Thursday, April 12, 2012

Raised Bed Garden

When we moved into our house I was excited to see the raised bed in the far back of our yard. Although the bed was very neglected (overgrown weeds and structure issues) I envisioned a bountiful harvest growing back there. Now six months later I am ready to set out and begin an edible garden. I was trying to figure out how I should go about fixing the structure issue and posted on one of my favorite home forums. I posted a few pictures and was told that the wood that the bed was constructed of are railroad ties and that it is not recommended. I googled and found a bunch of stuff that convinced me those have to go. The railsroad ties are treated with creosote and the EPA does not suggest using them. I have been doing a few searches on building raised bed and I am hoping to get my husband on board. I was  hoping to plant the few little plants that I purchased a few days ago but that will not happen. I will just have to keep those alive in the container long enough to plant in a few weeks. Through my research I have noticed that the typical width of a raised bed is between 3 to 4 feet in width and maybe around 8 feet in length. I plan on building 2 raised beds instead of the 1 large one that I currently have which measures 15x7. If things go well maybe more. I think this will make for a more comfortable gardening experience and will avoid having to walk on the soil. I would have loved to walk back there and just plant but it looks like I will need to really work at getting the area more suitable for a healthy garden. I am exited to see if my thumb is in fact green. Here are a few pictures of the garden as it stands right now. All the wood will need to be replaced but I haven't figured out with what just yet. You can see the previous home owners put concrete blocks and I did find some gardens that were constructed out of the concrete blocks. I also found plans on constructing them out of cedar fence pickets on Ana White's blog. Her cost ended up being $10, I like that dollar amount and I think my husband could get behind that. I looked up the pickets at my local stores and they are $2.05 vs. the $1.59 that she spent but still I think I could construct them for under $20 each. I am going to continue to research and will let you know!