May 28, 2010

Raised Bed Garden Beginings!

So behind on my gardening this year! Last year the gardens were done a month ago. My excuses you ask? Frost warnings (and actual frost) until mid May, Jury Duty, working non-stop on the beach condo and that pesky little failed house sale. Cause I actually didn't think I'd even be owning our house this summer! Much less be able to garden it!

Better later than never. And this afternoon I just completed my bed for our raised garden! It was so simple and I did it all on my own. You should see the cheesy smile that I'm rocking. It is nerdtastic.

Last night Pete and I picked out three 2x8, 8ft Ceder boards at Lowe's. Ceder is naturally great at resisting rot and standing up to outdoor elements. Even though Pine would be cheaper initially I was afraid that I'd have to replace it every year or so. The man at the saw station cut one of the boards into three 2.5ft sections for me. Thank you husband who pushed me to get the wood last night even through I was tired.

Once at home Pete gave me a tutorial on how to use the drill properly. All the work I've done around the house and I've never used the power tools unsupervised before. There was always someone around to watch me and make sure I was doing it right.

This afternoon I got out of work early (yay Memorial Day weekend!) and got right to the task at hand- Building our raised vegetable garden bed. So I put on my farmer clothes...
Once outside, I laid everything out on the ground so I could get an idea of where to put the garden bed and then how to screw it together. Because I was using three support beams, instead of just two at the ends, I had to put them on the inside of the longer beams. To make drilling the screws in easier and avoid splintering the wood- I pre-drilled the holes with a smaller bit. Since I was working solo and didn't have wood clamps I found that using my leg to help stabilize the wood really helped when I was screwing everything together.

Less than 20 minutes later and the bed was complete! And I felt so proud of myself. I love gardening and fresh veggies in the summer. This is the first step towards getting our own delicious and organic produce on the cheap for months! Garden fresh Jersey tomatoes are real wonders of deliciousness. They are so good that for an entire summer (circa 2000) I pretty much only ate tomato sandwiches. Seriously I ate them so often that I'm surprised I didn't turn into a tomato ala Violet the blueberry girl from Willy Wonka.

Next came the back breaking part, digging up the grass that was going under the frame. I attacked the grass for a few minutes and broke a sweat instantly. This was going to challenge me and my penchant for doing things only 90% through. It was hard, tiring and I could feel blisters forming after the first one foot section.

I really contemplated quitting, putting down a weed barrier, then the top soil and calling it a day. Tearing up the grass just seemed like it would take for-ev-er. Somehow I convinced myself to keep going though. Once I put on some gloves and found a rythym to using the spade to hack up the grass the work went by pretty fast. I'd say it was about a half hour or so until the entire section was up and the grass was in the wheelbarrow instead of on the ground. Don't let Nala fool you into thinking that she helped. She just watched me, but I was happy for the company.

I rolled out some brown paper to act as my free weed barrier, tonight I'll pick up some newspaper and put that down as well. Both will act as a weed barrier and will compost over time under the topsoil I'm going to put down. Now I just need a few more plants and dirt to put in here!

Total cost so far- $30. My friend Abbie gave me some of her seedlings, so I'm excited they are going to have a home soon!


  1. Thanks for sharing the information on raised garden beds. It was nice going through your blog. It is informative and helpful.

  2. I love the pictures that you take of yourself. It is an Eva trademark.


  3. Thank you for the info about your raised garden. I've been wanting to do one of those so bad!!!
    I don't know if it will happen this year...maybe next...fingers crossed!!!

  4. Hey, this may be too late, but I HIGHLY recommend filling the bed with the square foot gardening mix. Just google square foot gardening and you'll find lots of info. It's a little pricier upfront, but last year I did my gardens with the SFG mix and my friend got topsoil delivered. This year her beds were wall-to-wall weeds, and mine just had one or two weeds that I was able to pull out easily in a few seconds.