Expansion Time: Part 1

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.

All that time spent growing weeds wasted

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.

That is one cheap looking fence

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.

Close enough for government work

Try to get the line fairly level. Regardless of how the yard slopes you want the garden to be as flat across as possible.

I found these rocks in my neighbor’s yard. They were holding up their house.

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.

Looking good

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.

About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
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23 Responses to Expansion Time: Part 1

  1. Linda Sullivan says:

    Thank you! I have been wondering what to do with one of our garden beds in our yard & your pictures have given me an idea or two of what I can do! Gardening can be so relaxing most of the time & very frustrating in others. Have fun with your garden.

  2. Excellent looking raised beds. I’ve always liked the look of them.

  3. Believe me we are one of those who are “lucky enough to have really rocky soil” so I built another walled bed with G a week or two ago. Satisfying isn’t it?

  4. It must be satisfying labor in so many ways. To find the right rocks to fit together then fill it in knowing it will produce. I like this behind the scenes look of how you grow your things.

  5. nrhatch says:

    I chuckled at the origin of the rocks . . . from the foundation of your neighbor’s house! But the end result is worth a pesky border dispute!

    We’ve always done raised bed with “railroad ties” . . . the stones form a much nicer border.

    And speaking of borders . . . maybe a border Collie or two to keep away the deer, possum, and raccoons? Not to mention the goats and sheep.

  6. Kristy says:

    Can’t wait to see what you plant here…and what you cook with it!

  7. I love all the possibilities a new bed represents…a little more room to dream!
    (and a little less yard to mow!)

  8. ChgoJohn says:

    This is going to a great addition to your garden, Greg. I’m looking forward to seeing how you put it to use. You’re so lucky to have access to so much rock. It costs a fortune up here and none of my neighbors homes are crumbling — yet.

  9. Nice. “Close enough for government work.” Actually, way better than government work!

  10. ceciliag says:

    What a fantastic garden, good size now, your soil looks so dry. now what are you going to grow this winter, cabbages, brussel sprouts, can you do winter lettuce, chard, parsley, OH I WISH I could grow a winter garden.. maybe I shall come down and raid yours.. maybe you have space for an artichoke now! fantastic rocks too..now I am going to ONCE AGAIN, unfollow and follow! i keep losing you.. c

  11. I wish I had the sun to build another raised bed…my one struggles so as it is. Love the stone edging and hope the neighbors’ house doesn’t fall down.

  12. Eva Taylor says:

    I sure hope that it’s Greg doing all the manual labour here! That garden is going to be lovely!

  13. I like how you used rocks! We priced out using cedar and with adding the dirt, the whole project would have cost us a couple hundred. Kind of defeated the purpose. We have a stream bed I could borrow a few rocks from!

  14. Young Wifey says:

    Your so lucky you have warm enough weather for decent winter crops. Our winters get so harsh that even perennials die!

  15. Lauren says:

    Hahahaha, you say “start by cutting away the grass” like it’s sooooo easy. I swear, that is some of the hardest work I have ever done. The good news is, though, building and filling a garden bed is a piece of cake after that!

  16. I love raised beds…just wish I had some of my own. May you plantings flourish!

  17. niasunset says:

    Thank you dear Rufus, and Good luck. I am impatience now to see them. Love, nia

  18. Pingback: “That’s Me!” « Spirit Lights The Way

  19. nancyc says:

    That looks so nice! You did a great job!

  20. Pingback: Garden Expansion: Part 2 | Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

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