Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Raised Beds

Yes, it's really true! I've been telling you about our raised bed garden for months and I'm FINALLY going to reveal the four bee-u-tee ful raised beds Mr. Fanatic made for me several months ago. 

I hope you have a comfy place to sit because I have A LOT to show you!
 Here's a quick glimpse of what's currently growing...Romaine lettuce.
 Isn't it gorgeous?

The raised bed project has been a long time in the making. Last year Mr. Fanatic made me four terraced beds on the South side of our house. After a successful year of gardening in them, we started planning an expansion of gardening space. Here what was planned...

Here is a before photo of the North side of the yard looking into our backyard.. Our lot has very little sun because of all the woods we have. We have two strips of on the lot where we get the 6+ hours of sun needed to grow most veggies. 

On the North side of the yard (left side of the photo), there were 3 very large Leyland Cypress trees that we had to take out. The center tree had caught something and was dying and we figured we'd have all three trees removed to make room for our new North Garden. I had a difficult time with taking them down since it afforded us so much privacy, but it was only a matter of time before the other trees caught whatever the middle tree had.

This is another before photo. You can see one of the Leyland Cypress trees on the far left of the photo. The 9 little plants in front of the pot are the potato plants we grew last year.

Here's how the North side of the yard looked after the Leylands were taken out. The 4 large shrubs are on our neighbor's property. Pretty dismal looking at this point, but I had a vision.

In January, Mr. Fanatic built 4 raised beds out of 2 x 8's. Each bed is apx. 4 feet by 10 feet. (The ends are 4 ft wide and the length is 10 ft + the width of the ends)
Many people make them out of cedar, but that wood is so expensive and this wood should last several years. We finished the outside with a sealing stain, but the inside was finished with a non-toxic stain made from whey.

The most difficult part of this project was terracing the slope...which meant digging out the dirt. I did this by myself, by hand, with a shovel.

Wire "cloth" was attached to the bottom of the boxes so that critters wouldn't tunnel under the boxes and get our veggies.

At this point, we were filling the boxes with dirt. Mr. Fanatic filled  them with several trailer's full of dirt.

Here all the raised beds are filled with dirt and mulch we had just put down the hardwood mulch around the beds. The little dark rows on the right front bed mark where I planted carrot seeds.

Here's the North side of our yard looking into the backyard. Disregard the grass line. I hadn't dug the trench yet! Still working on it, but it's almost done as I write this! :)

I planted two shrubs which will grow quickly and keep the garden from view from the front yard.

Looking toward the front yard.

Here's a photo of the raised beds from our deck. 
This photo was taken about 3 weeks ago; everything has grown since then.

Potatoes are growing tall. The tall ones were planted several weeks ahead of the others.

The sugar snap peas are now well past the second rung on the trellis. The purple cabbage haven't grown much.

As potatoes grow taller, more dirt has to be added to cover the base of the plant so the potatoes growing under the dirt don't  see sunlight, otherwise they will turn green.

This is where my herb garden will be. The 3 plants are basil.

I planted oregano seeds to the left of the gold pot and mint on the right in the pot. Evidently, mint  will take over if you let it. I read somewhere on the internet  that planting it in a sunken pot will keep it from spreading too much. I've also planted parsley to the right of the pot since this photo was taken.

Five strawberry plants have found a temporary home in one of the terra cotta pots. I'm hoping Mr. Fanatic will have some time soon to build a vertical container for them.

For those who don't remember the raised beds Mr. Fanatic built last year on the South side of the house... here they are.

Mr. Fanatic installed a drip irrigation system for these beds. He's also planning to install one in the North garden raised beds, as well.

There you have it...hope you enjoyed your tour of our expanded raised bed vegetable garden. This is where you'll find me most days when the weather is good. 
I just love to watch the plants grow!

If you would like to see how Mr. F. made the terraced raised beds last year, you can see the post HERE.

Are you planting any veggies this year?



  1. It looks so pretty! I've never grown veggies before but I'd like to. Maybe next year!

  2. Wow, that looks like a LOT of work, but the results are fabulous and will only be more spectacular as we get closer to summer. We had raised beds at our last home-installed by the previous owner-how I miss them seeing yours.

  3. I am just in awe! Over the years I have downsized my garden beds, but this has always been in my dreams! It looks fantastic and I love that you have so many plants sprouting up already! I hope you don't have a problem with rabbits or deer, that would be a shame. I lost all my peas and beans last year to bunnies.

