I live in Tahiti and we have a lot of rain year-round. This can be a problem when it comes to planting flowers or plants in your garden. Therefore, I decided to raise my flower beds so when it rains the water doesn't flood my plants.
Unfortunately, when the water drains from the garden it started to erode the dirt in my flower beds and they started to crumble and wash away. In order to stop the erosion and the dirt from washing away, I needed to find a solution for this problem.
I have a river that runs in front of my home. I gathered the rocks from the riverbed and brought them into the garden. I used the rocks to start building a barrier for my flower beds.
Start by digging a small trench along the line of your flower bed. Place a row of medium sized rocks in the trench.
Afterwards, fill the back side of the trench and rocks with dirt. You'll need to pack the dirt down around the rocks to hold them in place.
Continue adding rocks and dirt as you build your rock wall. You're basically stacking the rocks on top of each other. You'll need to find a rock that fits well on top of the bottom rock. Adding dirt to the back of the rocks holds them in place and supports the rock wall. Furthermore, it fills and replaces the dirt in your flower bed that has washed away from the rain.
I continued adding rocks and dirt until I had made a nice rock wall that would protect my plants. Now when it rains the dirt in my flower beds is protected and no longer erodes or washes away. Furthermore, the rock wall flower beds add to the natural look of the garden.
My garden is tropical and has a lot of flowers and plants. I keep the center of the yard open for the animals and walking around. Here on the islands, it's better to have a gravel yard than a yard with a lawn. Around my garden I have different areas that I have built raised rock flower beds.
Length & Width: A convenient size is 4 x 4-foot box, because lumber is readily available in 4-foot lengths. This also allows you easy access to the center of your beds from either side. Set the beds end to end to create larger gardens (4 x 8-foot or 4 x 12-foot, etc.) or arrange them in interesting patterns. If you are planting vegetables, building 3 to 4 raised beds of this size will allow for adequate crop rotation. If the bed will be positioned against a wall or fence (accessible only by three sides), limit the width to 2-3 feet so you can easily reach the plants growing in back.
Depth: Most plants need at least a 6-12 inch root zone, so your boxes should be at least 12 inches deep to allow plenty of room for roots. Using 12-inch wide lumber to construct the boxes makes this easy.
Construct your beds on a firm, flat surface (e.g. driveway, patio, or garage floor). Set the boards up on their sides and nail the ends together to create a box. Use 4 to 5 nails on each board in an off-set pattern to help prevent the wood from splitting. If you're doing this project alone, it's helpful to brace one board against a wall to hold it steady while you pound in the nails.
Optional: If you line the bottom of a raised bed with chicken wire, you can easily control gophers and other marauding rodents. Cut a piece of chicken wire/hardware cloth so it's a few inches larger than the inside dimensions of your box. Lay the wire inside of the box. Bend the excess wire up the inside walls and use a staple gun to attach it securely it to the box.
Use a sharp spade to loosen up the top few inches of soil at the bottom of the box. This will help ensure good drainage. Fill the beds with equal parts of compost, topsoil, and well-rotted manure. Water well. Allow a few days to a week for settling to occur and add extra soil if necessary.
In a 2 months I am moving out of city to home with a big garden. I am looking forward to planting and starting my vegetable garden. I love the idea of adding a chicken wire to the bottom of the box that I am planning to make myself. Great idea, thanks for sharing that.
I just registered with this site hoping to find some good tips and I got it right away. I'm so pleased I find it. :-) Thanks again.
This year I want to try raised beds in my garden, but I don't want to spend any money on purchasing the wood necessary to make them, plus all the work involved. So I came up with this idea - why not use cardboard boxes from the grocery stores?
How I made a raised garden out of cardboard boxes, a tub from an old washer and some lumber on top of my driveway. I had to haul in a pick-up load of dirt.
We were able to put these two 4 foot square raised garden beds together this weekend. It was an easy project for the kids to help with; and they will be able to plant whatever they want in them this spring.
If your ground is solid rock, the best way to raise veggies is in a raised bed. My husband built a raised bed garden this year. The "blocks that hold the garden together are, believe it or not, Styrofoam. This was salvaged from boat docks a few years ago when they banned its use in the local lakes.
This is a guide about making a raised be vegetable garden. There are a number of ways you can create a very successful raised vegetable garden, whether you build with new materials or use recycled items.
I thought I came up with it all by myself and that it was terribly original, but after patting myself on the back for months, my permaculture book has informed me that this wonderful, free-to-the-point-they-may-pay-you-to-haul-it-off building material is called "urbanite".
Small raised garden beds save energy, water, and growing medium! Looking for ways to conserve energy and not dig more than I have to, I covered a large rectangular area with old garden cloth, large pieces of corrugated cardboard, etc.
If you're short on space or the soil in your area is riddled by sand or clay, building raised beds may be the best solution to your gardening woes. You'll trade the time, money and effort required amending poor quality soil for maximum yields in a minimum amount of space.
This idea is very old, my grandmother used to have straw bale gardens. It was great for her not to have to stoop over to pick and weed her garden.
We made a 30x20 foot garden in our back yard with plastic and cement blocks. You do not have to remove grass. Put down plastic or a thick layer of news papers, and place cement blocks on top around the edge of the space.
I love my raised beds. It helps keep different gardens separated and makes it easier to keep weeds out. They can be watered separately, depending on what you are growing in them.
I landscape on an angle from the house. I will make a three level planter; the first level is 8 feet wide and long, the sides are white rock or, preferably, pressure treated wood.
I'd like to see some pictures of various raised veggie garden beds you have made from recycled wood or other recycled items. The ones I see in books and on line aren't recycled items (but rather made of recycled materials).
What I have made works, but is rather "ugly". I don't want to buy the beds, or buy the materials, but am hoping to repurpose items already here on the farm, trying to be thrifty!
So, I am hoping some of you can give me some good ideas! I plan on going 100% raised bed gardening this year for my veggies.
Hardiness Zone: 5a
By April from NW MO
My non-recycled raised beds are kind of boring. I live in Texas, so I was thinking about using some barn tin on the sides of my wood, and painting them with bluebonnets and other Texas wildflowers to cutesy them up.
Check out your local craigslist in the "free" section, or freecycle, for materials. I see a lot of fences taken down, the fence pickets looking quite nice but not useable for another fense, and other construction materials.
I upgraded my boxes this year, bigger and taller.