Building Raised Garden Beds & Transplanting Your Garden Outdoors
How excited are we to finally be enjoying some consistent Spring weather! I am pumped for the season and ready to go with a flourishing garden window. As I type I hear a lawn mower off in the distance, the sun is shining on my kitchen table, and I can hear faint bird chirping… Life is Good.
Over the weekend my fiance and I build a raised garden bed outback to accomadate more of my herbs and vegetables. I must say this was an easier task then I expected. We chose to use cedar for our garden bed for a few reasons. The first being it is rot resistant. The chemicals in cedar protect it against rot. Cedar is also insect repelling which you cannot go wrong with in an herb or vegetable garden! Another reason is how dense it is. Cedar holds up very well and will serve its purpose for a long time.
Once you figure out where you want your raised garden bed you have to take a few things into account. How high do you want your bed? How wide/deep do you want it? How long do you want it? Once you figure out your measurements you can calculate the amount of materials you need.
We decided to buy 1″ by 6″ by 8 feet cedar planks and stacked them three tall. I wanted my bed to be at least three feet deep if not more so we measured out the sides to be 3 feet 6 inches. We ended up buying 15 cedar planks for 1 bed (1 plank being $11). Our bed is 16 feet by 3 1/2 feet.
It is very easy to construct! We used small pieces of wood to nail together the three planks standing up. We did one wall at a time and then nailed them all together. We did not build a bottom as I want my herbs to root as far as they’d like.
We read a few different articles and talked to a few different gardeners on what type of soil mix to start with. We ended up throwing some leaves/sticks at the bottom (really not much) then some compost/hummus/manure on top. We mixed that in with some soil and tilled it quite a bit. Then we finished by dumping a whopping 14 bags of soil into the bed. We made sure to till it well and make sure everything was broken up and mixed well.
Once we had all our soil in there we watered and watered and watered until it wasn’t bone dry anymore. This took about 10 minutes! I decided before planting to let it sit and soak overnight.
Planting Your Plants Into Your Bed
Then it was the fun part. Over the past week I have been designing my garden based on what grows well together and sun/watering needs. I also wanted to make sure the things I had planted last year went into my new bed this year so I didn’t plant them in the same spot again this year.
Things That Tolerate A Light Frost
The last frost date for my area is May 7th, though I doubt we will see another frost. To be mindful of that I focused on getting the things out that could survive a light frost if they had to: kale, spinach, lettuce, mint, parsley, asparagus, onions, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, broccoli, dill, and garlic.
Garlic and asparagus I probably won’t see this year but they will provide for next. Everything else I had been growing strong in my garden window and it was ready to get outdoors. Here are some pictures of things once I planted them
Companions: What Pairs Well With What?
I used a few resources to figure out how I wanted to design my garden. The biggest resource I used was the Garden almanac. I learned that Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, and Broccoli work well together and require full sun so they are in the same bed. I paired my asparagus with my Tomatoes since they grow well together. I have plans to plant my peppers near my tomatoes as another companion. My potatoes will go with my pole beans, bush snap beans, and basil as good companions. My kale, lettuce, dill, and parsley are all together as they grow well together.
I was very cautious to not plant the same things in the same spots as last year. Making a new garden bed was perfect for this as I really just rotated what I did last year.
What About The Rest?
Now that most of my herbs and vegetables are outside my garden window has lots of space. I still have red peppers, yellow peppers, jalapenos, thyme, basil, and strawberries growing in the window. We have plans to get one more garden bed outback so I started some more seeds in my garden window. Those include: cucumber, zuchinni, squash, more dill, more peppers (currently have 3 of each kind growing), pumpkin, and pole beans. Once these are mature I’ll transplant them outback as well. Cannot wait to keep up with all the delicious growth this summer!
Anything I must add to my garden? Any questions I can answer? As always email me or contact me on Instagram: appetiteforlifee