Monday, October 8, 2012

Raised Bed Garden

In May this year, we decided to have an old water-damaged shed removed from our backyard. Left with an open space about 12x12, we decided to grow a garden. I didn't want to plant directly into soil since it could have contained unknown chemicals and debris left over from the torn down shed. Since I'm an organic food grower and very picky about where I grow my food, I decided raised beds were the best way to go. Plus, it's been a long time coming since I wanted to do this.

My always focused husband was able to start the project off. He did some online research and found a great site that gave detailed instructions on how to build the raised beds. The 1st bed measured 3x6 and the 2nd at 3x8. He spent the weekend working on them with our son, so I would say realistically, this is a two day weekend project.

Here's the price breakdown of what it cost to build two raised beds:
Redwood: $175
Hardware: $30
Soil: $200+
Plants: watermelon (sweet baby), cantaloupe, lemon cucumber, green cucumber, 3 heirloom tomato varieties, cherry tomato, okra, pole beans, jalapeno peppers, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, zucchini~$60

WEEK ONE: Raised beds are installed and freshly planted. Officially started the week of June 8th, 2012.

The small raised bed contains Super Soil Garden Soil for flowers and vegetables. The Large Garden bed contains an organic blend from Costco. Note to self: Do not plant basil next to zucchini. The Zucchini leaves eventually grow over the basil, shading it from the sun.

WEEK THREE: Notice the plants are becoming established. We inserted tomato cages. My daughters best friend gave us a pot of Sunflowers. We have a Black Beauty Heirloom Tomato planted in an old wine barrel. This is my fourth year growing tomatoes in it. Highly recommend a barrel for planting if you don't have much land, they work great. My little dog Coco being cute like always. Oh, we also added a nice layer of bark in both the beds for moisture retention. California afternoons can be really hot.

WEEK FOUR: The pole beans are starting up the pole. Plants are starting to thrive and are happy. Have not added any plant food or anything.

Basil on the left corner and center, zucchini on right corner. Note to self: Zucchini will need at least 3-4 ft of growing space. My zucchini ended up shading my basil.

WEEK SIX: Plants have more than tripled in size. 

Here's a close up of the watermelon and cucumber plants.

Here are the heirloom tomato varieties. I love heirloom varieties because they are indeterminate and thrive for a couple of seasons.

Zucchini is about 2ft wide at this point and is flowering. The flowers are so pretty.

WEEKS 8-12: The Garden is in Full bloom and all of my plants are producing. We have harvested a couple of large zucchini's like the one my son is holding. I used half of this one for zucchini bread and the other for stir fry, yummy!

Extra Large Zucchini!

Heirloom Tomato

Yellow Squash- this was so sweet and tender when I sauteed it with garlic, salt & pepper.

All ready for cooking.

Baby Cantaloupe growing..

The Raised Bed Garden after three months of growth.

Cucumbers- Delicious is all I can say!



  1. Your home garden is beautiful! We are currently redoing our backyard and have already placed two raised garden planters...however, we haven't started planting anything yet! We are looking forward to growing our own fresh veggies and fruits! Great job!

  2. Thank you Jessica! It's been a really cool experience and my kids have really enjoyed the process of seeing our food grow. Can't wait to see how your garden turns out. Let me know if you ever have any questions.