My family decided to create some backyard, above-ground, garden boxes since the soil where we live is rock-hard and not easily manageable. We wanted to keep expenses on this project low so we chose materials and methods accordingly.
There are many ways to go about this project--some more effective and some more expensive than others. I am sharing our build experience to illustrate how we handled this project based on our needs and resources. I'm not trying to preach on how to professionally prep soil or grow plants. Keep in mind that these boxes are NOT fancy like the other beautiful designs that you have seen in other articles on this site. Our 'ible is not intended to improve upon the other ideas either. Please keep the spirit of innovation alive by modifying anything necessary on your build to meet your own needs. ►How long will this project take to complete? The construction part of this project took just over 2 hours for my small family of 3.
We enjoyed spending time together, working on a good yard project and digging in the dirt & poo. My son later told his friends that his dad and mom forced him into shoveling chicken poo for a whole evening.THE GRAND OVERVIEW OF OUR RAISED-BED GARDEN BUILD:
¬ OUR MASTER GOAL is to make some type of sturdy four-sided box (square or rectangle) in which to place a liner and nutritious dirt for our little gardening needs. The boxes that we will make do not need to be too tall or you will have difficulty managing them. Ours ended up being taller than they really needed to be, but we wanted to keep the neighborhood animals from digging around the edges of the plants. It worked nicely. That's all there really is to this build. Let's go on with it....
¬ This project requires that plastic sheeting be placed in the boxes as a liner and container for our dirt mixture. This keeps weeds from growing up out of the ground into the boxes and it also helps retain sufficient moisture in the soil bed. The plastic liner can also help prevent environmental chemicals, toxins and nasty critters from finding their way up into the bed as well. Plastic also helps to make cleanup a breeze after the growing season is over. Later on in the article you will see that we introduce some strategic holes into the plastic to allow proper drainage. Some beds may require more holes than others--it all varies with your geographical location, elevation, weather, soil mixture and the types of plants you will use.
¬ Obviously, some kind of dirt is needed.You will need to choose your own dirt. Do your homework after you decide what plants you want to grow and get only the necessary dirt and nutrient mixture to grow those plants. If you don't do your homework or if you go overboard, then you're going to be guilty of killing plants, wasting time and bleeding money. So, first go scout and buy some plants at the store or nursery; research soil types and finally you can have some fun shoveling dirt and/or poo.