Sunday, May 2, 2010

Raised Beds - May 1st

Karen Sue was nice to ask about my raised beds the other day, so I thought I should post a picture. I am overall very happy with how they turned out. I still need to put brackets on the outside corners to improve these bookcases' chances of being serviceable raised beds, and finish planting things as the season progresses, but I'm pretty much done with construction. Here is what they looked like after the first round of work.

I finished making the middle bed out of 4 x 4's and planted two raspberry bushes yesterday. The big blue pot is plastic (and very light) and I was originally going to put an apple tree there, but haven't done so yet. There is a pack of pansies parked there at the moment. The black plastic on the left is my effort to stop the spread of some Bishop's Weed, which is on the north side of the house. It has done so well without any attention on my part that it's creeping into the lawn and looks bad. I'll have to put grass back there (or something, maybe some kind of ground cover that doesn't get as tall as the Bishop's Weed).

For irrigation, I started with a new regular hose and a new soaker hose, and a bunch of fittings and customized lengths of each to fit the beds and not have the mulch being watered.

One problem that has arisen is that place where the mulch meets the grass. I should have installed edging, but I hate installing edging, and it seems like whatever is then next to the edging needs to be dealt with. This became apparent very quickly yesterday when I was cutting my grass with my nice little push mower, which would seize up and stop when I hit a piece of mulch that had escaped to the lawn. And the grass is longer (I don't know how this works) right where it meets the mulch. I will probably use Roundup on the those edges and be done with it.

I did get my broccoli and lettuce planted yesterday. I bought plants last week. My seed starting efforts failed this year because I never transplanted them out of the seed starting mix, which didn't have enough nutrients for the seeds to grow past a couple of inches tall. Live and learn - I'll be ready for next year. It's good to peek out there and see green. Now, I just have to keep the dog out. I set up little wire fence things, but have no idea if this will work.


  1. Lookin' good, Linda. Instead of edging, maybe consider pavers around the perimeter of the mulch, or some used brick if you can find some cheap enough. A friend of mine poured cement around the perimeter of their beds; a permanent commitment to their placement. I planted jalapenos and rosemary in one Earthbox yesterday, and will add basil and thyme to the same box tomorrow. I have tomatoes ready to plant in the second Earthbox, which should arrive this week. I'll post some photos on facebook once both boxes are planted. I'm glad you enjoyed the solitary weekend! Suzanne

  2. I think your beds are looking great! Such an ingenious idea of yours to use the old bookcases. Talk about recycling!

  3. Thanks!

    Cement? Hmmmmm....

    Suzanne, please post Earthbox photos, I'd like to see them.

    It sure feels good to have some stuff in the ground. Mama Pea, when is your last frost date up there?


Hi, sorry to make the humans do an extra step.