Raised Beds Part Two

As New Years passes, my brain shifts into spring planning mode. Although premature, I just can’t wait to get back outside and into the soil. The first round of seed purchases are done. I let my 5 year old help pick out the varieties, so it should be interesting. But I need a place to plant this veg in the spring.

Despite having laid out basic thoughts in my first raised bed blog post, I will admit to looking, planning and rethinking several times. All of that extra work only to settle on the original plan of using Old Castle blocks with 2 by 6 boards.

Supplies:

  • Old Castle blocks #12
  • 8 foot 2 by 6 boards #6
  • Saw
  • Level
  • Pulaski or shovel

Cost:

The total cost was $90 per bed without soil costs. Certainly there are ways to source free or cheap lumber that could have reduced the cost. You could also fashion a raised bed without buying blocks, but for me the simplicity as well as ability to replace parts or move the whole thing made this design a good fit.

Assembly:

For ease of planning and building my beds are roughly 4 feet by 8 feet and two boards high. Online reviews indicated some trouble with longer boards bowing when filled with soil, so my plan included an extra block supporting the long side. This change made assembly simple, as all 8 foot boards were cut in half. The longest part of assembly was leveling the blocks and boards. The ground was fairly uneven and I found that using a Pulaski was helpful to make the small trenches for boards.

Final Thoughts

This is a good project for a novice or someone not wanting to put in a ton of extra effort. I finished 4 beds for this growing season and plan on putting in 4 more next year.

Pros

  • Simple design that made it easy to assemble
  • Limited need for tools and extras, especially if your boards are cut at the lumber shop
  • They look nice 🙂

Cons

  • Cost is prohibitive. You can plant direct or make unbordered beds without additional costs
  • The height is not sufficient to keep out bunnies etc. Although I could have built higher, it would have added cost in both materials and soil.

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