When we moved into this old house three years ago, we were drawn to a backyard grassy area behind the garage.
It was a nice open section with great east-west sunlight perfect for a backyard garden. The vision of tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and potatoes remained alive and well, and it finally materialized just recently over a series of weekends.
After consulting other home gardeners and spending time thinking about measurements and design features, Phil came up with the plan for four, eight by four-foot garden boxes. Each box includes nine 8-foot-long 2X6s for the four sides. Each side is 18 inches high (3 2X6s high) supported by a 4X4 post in each corner with an extra 2X4 brace in the center of each long edge. This is capped with a ledge on top made from 2X4s all around the top providing a nice place to sit for weeding and harvesting.
Step 1: Building Boxes
We rented a U-haul, went to the local Lowe’s and picked up 2X6s, 2X4s, 4X4s, screws, stain, paint brushes, construction horses, drop cloths, and rags. Upon our return, the staining commenced followed by cutting and fitting the pieces together.
Step 2: Filling the Boxes
We purchased bags of sand and ordered garden soil from a local rockery/nursery and proceeded to fill the boxes.
Step 3: Planting the Boxes
Before planting, a drip system needed to be put into place.
We made several trips to our local nursery where we selected a variety of cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, and squash. A kind neighbor stopped by and offered onion starters. We added some organic potatoes.
Step 4: Finishing the Garden Area
The last step of the project was to cover the surrounding area with decomposed granite to provide a weed-free, sturdy, walkable surface between the boxes. We trimmed it with some concrete bricks and voila, our garden became a reality!
Step 5: Enjoying the results!
PS (postscript…hopefully a lesson learned). Always use protective gear (e.g., heavy duty work gloves) when using power tools. Thumb surgery pending.
Next project – compost bin (stay tuned).