Garden & Raised Bed Design

IMG_2476The day we moved into our new house, I started planning where the garden was going. I knew I wanted pretty raised beds and a unique style. (not just the big 4’x8′ beds you see all over)

I came up with this idea for ‘4-corner’ approach with a pond in the middle and started building.

Each of the 4 corners is 8′ long at the longest sides, and then 4′ on the shorter 4 sides. So each box gives me 48 square feet of planting space.

The walk ways in between each are the same width (4′) and the middle pond is also a 4′ square, so everything lines up nicely, no matter which way you look at it.

The base layout

The base layout

To start the design, I cut and laid out all the boards next to each other, and then used short vertical pieces of 2×4 in the corners as braces to screw into.

Then, I got a red stain (to closely match the chicken coop) that is designed to be safe to use with raised beds to make the wood last longer. It soaks in deep so a couple coats will help keep the wood from rotting.

(I know it will eventually rot, but I’ll just add a layer of wood around the outside and make it a bit bigger)

The beds filled with dirt.

The beds filled with dirt.

Next, I borrowed a friends truck. (I desperately need a truck) Went and got 2 cubic yards of high quality composted dirt and filled em up. This is a lot of work. A whole saturday.

My original design for the pond didn’t work out. I had a small metal water trough in the middle with dirt around the edges and had planted some flowers there, but that stagnant water went bad quickly and it was hard to clean. So I scrapped that idea and tried something a little more legit.

Under the middle box I dug down 2′ in the middle and 1′ down under each of the four corners (for plant shelves)

I bought a plastic pond liner from amazon and had an old pond pump from another project years ago and started filling it up with water. You press the pond liner into the edges and corners as you fill, and voila, a pond.

Chickens love it!

Chickens love it!

Our chickens love the pond. I usually let them out in the yard once the seedlings get established each spring (so they dont dig in the dirt and kill everything.)

The fountain is off in this picture because we have it set on a timer to turn off during the day. We have a small turtle in the pond who comes up to sun on the rock you see here during the day, so I didn’t want to be spraying him the whole time.

I know every gardener has their preferred way to pick seeds or plants, but I was given this Survival Seed Vault as a Christmas gift and it’s been amazing. This is what you see planted here.

We also like to compost everything from our kitchen and we keep it in this handy little Counter Top Steel Compost Bin. We have a spot back in the chicken pen where we dump it and the chickens can have at the scraps.

The finished garden! This is May 6th, 2016, so everything just getting going here.

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