Raised garden beds are my preferred way to garden
I grew up with the idea of gardening.
My mother had been raised on a farm, and over the years I saw our small backyard transform from a place where the dogs ran, to a sea of vegetable plants. Whether we wanted to or not, me and my siblings had to help with the garden.
I think part of me must have liked it overall, as pretty much every house that I've lived in since I had gotten married, I have had a garden of some type.
I started out with small patches in our back yards, with plants that I planted directly into the ground. Some plants did better than others, and sometimes I gave up on it.
But then lo and behold, when we moved, I eventually tried another gardening idea.
When we moved into our current house, there was a shared garden area in the lot behind our house. Wow, a whole area where I could plant rows of vegetables. I was excited, and tried new vegetables to grow. I enjoyed working in this larger plot, but it was eventually sold and the new people has a house built there instead.
I was at a loss for a bit, and built my first raised garden bed. I built a square out of wood. It didn't take long for the pests to visit though, and I ended up digging it up.
But the gardening bug was still there.
My first purchased raised garden bed.
It began with an ordinary shopping trip.
I was at Lowe's one day browsing through their garden area, when I saw a kit of a raised garden bed. Wow, it was two levels, and made of resin. It wouldn't attract the insects like the wooden one had. My heart sang.
What is your raised garden experience?
Have you used a tiered garden bed yet?
I made use of the oval planting area that I had already installed.
A tree used to be there, and then it became the bird garden. I had bird feeders there and whatever seeds dropped from the feeders grew. The birds enjoyed it, but I wanted to grow something other than whatever the birds didn't eat.
After my shopping trip, I measured my oval space. Yes! The tiered garden bed kit would fit.
I commenced to weed pulling and purchased my first kit.
- My plants were raised up off of the ground, so I didn't have to bend as far, or kneel to garden anymore!
- There were less insect problems with having the raised beds than when I gardened in the ground level soil.
- The soil was easier to work with since it was all installed fresh.
- It was easier to grow larger items and also items that required a deeper root area.
- I felt like I had a lot more options and it was easier.
A year later, I added another tiered garden kit.
These are the tools and steps that I used to build my garden kit.
The first step is to prepare the space. The Suncast company recommends that the gardener dig and till the soil to a depth of 16 inches below where the kit will be installed.
I didn't want to do that much digging. It was enough for me to remove the weeds and the grass down to the roots.
I used the rounder edged shovel to remove the sod. It's easier to dig with a bit of a sharper edge that it provided.
I used the square edged shovel to trim the rounded edges of soil left by the rounded shovel. This helped to get a better fit of the panels when it came time to put them together.
Once the sod is removed, you get to put the first two long panels together with a corner attachment. Wacking the corner with the palm of my hand was pretty sufficient for getting these pieces together.
Once the first corner was made, I placed it in the various corners of the dug out area to see how level it sat. I placed the level across the unit on the diagonal, in all four corners, and did any deepening and/or widening of the dug out area, as necessary.
Once the area is ready and level, I commenced to following the rest of the steps that are provided by Suncast.
Some of the panels went together easier than others. If any dirt had gotten on the edges where the panels slide together, I had to resort to some extra help. This is when I used the mallet.
I didn't have a rubber mallet on hand, so I used what I had. I had a heavy duty mallet, and placed a scrap piece of wood on the end of the panel that needed some extra pressure, to protect the end of it. I then hammered on the wood, to help the two panel pieces slide together.
I continued followed the instructions for assembling the garden bed unit. Part of the steps involves installing the anchors to help hold the unit in place as you continue to build it. I found that it still had some flexibility as I added the remaining panels and corners.
Once the unit was completely built, then I checked the level again, and added or removed any soil as needed to level the unit.
Type of tool
Type of step
Digging and clearing the soil.
Evening and smoothing edges.
Rubber Mallet or mallet and wood
To help slide panels together.
To test the level of the panels.
Tools I used for building my tiered garden kit.
Steps in a nutshell.
- Gather your tools.
- Prepare the area by removing sod, and tilling soil if desired. It helps if you want a deeper area for root plants.
- Build the unit following the manufacturer's instructions, and level it as you go.
- Add your favorite garden soil.
- Plants your plants and/or seeds and water as needed.
- Enjoy your harvest.
My garden has grown over the years.
When I built my first kit, I had no idea that my garden would grow to four units in a few years. But in 2014, I took the plunge and added two more . I also enclosed the area with fencing to protect it from deer and such. garden kits
I'm pretty satisfied with the gardening space, and feel like it is its own outdoor room.