Nurture, Respect, Learn, Educate, Always Grow!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Kitchen Garden ~ Raised Beds Complete!


New raised beds have been in the plans for two years now. We wanted more planting space and a better design than what we had installed when we first purchased our home. 

We had the area leveled last summer. In the foreground are the blueberry shrubs and in the back behind the brick wall is our small 'orchard'.


My husband designed the beds and had every intention of putting them in but life got busy and it just never happened. So he finally decided to hire someone to put them in. We purchased the cedar timbers and the work began. It took two weekends to build the boxes, line the bottoms with gravel (for drainage and to keep out the voles) and fill with an organic soil mix.

Drum roll please...the raised beds are complete! I think they are fabulous!


Five raised beds ~ the longest bed is 20' x 5' and runs along the back of the area. The two middle beds are 10' x 5' and the two front beds are 8' x 5'

When the beds were going in we realized just how much of a slope there is in this area. 


In order to have all the beds level the beds in the upper section are built two boards high and the beds on the lower section are 8 boards high. I was a little concerned at first but now I love the result. The highest side acts as a wall and frames the kitchen garden. We even created a little step up between the beds.





In the center of the beds is a raised pot on four 18" x 18" blocks of flagstone. It gives a little bit of a sculptural element to the area and breaks up the ridged lines.



I haven't decided what I will plant in here yet. Something that takes full sun, drought tolerant, a showstopper and perennial. I am open for suggestions if anyone has ideas.


Today, my kids and I transplanted the strawberries and herbs from the old raised beds so that they can be dismantled to make room for the stock tank pond. We planted seeds for carrots, lettuce, radishes, onions, spinach and cabbage. We should be able to get one harvest of these cool season crops before it is time to plant most of our summer seeds. Also planted were tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, German chamomile, parsley, basil, cilantro, and dill.

I was one of the lucky winners of the giveaway from Gardens Eye View. Last week I received my package of Beefsteak tomato seeds. Thank you Donna! You will see these big boys in a subsequent post later in the summer.

19 comments:

  1. Wow, that's a lot of wood you used there, certainly sloping area already. Do you need to treat timbers there before putting on the ground? Here, we cannot just do that because we lack wood and the termites will finish them in maybe 2-3 months! So we just dont level them as yours. You certainly have big plots, we are excited to see them growing.

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    1. Cedar wood is naturally resistant to insects and rotting. It is significantly more expensive than other types of wood but it will stand the test of time so it was worth the investment.

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  2. What great raised beds! Love how you took out the slope for the beds and made a step with the cross beam.

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    1. Thanks Janet! They are great to garden in. I can sit on the edge and even stand in some sections. No more back strain from gardening!

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  3. Wow, GREAT job!!! How wonderful it would be to have so much garden space for veggies in full sun!! I make do with my little square foot garden space, but you know how it is, we always want more. Sometimes you've just got to bite the bullet and hire things done -- it's such a great feeling when it is all done! Slope can be deceiving, but it looks like yours was handled beautifully! I am so excited for you!!! What a great way to kick off spring :-)

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    1. Toni, we are fortunate to have a nice balance of sun and shade on our property. One of the benefits of living in the "country" is having more space but it is a trade off.

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  4. Your raised beds are beautiful!! Lucky you! How fun to start spring with all that real estate ;)

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    1. Thanks Cat! I am really excited for the growing season now. The raised beds certainly make it more enjoyable. An extra benefit (I am hoping) is that the rabbits won't be able to reach the edibles in the higher beds.

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  5. These are beautiful raised beds! We filled the bottom and sides (inside & outside) with gravel to keep the voles out. It worked. You will enjoy these, I am sure. What a wonderful spring gift!

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  6. These are gorgeous...quite the potager garden...I can't wait to see the veggies especially the tomatoes :) Perhaps in the lovely container you could plant a lavender and small sedums or a trailing rosemary.

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    1. Donna I struggle growing lavender but it is one of my favorites. I love the idea of putting it in the pot; maybe I will have better success. And, one can't go wrong with sedum! Thank you!

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  7. I agree, those raised beds are fabulous!

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  8. Beautiful raised beds! I love the way you leveled them. And the sculpture in the middle is perfect! Can't wait to see them filled!

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  9. I think they are fabulous too. You are going to have a wonderful veggie garden with all that open space and room. I like the design of the raised beds and the raised center pot. Really nice job, Karin.

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  10. Oh wow! You are going to have some fun!!! I love the center-piece Karin! Maybe some succulents? I look forward to seeing the progress!

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  11. I love them!! I can just see trailing rosemary and oregano hanging out of those beds. I'd stick a little ground cover sedum or hens and chicks in the basin planter. Lucky you!!! :o)

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  12. Gorgeous raised beds, and I like the pot in the middle - you've got a great frame for whatever plants you add!

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  13. Hi Karin, The raised beds look fantastic and well worth the wait! The layout is perfect and I like the way in which you have levelled them. Can't wait to see them come to life.

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  14. Wow, you're so ambitious! I can't wait to see everything you plant in the beds. I planted some tomato seeds this week and am hoping to put together a small square foot garden bed.

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"Don't wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden and decorate your soul"

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