Creating a Raised Bed Garden

Almost 10 years ago, with two active young teens, we were lucky enough to find a house that suited our needs perfectly.

Pool party

With a huge backyard that included a pool, we were able to host many parties for our kids over the years.

As great as that was, we barely had time to mow the lawn, let alone do any landscaping.  Today, our nest is nearly empty, and we finally have time to hack into the jungle  cultivate some of the spaces that have gotten overgrown.

We decided that we would start with a raised bed garden. But, never having done this before, we started by finding ideas on Pinterest!  Here’s our inspiration…

Garden02 Inspiration

Garden01 Inspiration

We also found a great website called Gardeners Supply Company, where we could plan the layout of our garden, taking into consideration how much room each plant would need. There are visualizations of the finished product, with preplanned gardens, or, you can create your own plan.

We loved the look of the tower trellises, and the white picket fence is similar to the one already in our yard.  Also, the wood in the frames, even though it’s not, looks like railroad ties.

With all this in mind, we purchased our materials…

  • 12 Railroad tiesGarden01 materials
  • 32 bags of soilGarden02 materials
  • plant starts and seedsGarden03 materials
  • and one nearly bare patch of groundGarden02 Starting

We used ingenuity, along with some blood, alot of sweat, and some tears, to get those railroad ties from the driveway in front, to this spot in the back, it also involved a chainsaw, and a skateboard.

Garden03 Starting

Eventually though, we got all the materials in one place, and construction began.

Garden13 Starting

Garden10 Starting

Garden11 Starting

Four, 7 foot by 4 foot beds.  As you can see, we built right on top of the gravel.  Drilled holes on both ends of each side, then pounded in rebar to stabilize the railroad ties.

Next, we lined the bottom with a padding of newspapers, and poured the clean soil on top of that.

Garden09 Starting

Garden06 Starting

Garden07 Starting

Once they were done, the last week of May…  (it had snowed just the week before, and it rained for the rest of the week)  we finally got our plant starts in the ground on June 1st, and the seeds in the next day.  We strung twine across the ties in a grid, and gave each plant the space they’d need according to the plan from Gardener’s Supply Company.

Garden08 Planted

Garden01 Planted

Garden02 Plantedjpg Garden06 Planted

It seemed kind of late in the season to me, but Mother Nature can be amazing – and in less than a week and a half, we had radishes, carrots and brussles sprouts popping their tiny green heads out of the ground!

Garden01 Growing

To date, we’ve had one dog digging disaster, in which a cabbage was lost; and we’ve harvested enough leaf lettuce for two very small salads.  I’d say we are well on our way toward looking a lot like our inspiration picture, wouldn’t you?


5 thoughts on “Creating a Raised Bed Garden

  1. I’m very impressed!
    My husband has been known to use a skateboard as a dolly but refused to use newspaper or cardboard under our new raised garden beds, despite showing him the pictures and articles I pinned.. I suspect (and yes, even hope) that next year he will be re-doing our raised beds.

  2. I have garden envy! Mine was a bust this year for a bunch of reasons, but mostly just circumstance ad lack of experience. Next ear we should have a GREAT one what with all this “experience” I picked up :). Enjoy the fruits of your labors!!

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