In just a few hours, we ripped up the old frame and built a new raised bed garden. It’s actually more of a built-in and raised bed hybrid. But it gives the vegetables plenty of space for the roots to be happy and flourish. If you ever wondered how to build a raised bed garden, this is your DIY!
The Victory Garden Backstory
Hubby Carter and I call our veggie garden a Victory Garden because we love the WWII reference. When we first moved to the Homestead, there was a Bocce Ball court in the back yard. We’re not exactly the Bocce Ball kinda family, so one of the first things we did was rip it up and plant a garden in its space.
Throughout the years, the garden has gone through many iterations. We even tried chicken wire at one point. But the reality was that an in-ground garden wasn’t giving our vegetables the soil space for the roots to grow and despite several years of decent harvest, I knew we could do better.
The big decision was whether to keep the space as-is and build a raised bed around the entire garden or to make several mini raised beds throughout the space.
UGH! What’s a girl to do!?!
When I say decision… I mean… it literally took me 2 weeks to decide. There were so many pros and cons to consider with our space.
But at the end of the day, I wanted ALL of the space, and we also have some gorgeous trellises that Carter built.
Many folks enjoy smaller raised bed gardens and also ones that are a little higher to minimize bending over. This isn’t a traditional version. It’s more of a hybrid. Just so we’re clear.
And Then “IT” Happened
The only problem that we faced was that we began this project at the VERY beginning of the “lockdown of 2020.” At the time, stores were open and we were still free to come and go as we please and just needed to practice social distancing.
The materials were purchased.
The garden was built.
We couldn’t find bulk dirt delivery that was available and affordable, so we filled it with bags.
The dirt was brought in car load by car load by car load.
Bag by bag by bag.
And then the entire country got shut down. Our state ordered that everyone stays home except for the essentials.
Soooo… we had to stop when the dirt was about 75% full.
The ideal is to fill the garden 2 inches from the top with soil. But we’re going with what we have and are grateful for how much we got. It’s not the perfect amount of soil… but it’s a lot better than the 2-3 inches of base soil we had before.
We’ll add the rest of the dirt next spring!
The current garden had a 4″ wood frame, which meant 2-3 inches of loose soil before the ground. It “worked”… kinda… but definitely wasn’t ideal. After much research, the experts recommend 8-12 inches of loose soil for any raised bed garden. This gives the roots plenty of space to grow and thrive. Six inches is the absolute minimum.
I decided on 10″ because that was the size of the wood available. I debated on using two 6” pieces and having Carter screw them together to make 12 inches, but with 10 inches, I knew we would have plenty of space.
4x4s to brace
Raised Bed Garden DIY
I thought this project would take an entire weekend. It literally took Carter and Stepson just a few hours.
They pulled up the existing wood base pieces and kept them for another project.
They used the 4x4s to brace the 10″ pieces at the corners.
Since our garden is so big, they also used the 4x4s in 3 other places on both sides to help brace.
And since it created one large rectangle, we didn’t have to worry about digging a hole for it to sit in. There was an existing divot that we used to place it in, but with the stability of the braces, it’s not going anywhere.
Some people use a liner in their raised bed gardens to help prevent weeds. In the past, we’ve purchased good quality liners for other garden areas and found them to be helpful in the first year, but then the weeds still come through. And we also have decent soil underneath. So no liner for us.
I did mix in a layer of our own compost in with the soil.
Psst… want garden harvest recipes you can make all year long? Click below…
The DIY in Pictures
The Final Ta-Da
We did it! I’m so excited to show you the final ta-da! It seems like a lot of work to give the garden 6 more inches of dirt but it’s totally worth it. I know this is gardening season, so I wanted to get all of these pictures up for you right away.
Once the crops are planted and start growing, I’ll be sure to add some more pictures.
Pssst – if you like the trellises, you can get the DIY HERE. Doesn’t it look like we’re ready to train for a Spartan Race???
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Love, hugs, and “to plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” – Audrey Hepburn
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