DIY Raised Vegetable Garden

DIY-Raised-Garden

Ever since I was little, I’ve wanted a vegetable garden. When I was still in grade school, I went to my friend’s aunt’s farm for the weekend. I remember, as we washed up for dinner, she asked us to go out to her garden and pick whatever we wanted for a salad. She gave us a big wicker basket, and we set off down the hill to the garden. The choices were abundant: several types of lettuce, carrots, radishes, green onion, tomatoes. We filled the basket and headed back to the house, washing up our bounty and feasting on the fresh veggies. And ever since, I’ve wanted my own vegetable garden.

Our backyard isn’t quite big enough to house that large of a garden, but we were able to fit a two-tier raised bed garden right off our back porch. We bought the necessary wood from Menards, which turned out to be prettttty expensive. I wasn’t expecting it to cost that much! Depending on the size of your garden, you can determine how long your wood pieces are. Make sure to measure! As far as what we decided to plant, since our garden has full sun all day, we based our choices on that. In the end, we decided on tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, rhubarb, green onions, garlic, two types of lettuce, radishes, and kale. A friend of ours from the QC gave us some established tomato, pepper, and kale plants, as well as a zucchini plant, and the rest we planted from seed.

So far, all of our veggies have turned out great! We also have a few herb pots on the porch filled with sage, mint (yay, mojitos!), and two types of basil. We’re anxiously awaiting our tomatoes and zucchini. What do you plan to grow in your garden?

What You’ll Need:

  • Shovel
  • Wood, cut to size (depending on the size of your garden)
  • Level
  • Rebar
  • Power drill (you need a LONG drillbit)
  • Sledgehammer
  • Topsoil
  • Rake
  • Vegetable seeds/plants
  1. I think there are easier ways to do this (think skinnier wood pieces (2x6s) and screwing it together), but we opted for a big, sturdy garden. Start by digging the area where you want your bed. Make it the general shape that you plan to place the wood pieces.
  2. Situate the wood pieces where you plan for them to go, use the level to make sure they are level (can you believe that’s what a level is for!?), then drill through the wood all the way into the ground. We had a bit of trouble with this at first, so we needed a heavy-duty drill to get the job done. Also, if your wood is wet or has knots in it, it will be considerably tougher to work with. Try repositioning and drilling into the ground if you run into a difficult spot.
  3. Once the holes are drilled, check to make sure the piece of wood is still level. Pound the rebar through the holes to lock the wood into place. Repeat until all pieces are in place. (To do the second level, wait to do the rebar until both holes are drilled. Make sure to mark the wood pieces so that the holes line up.)
  4. Once your structure is in place, loosen up the dirt, getting rid of any clumps of grass or rock. Even out the dirt and fill the area with topsoil.
  5. Plant your vegetable seeds or plants according to their packaging. Water thoroughly and wait for the magic to happen! 🙂
DIY raised bed garden

Dirt is dug, ready to start building!

DIY raised bed garden

Level…

DIY raised bed garden

Wood is in place.

DIY raised bed garden

Time to drill (and annoy all the neighbors!)

DIY raised bed garden

Progress.

DIY raised bed garden

Beds are in place, time to rake.

DIY raised bed garden

Add topsoil

DIY raised bed garden

Topsoil, check!

DIY raised bed garden

Calvin likes it.

DIY raised bed garden

Some of our established veggies (tomatoes, kale, zucchini, peppers)

DIY raised bed garden

First tomato is in!

DIY raised bed garden

Time to water like crazy. (And those little sprouts? Radishes!)

DIY raised bed garden

Bunny-proofed with some chicken wire.

DIY raised bed garden

Potted basil.

DIY raised bed garden

Potted sage and mint.

My oh my, look how they've grown!

My oh my, look how they’ve grown!

After a little rain, these babies sprouted right up!

After a little rain, these babies sprouted right up!

Lettuce (planted from seed)

Lettuce (planted from seed)

Yay garden!

Yay garden!

First harvest: radishes, kale, green onion, lettuce

First harvest: radishes, kale, green onion, lettuce

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

N

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