Backyard Gardening Grow Our Own Food House J New House

Project Grow Our Own Food: Raised Garden Bed Reveal

It took 2 wheelbarrows, 5 people, and 4 hours to move 7 yards of top soil from our driveway to the raised garden bed in our backyard….

As much as I would love to take credit for this beautiful garden, ‘J’ was definitely the project manager for this large undertaking. From doing the engineered drawings to ordering all the materials, ‘J’ spent a lot of his spare time getting this garden ready over the past month.

How Much Did it Cost?
I am going to be honest – this garden was not exactly cheap. We estimate we spent close to $500 on all the materials + all the time a labour we put into it. But, it’s a small price to pay in order to get the freshest, healthiest vegetables possible. Nothing excites me more than the idea of being able to walk out to the backyard when I need a pepper, or tomato, or some fresh herbs!

Next Steps + An “Oopsie”
With the structure built and filled, we still need to plant our seedlings, which you might remember we started back in April. After a little mishap earlier this month (exposing the plants to direct sunlight for too long – oopsie), we lost a lot of the seeds we started germinating, so Saturday morning ‘J’ and I also headed to a local, organic seedling sale to purchase some plants that didn’t germinate… peppers, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, dill, chives, cilantro, parsley, and Asian lettuces – just to name a few.

Now that we have almost everything we need, I can’t wait to get these things planted & growing!

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27 Comments

  • Reply Casey March 5, 2014 at 4:18 am

    I'd really like to do this design for my own garden. What are the dimensions?

    • Reply Maurice McKercher April 15, 2019 at 8:11 pm

      Casey, use your own design. It all depends on your yard, how big it is, and if there is any trees you must consider. Make it your own!!
      As far as filling it with good dirt, put in a lot of junk for fill. It cuts down on all the dirt you have to use. No one will ever see it. Ha Ha Ha.

  • Reply Britt March 5, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Thanks for your interest Casey! The long sides are 15ft long and a little over 3ft wide. The wide connector piece at the back is 8ft wide. The sides are 24 inches tall. Hope that helps!

  • Reply Greg April 26, 2015 at 5:44 am

    The raised beds look wonderful. What kind of wood did you use?

    • Reply Doug Boehning April 15, 2019 at 11:36 pm

      You need cross braces every 6 ft. Or less. Hydraulics over time will push the centers out.

    • Reply Diana April 17, 2019 at 8:03 pm

      Greg, I have not made one of this but highly considering. Since it will be in ur backyard, any wood could be used but however, the pressure treated would be more expensive but if your planning on years of use from it the consideration of the pressure treated would tolerate the weather a lot better then those species that aren’t. Just food for thought.

      • Reply Bobbi j Maris July 9, 2019 at 3:09 am

        I would not use treated wood on any bed that will be used for growing food. Big no-no for organic gardening. The chemicals that are used to treat the wood will leach into your food, essentially depositing poisons into your “fresh” food. Cedarwood will last between 10-20 years, depending on your location. Pine will get you 2-5.

  • Reply Donna Primeaux April 16, 2017 at 8:32 am

    I love the raised bed for gardening! I need this at home♡♡♡ I really,really,really like it!!!

    • Reply Britt Stager April 17, 2017 at 12:38 am

      Thank you so much Donna! I highly suggest raised garden beds if you have the space! 🙂

  • Reply Terry April 16, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    Are those lights on the corners? If so, why? I’d think they attract moths and other insects, which will feed on your vegetation. Otherwise, it looks great.

    • Reply Britt Stager April 17, 2017 at 12:38 am

      Hi Terry, thanks for your comments! The lights are purely decorative! They are solar powered and only light up at night. In terms of moths and insects, we’ve never really had any problems with them in this garden. I see earwigs in our lettuce once and a while, but that’s about it! 🙂

  • Reply Judy Gilbert April 17, 2017 at 12:34 am

    My husband built two of these for me several years ago. They work great. I would suggest that besides top soil that you add significant amount of peat moss to lighten up the soil and prevent it from drying out so fast. Also, lots of manure or organic fertilizer or green crop in the off season to enrich the soil. Straight top soil gets very dense and the crops are much more bountiful with the soil additives.

    • Reply Britt Stager April 17, 2017 at 12:41 am

      Thanks so much for the tips Judy! We’ve been using a mixture of rabbit manure and spent mushroom substrate in the garden, we also have a strict watering schedule in the summer months so nothing dries out!

    • Reply Monica April 22, 2019 at 3:03 pm

      Hi Britt! Just saw this post. 04/22/19. I just showed this to my husband and he agrees that this is a great idea. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Reply Robbie April 17, 2017 at 1:13 am

    Wonderful idea! What type of wood did you use? Thanks!

    • Reply Britt Stager April 17, 2017 at 1:24 am

      Hi Robbie, the sideboards are pine and the posts are cedar. You can see how we built the garden bed here: http://bit.ly/2prwANi

  • Reply Annette April 18, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    Is the wood treated? I heard you cannot use treated wood if you are planting food

    • Reply Britt Stager April 19, 2017 at 1:58 pm

      Hi Annette, we decided to use untreated pine vs. a treated lumber because of a number of chemicals associated with the treatment process. We didn’t want these chemicals leaching into the soil and contaminating our vegetables. This is also the reason why we opted not to line the garden with a plastic liner – I was unable to source a food-grade/safe plastic that was cost effective and large enough.

  • Reply Doug April 22, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    What thickened are your boards? They look like 1x material. Another option would be to use cedar boards. They would last much longer.

    • Reply Doug April 22, 2017 at 10:07 pm

      Oops, I meant “thickness” in my last comment.

    • Reply Britt Stager April 23, 2017 at 9:57 pm

      Hi Doug, the boards are standard 2×16’s. Yes if you are looking for boards that will last much longer than pine, cedar is the better option! 🙂

  • Reply Kristi Whittington May 18, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    Is there any way you can post the plans so I can print them out (dimensions and materials used). This is what I asked for as my gift for mothers day and my husband and kids have agreed but they need directions to follow. Thanks!

  • Reply Tony Zanelotti March 10, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    I would like to have the plans or material list. Thanks Tony

  • Reply Katie April 21, 2018 at 8:19 pm

    How much space do you have in the middle? About 2 feet? Have you found that to be a good spacing?

    • Reply Britt Stager April 23, 2018 at 12:15 pm

      Hi Katie! The middle is almost 2.5 ft… it’s just enough that we can still fit the lawnmower in there. I’ve found it to be plenty of space for both standing and kneeling. Hope that helps!

  • Reply Natalie T. April 15, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    I am in the middle of planning a garden and I noticed you left the grass at the bottom of your beds? Does that impact your vegetables at all? My husband wanted to clear out the grass before building and filling the beds with soil. Thoughts?

    • Reply Britt Stager April 15, 2019 at 7:29 pm

      Hi Natalie! We opted not to remove the grass from the bottom of the beds or line the bed with plastic/a barrier as the layer of topsoil is so thick (20 inches thick) that the grass and weeds underneath would be killed anyway. Weeds, however, will make their way into any bed no matter how high – the seeds are more often than not carried in by the wind or birds. We made sure to stay on top of the weeds (weeding every other day), which made for minimal work and a large harvest. Best of luck with your new garden! 🙂

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