So it is finely time to enlarge the garden and I thought some folks may want to know how simple it is to make a raised bed so here goes.
Start by cutting away the grass in the area you want to put the garden. I saved the top soil and grass clumps for the compost pile. For the truly anal folks, you can measure out and mark it but I just eyeballed a fairly straight line. Make sure to pick an area that gets plenty of sunlight and has good drainage. The way my yard is set up I have to have the garden against a fence but the best raised beds are the ones you can go around completely on all sides.
Get some cheap twine and 4-6 splints of wood about 2-3′ long. I used some old corner molding but any scrap wood will do. Hammer them in the ground so they don’t move and run the string at the rough height you want the bed to be. Remember that the ground is seldom perfectly level so pay attention to slope and such.
Try to get the line fairly level. Regardless of how the yard slopes you want the garden to be as flat across as possible.
When it comes to what to build a raised bed wall out of you have many choices. I use rocks because they look really nice and there are a billion of them in the woods behind my house. Those of you not lucky enough to have really rocky soil can buy cement blocks, wood, PVC pipe, or really whatever you want. When it comes to wood do not use treated lumber or the chemicals may work into the soil and affect your plants. This means the beds will decompose over time, another reason I prefer stone. Now just build your wall up to the twine line.
Next time I will go into soil and finishing the garden bed. I have to wait for the weather to cool a little more before I pull the pepper plants, which are still producing. I also plan to put a fairly strong fence to keep the dogs out. We’ll be planting more winter crops this year too, so stay tuned.