My Raised Garden Bed


I quickly decided that trying to plant anything in the rocky-clay-like-Las Vegas dirt wouldn't get me very far in terms of crop yeild, so I decided to build a raised garden bed.  I have never built anything in my life, but have always dreamed of acquiring carpentry skills.  How hard could nailing some wood together be?  After a lot of Internet research, I found that most raised garden beds are about 4 feet wide.  This width allows ample growth space, and is a convenient distance for harvesting.  At only four feet, most people can pick the vegetables in the middle from either side of the bed without having to reach or strain. 
I then surveyed my backyard, and the location I was going to put the bed.  Again, most raised beds are between 4-8 feet in length.  I had a good amount of space so I decided go with 8 feet.  For most vine vegetables (tomatoes, peas, etc.) and other short root vegetables, the raised garden bed only needs to be about 6" tall, but for other vegetables such as medum-long root vegetables and bulbs and tubers (potatoes, onions),  your raised bed should be 12" above the ground. 
With my city's tough desert soil, I knew that if the roots of my vegetables stretched the depth of my bed, once they got to the bottom, the would have a tough time breaking through, so I really wanted a bed that was 18" high.  After council from my parents I decided to start with a 12" high bed, to save money, and to work from there.  If I still needed more height, I could always add on.  Tada!  I now had dimensions!

Next, I drew out my plan and made a list of all the supplies I needed to purchase.
{Click to see the actual write up!}

When building a raised bed it is important to use redwood or cedar because these woods are rot resistant.  I used redwood for no other reason than I couldn't find cedar wood anywhere in my city.  At my home supply store I noticed that Douglass fir was much less expensive, but if I had gone this route, I would have had to replace my bed every 3-5 years due to the wood rot caused by watering.

Originally I purchased wood screws for my bed, however they were so long, and the wood was so strong, that I quickly realized this was a mistake.  The  screw heads were being stripped by my power drill before they could get more than an inch into the tough wood.  After "screwing" up two screws, I returned them and purchased old fashioned nails. The process was much quicker and easier too.

My brother also convinced me to buy "One of those things the mob guys use to break people's jaws."  Surprisingly the man helping us knew exactly what he was talking about, "Oh a vice!  Those are in isle 6."  We bought a small one that cost about $11, and let me just say, it was the best thing we could have done!

My carpentry skills are still slim to none, and my bed may not look so great to someone with wood-working-experience, but to me it's perfect!

** Update **
After filling my bed with my soil mixture, I decided I did want it to be 18" above ground.  So I went back to the home supply store and bought (3) more 8 foot long 2"x6"'s.


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...