Friday, January 25, 2013

Ozarks Gardening Made Easy with Raised Beds! (How-To)

Materials for a raised garden bed
  • One 6-foot-long 4-by-4 ($15) (Cedar or Redwood is best for rot resistance & Aesthetics)
  • Six 8-foot-long 2-by-6s ($75) (Cedar or Redwood is best for rot resistance & Aesthetics)
  • 32 3½-inch #14 wood screws and 16 ½-inch #8 wood screws ($29)
  • One 4- by 10-foot roll of ¼-inch-mesh hardware cloth ($15)
  • 32 cubic feet (1 1/5 cu. yd.) planting mix ($25 in bulk or $100 in bags)

 Everyone in the Ozarks knows that when you're out to garden you best get ready to do a lot of "rock" gardening, because our earth is so rough & tumble full of clay, rock and sand that it's hard to get good crops out of it unless you take years or many dollars worth of top soil, manure and compost to get it worth planting in. (Not counting tomatoes which seem to love our soil type & as does our native flora).

The above materials should be enough to create one raised bed  (see our previous blog post on how to make an insulated raised garden bed.)

With a table or power saw, cut the 4-by-4 into four 16-inch-tall corner posts. Cut two of the 2-by-6s in half. Cut the 1-inch PVC pipe into four 12-inch-long pieces and the ½-inch PVC pipes into 6-foot-long pieces. Assemble pieces on a hard, flat surface by nailing/drilling the 2-by-6's and their halves to the four corner posts you cut to make a approx. 8 ft long box. After marking off an area and placing the box where you want it to be in your garden, place the cloth (or chicken wire) on the ground to keep out moles, then fill the bed with a good healthy mix of soil (home mixes that are comprised of compost such as manure, leaves, veggie/fruit leavings are excellent- Goat, Rabbit, Horse & Donkey manure are great for this.) to where it's just about 1-1.5" from the top of the boards. You should be able to get about 6 rows of leaf lettuce out of each box, but the needs of each crop you intend to plant will vary in spacing requirements for a good healthy harvest. (Allot space for poles or supports for beans, tomatoes, etc).

Click Here For a Visual Step-By-Step on how to assemble a raised bed.

Some design ideas we found online: (good to doodle these out during Winter to help get organized for Spring!)

Remember, if you want a custom and different design your materials will change compared to what we've shown above, so allot for the changes for your own design.

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