Tuesday, June 10, 2014

New Raised Garden Beds

Raised garden beds have been wonderful for us. We put 4 beds in about 5 years ago. We used regular lumber rather than treated lumber, which has poisons.... not good for the garden!!  The regular lumber weathers quickly and doesn't last as long, but it lasted for about 5 years for us.... with a few repairs in the last couple of years. :) 

This first picture is from spring of LAST year - you can see that the garden beds (on the left) are weathered.... what you can't see is that the corners have deteriorated so much that we have some plastic straps (cut from milk jugs) around some of the corners and screwed into the sides to hold the beds together. :)  They were getting pretty bad, but I was determined to use them as long as possible.I kept trying to make them last "just one more year". :)  Well, this year, my guys said it was too far gone.... we HAD to replace them. 

So............. Son #2 hunted up some clearance lumber at one of the home improvement stores and found some for 75% off of the regular price. What a savings! He had to keep checking back for when they had more, but eventually had enough to make beds....  He had to cut off parts that were split, but this worked well.
     We have had 3 beds that were 4'x8' and one was much smaller..... He increased the size of that bed so that all are large now.... you can see in the picture how small the original bed was.... a big improvement. :)
After finishing the 4 beds, he found another deal on lumber and I excitedly planned for another skinnier bed and he made that and had bought enough lumber for 2 more skinny beds, but due to his work in lawn mowing and the grass growing so fast, nothing happened on those for a long time. I was careful not to push, but eventually, the other kids and I were cleaning up and making plans to move that pile of lumber..... and maybe have somebody else finish the project... one of the other brothers or dad.....
 You can see my poor little patch of asparagus in the wooden drawers... they need to be transplanted... somewhere....
 He decided to go ahead to make them....  then we filled them in and started planting. WHAT A BLESSING!!! :)

This first skinny bed has flowers (for beauty :) and lavender and a couple of other perennials... and just last week, I moved all of that asparagus from the old drawers.... right down the middle of this bed... my hope is that the feathery asparagus will look pretty as a background for the flowers... we'll see.

In the next bed, I have watermelon, more cucumbers  and cantaloupe.... in the last bed, I planted  yellow straight necked squash and zucchini squash with a couple of Amaranthus plants (here they are in the 2nd skinny bed... I transplanted). Having limited space, I am constantly trying to fit something in here and there... and it usually works okay.
Another view of the large raised beds... things are still small...

I just took this picture today...  the sun isn't out so the colors aren't as pretty as they will be tomorrow, :)  but you can see that things are certainly growing in these new beds.

 It is hard to get all of the beds in, but here are a few different angles....

The skinny beds are about 2' wide and two of them are 8' long, one is 6' long, so we have added a lot of planting room. I have one other smaller raised bed to plant sweet potatoes in and we have lots of in ground beds with herbs and other plants.

We have been in such a drought.... now we have been getting so much rain ... and the weeds are growing - we need to weed the drive and paths... and all of those little plants in the long beds are little river birch trees - we have pulled up hundreds so far and still have thousands of them to remove.....  from all of the pretty seeds that floated off the tree a few weeks ago.... 

This shows the beds a bit more.... City gardens can be challenging, but it can still work. We have never had this many raised beds.... and I will be working to make it all look tidy and pretty....  Need to keep the neighbors and the city happy....  I love these new beds... and we will be using them for a few years to come, unless the Lord allows us to move to some larger property where we can spread out more... then someone else will be using them... My husband and kids laughed that whoever would buy our house had better like gardening. :)  For now, we are enjoying them.

Thank you for visiting my blog today.... I hope you have a wonderful week. :)

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  1. Wow! love the pictures! And your right there great!!!!! Lol <3

  2. Your raised beds look lovely! I have never used this method, though we have modified it a bit and created small sections for specific plants to make our garden a little easier to maintain. I usually put my tomatoes in these beds because they take up so much room in the 'other' garden. :)

    1. There are so many great ways to garden.... glad you are enjoying making your own ways to do it successfully. :) What a blessing to have foods and herbs growing in our yard. Thank you for visiting. :)

  3. We built a couple of raised beds last year. I love them! We would like to add more.
    your gardens look wonderful, thanks for sharing at the HomeAcre Hop.

    1. I do like the raised beds... I hope you can add more... I am probably getting close to the limit of what my 1/4 acre can hold, but it is funny that I keep finding more areas to tuck in a bed here and there. :) Thank you for visiting.

  4. I love the beds! They're exactly what I'd like to do for our vegetable garden.

    1. There are a lot of good reasons for using them.... and I think they are so worth doing. :) I hope you can add them.... if you do, I would recommend ... do NOT use any treated lumber... no sense putting poisons in your foods. Regular untreated lumber will last for about 4-5 years for me. Thank you for visiting. :)

  5. Great job! I know it can be long and daunting work. But I know you just envision them all filled and thriving. It will be beautiful. Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed my visit from Jes's linky. I am following you now so I can keep up with the progress!
    Have a great Sunday.

    1. Thank you... it can be, but a little at a time works well. I am getting excited for the growing season to start. :) Welcome... I am so glad to meet you and to know you are following the blog... :)

  6. Your garden is looking spectacular, especially with those wonderfully done raised beds. That is a testament that not only an urban garden is feasible, it is sustainably productive as well. I hope all your projects meet the same success as that one. Keep that green thumb nurturing!

    Bethel Woodard @ Sollecito

    1. Thank you.. what a nice comment! It is almost time to get out there and work.... I am looking forward to that. :)

  7. Your raised beds look great!

    Thanks for linking up with Green Thumb Thursday. I hope to see you again this week!

    ~Lisa M

    1. Thank you... and thank you for the great link up party.. :)