|Project by MsDebbieP||posted 356 days ago||1127 views||0 times favorited||10 comments|
Yesterday I was talking with a friend about my raised beds and I thought it would be a good idea to post a project. So here we go.The Goal
To build a gardening space that would:
- help keep the animals out of the dirt/plants (that didn’t work)
- make it easier (on my back) to tend the garden area
We were given some old barn boards by a neighbour. That and some long nails was all that was used.
Other items: branches, cardboard, soil
- The raised bed is two boards high, giving more height and, thus, less bending as well as an opportunity to be creative and provide a small section at the end for flowers. The top section just rests on top of the bottom frame.
- In the bottom of the main section is a pile of prunings from the apple tree and other small branches.
- A layer of soil is on top of the branches.
- Bags of soil are on top of that.
- Tobacco Slats are placed across the space to help keep the chickens and cats out of the open spaces.
- the goal was to have flowers at the end of the raised bed – marigolds in particular. I ran out of plants this year so there aren’t any in there – yet. There is a row of wild leeks/onions/garlic (one or two of those options – don’t know which) in the small section.
- the raised bed was built last year (or was it two years ago, now) and it remained empty and a great place to toss the branches from the apple tree. And so it began.
- the branches now serve a double purpose: 1) to fill the space, thus requiring less soil to fill it (a costly process) and 2) the branches would, over time, hold and provide a source of water for the garden plants (that’s what I’m hoping, anyway. Perhaps the branches needed to be thicker and more fibrous.)
1. build the raised beds. (length to fit the area and width allowing me to easily reach the centre of the bed)
2. add branches.
3. cover the branches with a layer of cardboard.
3. cover the cardboard with a yard of soil – which really isn’t very deep. Not deep enough to grow veggies.
4. add bags of soil on top. The weight helps compact the branches and the soil. Next year I will empty the bags and add another yard of soil if needed, which i probably will need, after the cardboard decomposes and the soil settles, filling in the gaps between the branches. The bags have drain holes cut in the bottom and the planting holes and watering hole in the top.
- one thing that I might do differently in the future is add landscaping cloth around the inside of the wood. This would help keep weeds from growing in through the wood or out – in case the purchased soil had weed seeds in it and it would also perhaps help protect the wood a bit. Of course, you know me – pretty lazy – and the simpler the better so I, honestly, probably won’t do that. But it’s a good idea.
Feedback, Suggestions & Altnernative Strategies Are Appreciated
-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)