Building simple garden beds

Have any of you ever saw one of those raised garden kits in any of the gardening magazines?  50 bucks for the corners and you still have to use your own wood?  That is crazy.  I don't know why anybody would put down that kind of cash when building your own simple garden beds is so easy.

I have been gardening at my house for around three years now and my simple garden beds have definitely evolved.  When I first started, I would dig out sod and add dirt.  This took forever and I had to add dirt.  I then started flipping the sod upside down in piles.  Once it rotted down, i would put it back on the beds.  I found this also took a long time and was a pain moving all that dirt.

These beds look good but took forever to make!

The rocks were given to me in exchange for going fishing

Year two I was going to be smarter.  I was having problems with rabbits sneaking under the fence so I decided to make raised beds out of old non-treated 2 x 4's left over from when I moved in.  Unfortunately, I didn't learn much from the year before and started taking out sod and replacing it with dirt.  I didn't realize how many bags of dirt you need to fill a raised bed!

Use bigger boards if you have them but the price was right on the 2 x 4's I used

My grass needs a little work but you wouldn't notice if you would have smelled all those basil plants.

To solve the problem, I flipped the sod upside down in the bed and then added a bit of dirt where the plants grew.  I then put my lawn clipping over the upside down sod.  The plant was able to grow in the added dirt while the grass underneath started to break-down.  That seemed to work pretty well put was still a pain digging up the sod and flipping it.

Now for year three.  At the end of the fall in year two, I learned about lasagna gardening.  Say what?  Lasagna gardening is basically stacking brown and green material in the fall in a lasagna pattern.  Once spring comes around, your bed is in tip-top shape.  If this sounds interesting to you, I urge you to get the lasagna gardening book or read up about the method on-line.

This bed doesn't look that good now but was super easy to make and the dirt underneath is awesome!

Needless to say, this is my new favorite method.  I was sort of doing it before with the upside down lawn trick but lasagna gardening takes that one step further.  I made one lasagna bed in the fall and just created a new one this spring using garden scraps/cardboard/newspapers accumulated over the winter.

As you can see from this post, my garden beds have definitely evolved.  It will be interesting to see if they change next year but one this is guaranteed.  I won't be spending 50 bucks to get 4 corners to help make a raised bed! 

Have fun and good luck with the garden this year.

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