Sunday, March 13, 2011

Building Raised Garden Beds (Part 1)

For the past couple of years, we've been talking about finally putting a garden in.  This year, we're already off to a late start, considering how much there is left to do.  But we're making definite progress, thanks to Ken diligently putting in some hard work these past couple of weekends, starting to build our raised beds.

When trying to decide what to build the beds out of, I priced a lot of different materials and was surprised to find that cement blocks are cheaper than lumber.  Plus, they're not going to rot, and if we change our mind about where we want the beds at some point in the future, they can be disassembled and moved.

But to look good, they have to be put in level.  That's where Ken's hard work comes in.  He's been digging the first layer of blocks in level, even stair-stepping them down the length of the beds to compensate for our sloped ground.

Eventually, the beds will be two blocks high, plus a layer of solid cap-blocks.  I'm sure we won't get all the beds we want built this year, but we can always add more as time goes on.

Here's an example of one row before being leveled and how much better the level row below it looks:

Leeloo likes work.  She could watch it all day!


Skye Ranger said...

I am using a variety of materials for my raised beds. In my main sun garden for vegetables, I am using the 4" high solid blocks; slightly more than the price of the building blocks you are using. Because of the way it rains here and the overall density of the soil, I have learned to put a small gap between blocks to allow for better runoff. I am on a slight hill and it rains heavy enough that the garden becomes a pool if I do not provide some drainage. Also, for here in Kentucky, the months of July and August can be pretty intense and dry, so I do not raise my beds too high and I keep them fairly broad. I use a simple dowel to measure a consistent gap between the blocks.

Hopeful said...

looking good! yeah, lumber has become very expensive. look forward to later pics when you have plants growing in them!

Keisha said...

Yay farm! Yay! :)

Dutch Hollow Acres said...

what a great idea. I have a whole pallet of cinder block that I don't know what to do with. Hello raised garden!