Growing up my Dad always had a fruit and vegetable garden – tomatoes and blackberries were a staple every year and sometimes he added peppers, blueberries, cucumbers, etc. – but there was always something fresh outside to go pick right before dinner.
I really wanted to try out my green thumb this year but didn’t want to commit to a digging a big garden in our backyard. This is only our second summer here and I have big dreams for that space (pretty pavers, a white picket fence, low voltage lighting, maybe a pool?!?!) so I have no idea where I’d eventually want my
secret garden. My fear of commitment worked in my favor when I started coming across some really cute raised-bed ideas on Pinterest. Like this one;
I have numerous size boards left over from the deck re-flooring and thought they’d be perfect since they’d probably hold up very well without staining or sealing! Then, thankfully, I came across a quick blurb on some site saying pressure treated wood is NOT the way to go when building an edible garden since you obviously do not want any of the chemicals seeping into your produce! Of course this sounds totally logical to me know but at the time I didn’t even think about that! So a trip to Home Depot was in order to find some untreated wood to use.
The trusty Depot had 1x8x8 pine boards for just about $8.00 a board. Thankfully, the employees in the lumber department know me very well and are used to my crazy requests at the saw (I like to think this is because they know my Dad, not because I’m there so often). I didn’t want my little raised beds too large so this worked perfectly. I asked the man at the saw to make 3 cuts for me, 1 at 3 feet, 1 at 6 feet and one at 7… to save you from the math that left me with 2 3-foot long pieces and 2 1-foot long pieces. I got 2 boards cut like this and picked up some corner brackets – all for less than $25!
Next I placed the side piece up against the bracket and screwed that into the long side. Easy enough!
A few minutes later my beds were assembled!
I went back for an additional piece of wood and pack of brackets to make one more bed so that I could fill the space between my deck stairs and house.
I filled all 3 beds with organic soil and lined the surrounding dirt with thick newspaper (thanks for saving them for me, Mom!) to block weeds. I then topped the newspaper with some gravel from underneath our deck.
Unfortunately, I didn’t start my garden as early as I should have but I am starting to get some veggies! I should have my first ripe cherry tomatoes by this weekend and am growing my first cucumber! I’ve had tons of pretty flowers from my zucchini plant but he has yet to produce any actual zucchini yet.
Also, since the wood is untreated pine (sealing it can introduce more chemicals into your produce) I am not sure how many seasons of use I’ll actually get out of the beds. Because of that I’m planning on covering them up this winter – probably with just a tarp or something to that extent – to protect them from our Bucks County winter. I’m also hoping to get an early start on planting next spring!
Perhaps it’s the fact that we are frequent Disney World visitors
or perhaps I’m just crazy but I can’t help but sing this song every time night when I’m watering :)