"Enjoy the LITTLE THINGS in life for one day you will look back and realize they were the big things."


What blog is about Intro

Come on in and sit awhile while I talk about the "Little Things" in life. I will share my journey of everyday life.... homeschooling, raising my children, homesteading, gardening, health and wellness, and real life.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

My New Raised Beds for Spring Planting

I have been keeping my eye out for the style of raised beds I wanted at our current home.  At our other house I had used what I had and what I had was our old privacy fence that had been knocked down about ten years ago during Hurricane Rita.  When moved here over a year ago I just never found the time to get raised beds together and did not have time to properly work the ground soil.  I did bring along some of the old raised beds from the other property and the remaining fencing.  Last year our focus was more on planting our orchard trees and I had my husband till up some of the ground between each fruit tree and we planted some tomatoes and pepper plants that were given to us.  It was not very successful. 

This year I knew I would need to get my raised beds done.  Once again I was feeling like I might not have time to get it done.  I had my husband help me assemble the old fencing ones in our front yard... but I just did not like the look and my heart was really set on making galvanized tin ones.  I had seen some last year that were trimmed out with wood that was so pretty but not only would that come with wood rot issues in the future, it would also be more expensive.  My daddy called me a couple of months back and asked if I wanted some old tin that a neighbor wanting to get rid of.  I said yes not really even having an idea what I might use that for or what exactly it was.  Once it was here I thought about different projects to use it for but had not settled on what to do with it.  The sheets were cut into 5 foot lengths.   I kept looking at that tin and then, one day I saw a design for raised bed that did not have wood frames on it.  The more I thought about it I realized I could do that and I could use what I had here and it would be low cost. 

This is what I came up with.  My new raised beds!!! I am super excited! They are 15' x 2 1/2' and 1' deep. I have learned from past experience if they are very wide I have a difficult time reaching in during weeding and picking. The two beds are just far enough apart to push a mower (an important detail I have learned). All materials are recycled, except the flashing that I used to bind the tin together. I also used the flashing to make brackets that are holding the support posts. The support posts are metal poles from an old trampoline net that did not last. The tin is the recycled tin my daddy delivered to me. It is short 5' sections. If you had full length sections of tin (10' normally), you would not require as much flashing for this project. We ripped (cut) the tin down the center longways for a depth just over 1'. One piece of tin per bed was cut in half so the bed would be 2 1/2' wide. Trust me when I say that 5' wide would be too wide for working these beds later. I learned that lesson the hard way. I had the tin screws leftover from a previous building project.

We lined the beds with plastic drop cloth sheeting leftover from a recent painting project and we also used our soil bags. The trick to this is to dump one bag into a wheelbarrow (etc) and place the thick plastic bags in the bottom of the raised bed and then, start opening more bags and pouring your soil onto those bags. As you empty a bag it goes into the bed. At the end you pour the soil in from your wheelbarrow.

The only cost for me was the flashing which I purchased at Parker's for $4.29 a 10' roll and I bought two rolls. $8.58 !!! Totally what I wanted... Priceless!!!! The real cost is in filling it with soil. I absolutely will not purchase anything that says "Scott's" or "MiracleGro" because I refuse to intentionally support Monsanto. Hopefully, my soil choice was not a sub company of theirs. I got the Compost & Manure mix by American Countryside at Wal-Mart. I just gave up on finding what I wanted locally because I was not getting great reports on quality. I have 40 bags in my beds right now.

I love to use old galvanized containers for my container gardening.  I have more that I will be filling and I have not decided exactly where the container gardens will be.  It is wise to decide this before filling them usually since they will be heavy once filled with soil.  I like the area I have them in if I had them arranged nicely but I do not like the idea of the weeding that it is sure to require around them.  All of the containers have seeds planted in them.  It is all coming together.

Now, I just need to build two more of those raised beds... (wink, wink). 

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