Neighbours talking over the garden gate has long been a tradition. They share gardening tips, complain about the weather and pests yet are ever eager to discuss their gardens. That is what I had in mind when creating this blog. So stop by my garden gate to find out the latest happenings in my garden.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome
"All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child." ~ Madame Marie Curie"

Friday, July 02, 2010

New Raised Beds (1)

I've been talking of expanding the raised beds since the end of last growing season.  It's been a rather funny year what with the house on the market and going on vacation the new beds were put on the back burner this spring.  Once the other beds  and most of the containers were planted combined with no offers on the house I made the executive decision to put the new beds in anyway.  Originally I was going to add two more 8' x 10' beds but decided to put in two 4' x 4' beds instead.  The intention if we don't sell is to expand again next spring with the two 4' x 4' beds being used for asparagus and rhubarb.

raised bed frames
The construction of raised beds is quite easy.  My husband cuts the 2" x 8" spruce lumber to the desired length then assembles the frames using # 8 screws (2½- inch).  This is my second garden using raised beds constructed this way.  I've never had a problem with the beds pulling apart.  Some recommend reinforcing the sides with additional stakes or reinforcing the corners with stakes.  Others recommend using L brackets it the corners as reinforcement.  There are also a wide range of recommendations as to how to prepare the bottom of the raised beds.  I do a scrapping of weeds if on dirt as these are and if on grass I do nothing as the grass will decompose.  In areas where mole or gophers are a problem lining the bottom of the bed with carpenter's cloth is recommended but we have problems with neither. 

new raised beds prepared for planting
Once the frames were positioned where I wanted them my husband filled the frames with topsoil.  I use topsoil for the first season of a new raised bed.  As the bed is planted several times using the square foot garden method there is a fair amount of soil turnover.  In the fall I begin soil amendments and carry that through the beginning and end of each growing season thereafter.

By the end of the afternoon I had the grid strung on the new beds.  If you recall I'm using garden twine instead of yarn for the grid this year.  I expect the garden twine will hold up a bit better than yarn even though I have used yarn for years.  With the beds prepared I was ready for planting after dinner.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome


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