Easy Raised Garden Bed

4 October 2013

October might seem like a strange time to discuss vegetable gardening, but here we are! John and I tried a few new things this year, and I wanted to get through (or almost through!) a growing season before we discussed.

To back up a bit, I’m convinced that 80% of the reason my husband wanted to buy a home was so that we would have space for a vegetable garden. Thus, our raised bed was in the ground less than a month after we moved in. We opted for a pre-fab kit from Home Depot; it was about $100 including tax and shipping. Based on the reviews, we expected to be pleased, and we definitely have been so far. It required no tools to put together, and since we literally assembled it in the dark (we were leaving for vacation the next day!), I have no doubt you could do so, too. Soil to fill it was about $100 more, but like the bed, that’s pretty much a one-time expense.

Here’s what it looked like in July:

simple-raised-bed

The cayenne, jalapeno, basil, chives, and rosemary (left to right) were transplanted from pots we started at our apartment, so they had a bit of a head start. The remaining plants (Brandywine tomato, super sweet 100 cherry tomato, yellow pear tomato, and bell pepper) we actually got for FREE from our local garden store because we were so late in the season and they were looking sad and spindly. We definitely did not have high hopes for them, but we figured we had nothing to lose!

Fast forward a few weeks, and things were looking much better!

backyard-vegetable-garden

Our transplanted pepper plants continued to be total champs — we could count more than 50 peppers on the cayenne plant at one time, and the jalapeno wasn’t far behind! The tomatoes rapidly improved, as well, as you can see.

cherry-tomatoes-on-the-vine

cherry-tomatoes

jalapenos

We actually just harvested and ate our first Brandywine tomato last night (YUM!) and have been enjoying cherry tomatoes for a week or two now. Better late than never, right?

cherry-tomatoes-and-bell-peppers

John definitely deserves the lion’s share of credit for (literally) seeing this thing through to fruition — he was the chief water-er — but we both enjoyed plucking and pruning and puttering. If you have the space and the sun, I would DEFINITELY encourage you to consider a backyard vegetable garden! It’s amazing how much you can produce in such a small amount of space, and we loved eating things we watched grow. We were also able to give away extras to friends and family, and to our local food pantry, which was awesome! We can’t wait to see what we’ll grow next year, when we actually have a full season to work with.

I would love to hear: Do you have a vegetable garden? Pots of herbs? Tell me!

3 Responses to “Easy Raised Garden Bed”

  1. Yay for raised beds! We decide to use the square foot gardening method (just google it) and have found it to be so easy and fun! And we are able to plant so many different crops throughout th entire growing season! We modified the soil mix to be a little easier (and cheaper), but the square method is great to try lots of different things in a small area. Keep us updated on what else you grow!

  2. Rob

    The cherry tomato I ate was tasty!

  3. Our husbands would get along well! Our raised beds are thriving.. and have overflowed to a few other little plots Ben’s created around the yard because he just needed to grow a few more veggies. :)