Garden Version 2.0




About: I like to build, create, and invent new things to use in life. Sometimes I like to share them with others, that's why I joined Instructables. :-)

If you like my Instructable please vote for me in the garden contest! Thanks!

A brief history

I built my raised garden sometime ago and it is all organic. Recently I decided to upgrade it and add another section. The "Original Garden" was also built in conjunction with the "Open Air Doghouse" and "The-Doggy Garden Fence" So really you could say this is the 4th installment of this area.

This is a raised garden in which I have crammed a lot of plants into. I know some people will say "Hey those are to close together" and " Those plants don't like each other" but I have worked to ensure all of my plants get along (We have a weekly group therapy meeting every Friday). The real idea here is to have the plants shade each other and keep each other cool. It has worked pretty well so far.

The big difference this time is I planted corn in order to have some corn on the cob with my meals and to create a shade barrier for my other plants. I know it won't shade them all day but in the late part of the day every little bit helps. Oh and I will have some corn on the cob!!!!!!

On to the Instructable, here are the details of the vegetable plants I planted.

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Step 1: Supplies, Plants, and Tools

The good stuff first

Here are the plants I added to the garden

1 Eggplant
1 Yellow Bell Pepper plants
1 Squash 6 Okra plants
2 sweet banana pepper plants
27 seeds of corn
A packet of radish seeds
A packet of chive seeds
A packet of carrot seeds
High heat tomato plan

Here are the material supplies I used in the garden

27 castle stones (from [Lowes])
7 bags of Omni Grow Compost [(from Home Depot)]
1/4 ton of 1/4 minus crushed Navaho Red rock.
Redwood stain

Shovels Spade and Flat blade
Some buckets
Table saw
Safety glasses
Air compressor
Pneumatic nail gun
Paint brushes

Step 2: The Dirty Work

Ok lets start diggin. As you can see from the picture I got a whole lot of dirt on top of my river rock path. Partially due to the dog digging a bed all the time in the dog house and then I tried to dig some of the dirt out so she couldn't dig so much out. Anyway it was time to clean it up and update the garden.

So grab your shovel and maybe a rake and your buckets.

I separated all of the river rock from the dirt, thinking I would use the dirt in the part of the new garden. I put all of the rocks in a bucket and got rid of them, mostly to other parts of the yard where I had other river rock.

Then I decided that I wasn't going to use the dirt and it went to other parts of the yard where aI need it and the rest went into the trash. Yeah i know "You'll fill the landfills that way with unnecessary dirt". That just isn't true they use dirt to hold down the trash, so it's all good.

As you can see by the third picture I have cleared all of the dirt and now it is time to put down some 1/4 minus crushed rock.

So lets move on to the next step.

Step 3: Laying the Foundation

On this side of the garden I used 1/4 minus crushed Navaho rock. This rock is just rock crushed to a 1/4 minus or smaller. I did this so I could get a medium that is easier to work with than dirt. This way I could level the entire garden more efficiently than using dirt and it would be easier to lay the castle stones on.

In the photo below I added the crushed rock and have laid out the basic design of the raised garden. I did redesign the shape and move some of the existing castle stones from the back of the garden to the front on the left. This enlarged the original garden which enabled me to add a couple extra plants in it also.

It is important to remember to have enough room to move through your garden I planed mine out on paper and then placed the stones to see how it would work. It turns out that it worked just fine I have just enough room to walk and have maximized my garden space.

Lets move on to the next step where I have finished stacking the castle stones and begin building the fence.

Step 4: Building It Up

In this step I have began the major portion of construction. I missed a few photos because I got in to working and forgot to take them.

As you can see below I rearranged some blocks from the back to the front and made the the garden longer on the left side to match the right side.

Next I added the 7 bags of compost to the new area.

To top it off I built a new fence to keep the dogs out. I didn't even have all of the compost in there and they thought it was their rest area, they decided to lay right down in it and make themselves at home.

That is where the fence came in. Back to home depot to get some 2x4's.

I ripped the 2x4's into 1/4 slats and 1.5 inch post all 2.5 feet long.

Of course I used the slats horizontally and the post I drove 6 inches into the ground.

Next I used my nail gun to shoot nails into the wood in order to assemble the fence.

I really recommend getting a nail gun they make the work so much easier and not to mention quick!

Since I lengthened the previous part of the garden I had to ad new fencing to it as well, it was no big deal though just ripped another 2x4 and a post and used the nail gun there as well.

'Oh by the way make sure you use safety glasses when you use a nail gun.'

Step 5: Paint Da Fence Danielsan!

Ok sorry I may be showing my age with that movie reference(Karate Kid).

In this step I used the left over Redwood (water based) stain I had from building the original fence to stain the new fence. The color matched perfectly! (What do you know about that!! WAAHOOO!!)

Actually I had my son out helping me paint also, he really enjoyed himself (and I gave him some money for helping) he really likes the garden.

I bought spme cheap .50 cent brushes from Home Depot and we got the job done. I have to say I am very impressed on how well the stain has done on the original fence in this AZ sun..

Step 6: Things Are Growing!

Here are some shots of the garden taking off.

