Friday, July 14, 2017

Raised Beds

The garden has been producing like crazy this year. You might remember that we decided to try plastic mulch and how much I hated the idea. But it has really paid off. The weeds have been practically nonexistent except for along the outer edges where we planted the cucumbers and green beans. Even those have been so much more manageable! But using solid plastic prevented us from planting anything from seed. From past experience, I knew that trying to get seeds to sprout through tiny holes in plastic was almost impossible. So all the garden plants were started indoors and transplanted. Unfortunately, we didn't get any radishes, turnips, carrots, lettuce, or any other goodies that would have been direct sown. I just don't have the time or ability to bend over all day pulling or hoeing or chopping weeds. But wait! The gardening season isn't over and DH crafted up some raised beds for me to try planting some of those things in for a fall harvest.

First he took a couple of those cheap metal barrels that the farm store carries and set them up outside his workshop. It was a hot day! Then he found a plastic lawn chair and set it up a safe distance away for me to watch from. (That's how I got my knee in this first picture.)

 After donning some safety glasses, he cut the barrels in half, lengthwise.

Out came the welding helmet for the next phase of welding the open ends of the barrels together, to make 2 long beds. Then he drilled some drainage holes into the bottoms.

 Next up, a short break and a clean shirt! Then back to building a wooden frame to rest the barrels in from some scrap lumber we had stored.

Then I got to help! We carried all the pieces to the garden plot where they will be set up permanently and put some wasted hay in to get the filling started.

As we were adding the hay, I scraped my arm pretty badly on the sharp edge of the cut metal. The next day DH solved the problem by re-purposing an old garden hose into an edge cover.

Ta Da!


  1. What a great idea. I'm showing this to my husband. Thank you for sharing this.

    1. Let me know if it works out for you. I'm excited to give it a try!

  2. That looks good. Have you tried spun weed suppressing fabric for the beds. I find it really useful . I cut crosses in it, size depends on what I am planting. I cut one sheet out for onions and garlic (took ages) . Result no weeding of them. I have used the same sheet five years so far as it last well and doesn't fray.It also lets water through to the plants.

  3. Elevated is a great idea! And weed guard fabric does cut down the weeding in the vegetable garden as well. My neighbor uses that.

  4. What an excellent idea, and one which I might 'borrow' in the future!


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