This spring may be your first time having a garden of your own, or it might be something that you’ve wanted to do for a long time. But if you are looking to start your own raised vegetable garden this year, it’s time to start planning now.
There are a lot of different raised garden beds on the market, but finding the perfect one for your yard isn’t always easy. Plus, a lot of the prebuilt kits are expensive for the size of garden you might be hoping to have.
After years of mixed results in our garden, a mix of poor drainage and a high clay content, we decided it was time to build our garden last year. There were a some things that almost got in our way – the area I wanted to change into the raised garden bed area gets over saturated in the spring and it’s almost impossible to walk back there. I also have a small sedan, so getting the amount of supplies by myself was almost impossible. Thankfully, at least one of these problems was easily taken care of when our local hardware store delivered the supplies I needed right to our patio. I’m sure our neighbors weren’t a fan of a semi truck coming with our supplies – but as the spring and summer went on, we weren’t the only ones to receive this type of delivery multiple times.
As you can see on the truck – we got the majority of our supplies from Home Depot. While I purchased everything from them directly, their app made it easy to find what I needed and order right from my phone. But they offered something else that none of the other stores did – garden bricks that work as raised bed corners. Probably one of the easiest solutions to making your own raised garden bed without a lot of effort. The Oldcastle Planter Wall Block has slots on each side that allow you to slide in boards and create your garden bed without tools. That means once you have your area prepped, you can assemble your garden in no time.
So what will you need to start your garden out right? We’ve got a detailed parts list below. This will help you create a 8′ x 4′ garden that is 12 inches deep.
- 6 8′ long 6″x2″ boards (2 for each side and 1 for each end cut in half)
- 8 Oldcastle Planter Wall Blocks
- Organic Soil Mixture*
- Potting Soil*
- Weed Barrier
- Landscape Staples
*You can use the soil mixture of your choice – but this is what works well for us. Remembered you raised bed is essentially a large planter so you can use potting soil in it. Additionally, you can also place Fill Dirt in the bottom layer of your garden bed, just be sure you have created enough biodiversity with the other soils that your plants are able to get the nutrients they need.
Before you even build your garden beds, be sure that you have prepared your ground. Unlike putting your garden directly in the soil – you don’t have to remove the ground that this there already. But you aren’t going to want to deal with the weeds that could creep up through the bottom of the bed.
Over the year’s we’ve found that using the weed barriers you can get at the hardware store just don’t work. They may for a season, but we want long lasting. This garden is going to last years and we’re not planning on removing it and replacing the weed barrier every season. So this year, we went with a Commercial weed barrier. Not only does it allow air and water to flow to the ground below, but it can block weeds for years. It is UV Stabilized and if you cover it, it’ll last well beyond the five years given for direct sunlight. We’ve used this in our garden paths as well and covered with pea gravel for a nice walking path without weeds. While the cost is higher than the stuff you get at the garden center – this will keep you weed free for years, and over time is cost saving.
The weed barrier can actually be done well before you get your other supplies. As long as your ground is not frozen, the weed barrier can be placed down. We don’t even remove the grass or weeds below it. The weed barrier will actually kill that and clear the ground for you.
Once you have laid down your weed barrier and secured it with the landscape staples, it’s time to start assembling. While it’s some work on your back, it’s just a matter of getting the bricks and boards in place and starting to fill your garden. The rest of the space will come together as you work on the space, but the priority of course is creating the raised beds to start.
The cost for making one garden with 8 stones and the wooden boards alone? Under $50. The majority of your cost will be in the weed barrier and the dirt you choose to put in the garden bed. You may be able to find a local landscaping company who will deliver and do so for a lower cost as well.
But the next step is the absolute best – PLANT! Be sure you plan your garden out and give the plants the space they need to grow, but with a fresh garden and good soil to start gardening will provide for you through the whole growing season. It does take a little bit of work to get it started, but it’s work that you’ll appreciate for years to come.
From growing your own herbs to fruits and vegetables to enjoy all season – this is an affordable and great way to make your own raised garden bed. For us, our growing season is limited, but we were able to plant in Mid-May and still have produce through the early fall season. The garden beds held water, but drained just the right amount and our produce sometimes over produced. Weeding with new soil was quick and easy too, plus the height of the beds made it easier to get to.
This is the perfect set up for a first time garden or a long time gardener. It gave us what we needed for meals but plenty of other great produce for canning and preserving. At the end of each bed we planted tender perennial herbs, so that we have them already ready for next season as well.