vegetables in a raised bed garden

Raised Bed Garden

     Frankly, this is a project I did for my lady and myself back a couple of years ago. We have the normal square foot, raised bed type garden out back, but one day after doing some work for a convenience store, I had an idea for some left over parts they said I could have.

       I removed about 60′ of an old vinyl covered canopy that hung inside a store over the counter tops. It had the store name and a few other things painted on it, but we were going to be putting in a new kitchen and a part of my bid was to remove it.

Raised Bed Garden Framework

This was a ‘corner’ on the canopy and if you notice, it’s 1″ square aluminum, which makes it light weight and extremely strong. I put it into position in our front yard, only 15′ or so from our front door, and set it up in this position. I convinced my lady I could make this work and she loved the idea of not having to bend over to work in the garden. And to be able to walk out the front door and grab a salad had both of us smiling.

Click on an Image for a larger view.
raised bed garden, gardening

I took a shovel and leveled off the spot. Now to make it stay that way, I attached two treated 2×6’s to the ‘bottom’ and laid it in a bed of ‘three thick’ newspapers. All level on the bottom and ready for 6 to 8 inches of bark when I get done.

mckean handyman bradford smethport kane

Installing the new beds

Next step was to get my ‘flat’ part of the beds ready to go. I had some scraps and purchased a 4×8 sheet of 1/2″ plastic material to make the beds and the sides. Instead of drilling possibly a hundred or so drain holes in the bottom, I just ripped the material so that I have 3 equal pieces and could leave 3/8″ gap in between each. Made the rounded upper tier and also a shelf for some small garden tools and a watering can, etc. Saturday was now coming to an end…

raised bed gardens for around your home

All good garden boxes have sides(grin) so of course that’s what we went to work on Sunday morning. Cut the pieces to 10.5″ and by the time I attached them around the base, I had potential for a little over 9″ of soil. More than enough for all above ground crops and should still be deep enough for beets, onions, etc. With all the clamps I could find and some 1″ self tapping screws, I cut an installed all the sides around the frame. It’s actually starting to look like something.

The upper bed, I decided, could be called finished and needed no other types of support to hold soil. The lower portion was six and a half foot long by thirty inches wide. Didn’t think the sides would keep straight with the pressure of the soil pushing out.

So I purchased 6 stainless 36″ x 1/4″ all thread rods, washers and nuts. This would give me the ability to adjust the tension and line up each side to hopefully stay straight and true.

I put the rods one foot apart to give us the start of the ‘square foot’ grid used in our system. That gave me six one foot sections and a six inch section on the lower end. Not quite symmetrical, but a square foot garden none the less.

mckean county handyman

The soil for the new raised bed

As mentioned, we have a “Square Foot Garden” in the back yard and decided to use a batch of Mel’s mix to fill the boxes with. A mixture of peat, manure and vermiculite. We also raise some worms, so naturally we added some castings.

Here’s the finished product, minus the bark around the bottom, and it was someone elses turn to play with the ‘Two Tiered, Raised Bed Planter.

Long story short, planting long carrots in a nine inch deep box put a little bend on the bottom of them, but didn’t ruin the taste. And the rest of the box keeping us in greens thru the summer and into the fall. Bark finally in place thru the summer.

Give us a call if you have a project

Anyways, I guess my point is, if you have an idea that maybe you just need a little nudge and a different pair of eyes, give me a call and we’ll see if your project can come full circle.

Sure is nice to walk around to weed, water and harvest.

Final product is 30″ by 78″ and 30″ x 24″ Comments?


    1. Author

      Thanks Dona,
      It was a nice weekend project and the boss will be getting ready for ‘something’ starting next week for this spring season.

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