I was so envious of the beautiful raised bed gardens I saw on Pinterest this spring, that I had to design and build my own. I have been wanting to start a vegetable garden for years! With all the extra time we have been spending at home during the pandemic it seemed like 2020 was the year to do it.
Being able to grow your own food and vegetables is so satisfying, and its also a great way to show your kids where their food comes from. There is always weeding, watering and tending to do in the garden. I find these tasks to be a quiet, peaceful way to de-stress at the end of the day. Still, with so many other things on my plate, my raised bed garden needed to be set up for easy maintenance. I think the design I settled on really accomplished that.
I started off sketching a design of what I envisioned. As the property is surrounded by forests, I knew that I would need some type of fence around the garden to keep out the critters. We ended up just using a 3 ft rabbit fence that has worked really well so far. It was important to be able to easily access all areas of the garden, and have space for my wheelbarrow to get through when needed. I wanted to be able to reach across the beds easily for weeding and planting, so keeping the width to 3 feet was really important. My husband took my design and ran with it! As its built into the landscape, there was some excavation that needed to be done in advance. Then it was just a matter of measuring and putting it all together. I think it turned out really well.
The U-shaped design gives me plenty of aisle space, which is super helpful when weeding or planting! The outer borders are 16 x 24 feet long, and are 3 feet across. We used 8 feet 2×10’s for the outer perimeter, and added a layer of 2×6’s to the 3×5 feet center boxes to make them 16 inches deep. A deeper box is important to accommodate root vegetables. I really wanted to plant potato’s so I knew that would be really important. We needed about 10 yards of soil/compost mix to fill the entire garden. I had it delivered from a local landscape company.
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”Audrey Hepburn
It’s amazing watching your work pay off in food! I have even learned to can a few things this year, something I found a bit intimidating until I just gave it a try. Spending the summer gardening has been so fun and rewarding, and I have all sorts of ideas for next season.
I hope you feel inspired to design a raised bed garden of your own. Spend some time figuring out what is important to you in a garden, and how you can best use the space you have available. The nice thing about a raised bed garden is that they can be designed to work with most spaces. With a little planning, you can design a raised bed garden you will love.