brick that seemed out of place, but was stamped from new Philadelphia, Ohio.

New Philadelphia Ohio Brick

Next up was building the base frame for the entire bed. To get the right heights, the side boards of the bed were 2″x6″s.

Laying and leveling the first layerThe base of the raised bed

Then one more 4’x8′ layer on top of that.

Finishing the second layerTwo layers done

At this point, half of the bed was basically done!

Just one more 4’x4′ bed for the 18″ half.

The nearly finished product

The finished raised garden bed

Finally, we drove some stakes into the ground to tie all of the layers together and secure them to the ground, and the construction was done!

Then we layed a weed barrier at the bottom to keep weeds away as well as helping with drainage.

Weighing down the weed guardWeighing down the weed guardOne of the cool toys we also bought was some fun irrigation piping that we can run directly into the garden. This will help the plants thrive in the balmy DC summer, especially since the house gets sun just about all day.

So I drilled some holes to allow the pipes to go through the bed fairly unnoticed.

Drilling holes for irrigation

Then it was soil spreading time! At this point, we were really hurting from moving all of the soil and peat moss twice already, what’s a third time?

Hoeing the Peat MossMixing peat moss and soil in the raised bedBut of course, that wasn’t enough soil. No, 1,240 pound wasn’t enough. So we had to go back to Home Depot and buy another 400 pounds.

But like that, we had an awesome, sturdy new bed for all of the vegetables we’re going to be planting in a few weeks!

Filling the raised garden bed

Tomorrow we’ll be posting more of our yard transformation!



3 thoughts on “Building a Raised Vegetable Bed

  1. Pingback: No More Weeds! | Two Boys & A House

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