Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Raised Beds Part I

As I mentioned in my last post, Jeffry and I plan to turn our front yard into edible garden space this spring. Since Fall I've been dreaming up different configurations and ways of setting up our garden, wanting something that was both pleasing to look at and functional. Finally we settled on "The Perfect Raised Bed" plans which are available on Sunset's website. I like that they are low profile, made out of lovely redwood and have built-in removable row covers to keep out the large number of wild birds which like to call our little plot home (how our neighborhood has both millions of stray cats and millions of wild birds I still haven't figured out). Hopefully we can find alternatives to using the row covers since they aren't very attractive, but its nice to have the option.

Another fear of mine was that having big rectangular boxes in our front yard would look harsh. I think having them only be 1 foot instead of 2 feet tall combats this somewhat. In addition, I have decided to scatter some wild flower seeds on the ground sort of willy nilly next to the raised beds. I am also thinking of getting either mint or thyme ground cover to plant next to them. I think adding a little wild unplanned feel to them will help soften their impact on the yard. The flowers will also help attract beneficial insects to the garden. I'm not sure how well all of this will work in actual application but hey, wild flower seeds are cheap and the experiences that experimentation brings are priceless.

After spreading a bit of time in the front yard with some wooden dowels and some bright orange surveying tape (that yes went right back into the emergency kit) I decided that we could fit three raised beds on the left side of our yard. They're measurements will be 8' x 4', 7' x 4' and 6' x 4' with the longest one being up by the house and the smallest by the street. I decided to make them progressively smaller to fit in with the meandering path we have doing down the middle of our yard.

It only took us two weeks or so to get around to it (first Jeffry had to sand one side of all the boards to get rid of some unexplained stains), but we finally have the first one built. It still needs to sit for a week or so before we seal the outside of it because we happened to get some of the freshest wood in the world and it needs to dry out a bit first. I did give us an excuse to clean out the garage though because we have to store this big sucker in there while we continue to make two more! I'll post more updates as our little construction project progresses. Thanks Jeffry for working so hard to indulging all my crazy projects!

*UPDATE: Since I wrote this post earlier today another raised bed has been constructed! Jeffry and I were apparently full of energy this evening and decided to bust out another raised bed after dinner. We had two drills this time so things went alot faster since we didn't have to keep changing from a drill bit to a screw driver head. The above picture is of the 7' x 4' bed we just finished building.

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