Up to this point, we have mostly been focused on our large 40’x15′ garden plot. However today we are going to talk about our Raised Bed Garden. Which as many of you have mentioned is a future dream, but not a current reality. Meaning you live in the city, don’t have enough yard space, or just feel totally overwhelmed by the thought of 600sqft. of veg heaven. Honestly, without Megan taking the lead in the garden I would feel that way too.
So today I’ll show you how to set up and prep the soil for a raised garden bed. We got a raised bed kit, but you should be able to put together something pretty similar. It’s only 5’x3′ so really almost any of us can manage it, and find the room for it. There are tons of DIY kits online if that’s the path you want to go.
The whole kit comes in a cardboard box (save the cardboard box it will be used later) and has everything you’ll need to build out the kit, except for wrenches which if you don’t have a set of wrenches you need to check that off the list immediately. You can find a basic set at any local hardware store or even Target. There is no base to this kit, it is only side walls and the instructions are pretty easy. Side note, your hands will get manly and you might need an old man beer to drink. I find a Miller High Life does the trick but I would recommend checking in with your grandpa or grumpy old neighbor if you need assistance in beer selection.
Once you have the corners lined up, tighten them 75% of the way leaving some room for flexibility. Once you have all four corners connected you can go head and tighten the corners down.
Once you get the kit built it’s time to get the soil ready. The kit is shipped in a cardboard box which we used as the base layer. This layer helps build the base barrier from the grass underneath. If you are in a city and placing it on cement there is no need for creating this barrier if you do not want to. You can instead place it on top of a flat large piece of wood so it is easy to move and clean up after if you choose to move it. Then we used a layer of mulch to provide an added weed barrier. Also, the mulch will retain moisture that will be good to make waterings last longer and create a more real in the ground experience for your plants. Then on top of the mulch add a layer of fertilizer, whether that is manure, peat moss, or compost. We added in Cow Manure and Peat Moss to keep a good realistic mix. Lastly, add in your soil and fill it just below the brim. For this raised bed we used 7 bags.
Then you are done. Super easy and super portable. At the end of the season, you can break the kit down and put it away until the next year.
This was our way, I’m sure there are many more ways to prep a raised bed for planting so please give tips or ask questions.