The beginning

The hardest part is starting…Seriously, where should you start? The garden, of course!

Since my first garden (Summer 2016), I have moved onto bigger and better things! I learned my lessons on what does and does not work in building a garden, also that plants thrive better next to particular friends and not-so-much next to others (I told you, it was my first garden!).

Just as I got comfortable with my 4’x4′ raised bed, and realized its potential I had the great idea of moving. Lucky for you (and not so much me), I had to start from scratch and remembered to document this time!

Walking through my new house for the first time I was immediately planning all of my new garden spaces, realizing that I now had the space for much much more – four times as more (for now) to be exact.

As we crept into the start of the ‘warmer’ months here in the Midwest I was itching to get my garden built and seeds started. I had decided on TWO 4’x8′ beds modeled after last years plans. First stop Amazon –

Materials (for 2 – 4’x8′ beds):

(2) Apex 1030-25 Soil Soaking Hose, 25-Feet

(2) Jiffy J450 50 Cell Professional Greenhouse®

(1) Fiskars 3 Piece Softouch Garden Tool Set (7067) (Because who doesn’t like new toys)

Once my Amazon goodies arrived, I quickly set out to the local hardware store (I swear – they own me at this point. I am there almost daily…) and purchased the hardware needed.

Materials (for 2 – 4’x8′ beds):
(6) 2″ x 10″ x 8′
(8) angle brace supports
(1) roll of landscape fabric
(8) Wooden deck balusters (side note – I forgot these on my first trip but they are definitely a must)
(1) large roll of chicken wire (also forgot this the first trip but is a must)
(1) Box of screws
(2) spools of thin ‘hanging’ metal wire (think fishing line thin)
(1) Can of stain (optional)
Top soil (get more than you think you will ever need – learned this the hardway)

Process:

1. Cut (2) of the 2″ x 10″ x 8′ in half (so that they are 4′ in length)
2. Once cut, assemble into (2) 4′ x 8′ boxes utilizing the angle brace supports on the interior side of the box.
4. Utilizing a paddle bit that is slightly smaller than the connection point of your soaker hose, drill a single hole in one of the 4′ lengths on each bed. This hole is recommended to be near a corner and about half-way up the wood (i.e. 5″ from the floor)
3. Sand the wood down to prevent splinters.
4. Stain & let dry per instructions.
5. Once dry, place each bed in their final position.
6. Lay down landscape fabric to help eliminate weeds.
7. Fill half of the bed
8. Pulling the soaker hose through the hole drilled in step 4, snake the hose back and forth across the bed for even distribution.
9. Finish filling the bed to the top, carefully covering the soaker hose.
10. Starting at a corner of the bed, measure and mark every 1′ along the top of all four sides and then screw in a screw majority of the way in (see pictures below).
11. Create a grid attaching the thin wire across the bed and wrapping around each screw. This will create 1′ squares for each plant (Side note – when determining what plants to grow, do read up on their recommended spacing. Learned the hard way that cabbage really does need that 1′ + to itself!)
[Side note – I would recommend planting each plant and letting them grow for a few weeks so you can easily maintain and stake each plant up until they are better hardened before moving onto step 12 – but this is just a suggestion]
12.Install a wooden deck baluster in each corner of the garden bed ensuring that they are at equal heights. Screw into place.
13. Starting at a post of your choice, screw in 2-3 screws on one side to hook the chicken wire over.
14. Carefully wrap the chicken wire around each post (the exterior side of the bed) until you are back at your starting post where you can loop back over the screws again.
[Note – although you may prefer to not include the posts and chicken wire, it is strongly recommended to keep out rabbits, deer, and my pesky little dog.]
15. Admire your hard work!

I really hope that this helps you get started, or even gives you ideas to (hopefully) improve your garden. Until next time –

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