Looking at the first photo:
In the back on the left there is a yellow bell pepper plant and right behind the yellow bell pepper is a sweet banana pepper plant. To the right of those is an Eggplant plant, behind the eggplant is a strawberry plant and in the corner is a zucchini plant. All of those are just in that one corner!

Looking at the second photo:

You can see the garden ass a whole, it's coming along nicely

Looking at the third photo:

You can see the Corn popping up
I planted 6 Okra plants but 5 died but the last one is growing very nicely.
I planted Radishes (by seeds) they are coming up now
I also planted Chives and some Leeks in between the corn, supposed to help keep bugs away.

Step 7: Finished Build and Some Crops

The photos below show how the garden is growing and I have added just a couple of pictures of the veggies I have pulled off of the old garden. I must have harvested a couple hundred Anaheim peppers (red chilies) so far, and about 100 bell peppers. I have had these plants for at least two years now and they just keep growing and growing. It was a very good investment.

If you decide to build a garden I wish you the best of luck and hope that I was able to give you some ideas or information.

I could always use a vote for the garden contest, please keep me in mind!!

Thanks for looking

Mr. Rig it

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    18 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Great stuff. I learned a lot from your garden project both about use of space and a spot for an animal. I have a Cairn but she isn't yet a digger or a lay in the shade under things dog but between you and some replies it is a lesson for me. Thank you so much.


    9 years ago on Step 7

    This really inspired me as I have an annoying "alley" wasting space on the side of my house and have always been sad about it. I never even go in there because the waste repulses me. Now I know exactly what to do with it and it will feed my family! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

    4 replies
    Mr. Rig Itmom2jade

    Reply 9 years ago on Step 7

    Wow you really made my day Thank you! I want to see before , during , and after pictures. I hope you make an instructable out of it. :-) Craig

    mom2jadeMr. Rig It

    Reply 9 years ago on Step 7

    Will do, Buddy! Finishing one project now and this one is bumped up to "next" on the Must Complete list!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Sorry it took so long to show you the work we did inspired by your instructable! I don't have a before pic, but it was really desolate until we did this. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Mr. Rig Itmom2jade

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for the pic it looks great! I'm jealous yours looks better than mine lol. That lattice work really brings it out. Looks great! What did you plant there?


    9 years ago on Step 7

     Great job! I lived in AZ for a little over a year and had no luck gardening. I never thought of fencing.

    1 reply

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Hi, We lived in Tucson for 9 years when I was a kid and my dad had a great garden every summer. You can do it. Just pick plants with a high tolerance for heat and water every morning and every evening. Mulch really well too, to hold the water down on the plants. He grew peppers, radishes, tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers. You can check for varieties that are more heat/drought tolerant. Hope it works for you. Have fun!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Wow that looks beautiful! I just have a goofy question. Did cats ever use that area of your yard for pooing? I have a spot like this in my yard that I would love to make a garden in but neighborhood cats have pooed in it so much I'm afraid my plants would get ammonia burn. Any ideas? Thx!

    1 reply
    Mr. Rig ItCaulerpa

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

     Thanks. No cats have used it as a litter box. I would suggest getting a dog I have two :-) However I had to build a fence to keep them from digging. Just use a tlller or make a raised garden and fill it with mulch compost, I use Omni grow. Sprinkle some chili pepper on the ground that should keep them out.

    It is a Michael Graves coffee maker from Target. It got very high reviews and actually it makes a great cup of coffee. I highly recommend it :-)


    10 years ago on Introduction

    1. The way to keep the dogs out is to just gate the front of the garden, thereby using about 1/3 of the fencing material (and 2/3 less work) than you ended up using. Not only that, but the fence is blocking too much sun in a garden where you already have walls blocking too much sun. 2. The stones use up about 15% of your available space, for no functional purpose. Also, in midsummer they, in combination with the heat-radiating walls, are going to 'cook' your plants. Too much heat! 3. Too much of the sunlight is falling on the path and stones instead of on the plants. You put a path right in the area of most sunlight. A zig-zag path would work better, creating more interest and more diverse microclimates (but see #5). 4. The wider garden is along the highest wall instead of where it should be, along the shortest wall. 5. Consider raising the beds much higher to reduce the sun blockage from the walls. And if so, you could set up this space as a large keyhole garden, which is what it sort of looks like it wants to be.

    2 replies
    Mr. Rig Itbruc33ef

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Wow bruc33ef that's is all good stuff! I am in AZ and my plants get too much direct sun which is why they are shaded by the walls. And I needed and wanted a place for my dogs to go to and create a den and still have it look nice. My big dog loves to be under the cover of plants so the idea is to surround the dog house with plants to help shade it and still provided a cool dirt area for them. Now the zig zag idea is cool, but too much work. The idea of the castle stone is to give it an astatic look. I want it to both look nice and be functional. The keyhole is a good idea. But this is a 4th generation build in which I never planned on creating, but if I were to go back and redo it a keyhole might be a fine way to go. What will happen later when the corn grows tall it will shade the peppers from overexposure to the sun, at least that is the plan. The plan is to help keep them from getting sun scalded. It is true the stones do heat up the plants, but not nearly as much as the river rock I had put down wow did that ever create some heat. Great ideas keep them coming and thanks for the input! :-)