After our garden growing beautifully this
summer we realized that the corner of our yard wasn't the best spot for us to try and harvest or even weed the darn thing. And we were pretty limited by the size and expansion possibilities. Photo Dude and I decided that what we needed were raised beds instead of an in ground plot. We hope that the weeding will be possible without worrying so much about the kids breaking stems and if the tomatoes run amok again (please let that happen again) we will be able to get at the vines without trying to do the limbo under the wires run for the cucumbers.
Our back yard isn't very deep but we have a wonderful side yard that isn't used because I can't see the kids playing from the deck. This is going to be the perfect place for our garden beds and there should be plenty of room for expansion. Photo Dude built three new beds and we have a layout in mind for at least two more. We want to see exactly how much we can fit in each of our boxes this year.
We've been using "Square Foot Gardening" by Mel Bartholomew as our reference guide for how big things might get. We sort of made a list of the things we eat the most often and decided that was what we would like to grow ourselves if possible. Much to the disappointment of the kids we will not have banana trees or orange trees. That just isn't going to work in mid-Michigan. We also explained that while there are other trees we could grow our yard just isn't right for an orchard and there is such a nice one we get everything from we'll just keep going there.
I will now turn things over to Photo Dude so he can explain the dimensions of the boxes and any tidbits that might come in handy while building your own frames.
So as you can see these are real basic boxes. I am going to till up the ground under them so we have more dirt room for roots. The boxes themselves are 4 feet by 8 feet by 6 inches deep. All I did was take 3 2x6 boards 8 feet long, cut one in half, and using deck screws to screw them together. I was thinking of going 2 high but the cost of soil was a bit much for us right now and I can always expand them later if we find a need to. Make sure when buying screws that you are getting a screw that is made to stand up to the elements not just drywall screws. We will post again about these boxes when we till up the ground and get the dirt in. I have to wait for it to stop all this snowing before I can think about that. Photo Dude