    Keep up the good work, Pam!


  4. I am so impressed by the two of you. The beds and plants are beautiful. I would hover over them I tell you.

  5. We have both rabbits and deer on our property, but for some reason didn't have any problem with them last year. Not one thing was eaten from the South garden. We did have some trouble with squirrels eating the tomatoes from the one plant we had in the North garden. Will have to protect the tomatoes there this year. Our cats are outside until about 10 or 11 in the evening and keep the bunnies away. We also have dogs on either side of us, so that may help keep the deer away.

  6. You have the nicest raised beds. Lucky you to grow fresh produce.

  7. Oh my goodness, Pam. This just blows me away! What a labor of love this is from both you and Mr. Fanatic!

  8. Okay you are rocking my word with this post. Wow i am so jealous of your beautiful lawn and backyard. Oh my gosh you guys have certainly put time and effort into this. Happy harvest to you!

  9. Hi Pam, I love your raised beds and envy you all the fresh vegetables you'll soon have. We have friends near by that have raised beds also and they always have a better garden than everyone else. Your yard is beautiful. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving kind words. I'm a new follower. Peggy

  10. That are the best raised beds I have ever seen. I love how they are tiered for the slope.

  11. Pam your grounds are so beautiful and your raised veggie gardens look fabulous!!

  12. My hubby has always wanted to create raised beds..but we are really restricted in our back yard due to the pesky I can raise herbs and other non-deer loving flowers..I am showing this post to my hubby...he will love I do!

  13. I feel your pain having to take away trees....we've done this too and it hurts, but when they are sick they will die and if you don't take care of them yourself, they make break and fall over which can cause a lot of problems. We had one nearly take down our electrical service to the house!
    Your idea was sensational for the raised beds! Raised beds are smart! Lots of people use them and they are more weed free! I love to use a little composted cow manure to blend in and enrich the soil!
    All your plants look great! I'm so far behind you up here! We just had another frost last night!
    (a/k/a Liz @ Infuse With Liz)

  14. Hi Pam,

    Wow! You and your husband are super handy. I love your garden beds.


  15. So excited to see some gardening posts...coming over from The Shabby Creek Cottage linky party and wanted to say hello! i host a garden party that is going to start back up again the first week of May - would love to have you link up sometime? xoox, tracie

  16. I am planting veggies this year, I am a bit behind you (a lot behind in fact). By using the wire mesh aren't you keeping the good critters like earth worms out as well?
    I am looking forward to following your progress.

  17. Love, Love, Love your gardens and a tad bit jealous of your gorgeous yard! Thanks for you nice comments too!

  18. Gorgeous! Your yard is like a picture from BHG!

  19. Thank you for stopping by my blog. I really appreciate it.

    You have me motivated to get outside and till up my grandsons garden. Unfortunately we have to put fencing around it, our puppy Bella, thinks it is her personal digging area right now!!

    Have a great day.

  20. Hey Ruth,you have "no reply blogger" on and I can't email you directly, so I hope you see this.
    The space between the wire is at least 1/2" and plenty big for earth worms to get in there.
    I think it's called hardware cloth. You would think by it's name that it's more like fabric or that plastic weed cloth, but it's not. It looks more like fencing to me.

  21. Wow, Pam, you should be extremely proud of yourself and Mr. F for creating these beautiful beds and growing such excellent produce. We have a pretty short growing season here but when I was growing up we managed corn, tomatoes, squashes and cukes, string beans and eggplants and some herbs. Now the deer are out of control and we can't even grow flowering shrubbery without treating it to turn the deer away. They come up to the kitchen window and look in, and stare down my 90 lb. lab. Looking forward to seeing pictures of the plants as they grow throughout the summer. Linda

  22. Absolutely stunning! I can hardly believe the pictures! I am visiting from wow us wednesdays. :)

  23. Wow, very impressive work and a lot of effort. But I guess it's worth it, because this looks like a dream garden!

  24. Wowee!! Pam it all looks incredible and what a ton of work! You guys will be richly rewarded though with all of the wonderful produce coming your way. Thanks so much for sharing this with us at Inspiration Friday!

  25. I'm not even a gardener, but I truly enjoyed your tour. I will share the tip about the mint with my friends who try to give it too us by the garbage bag full because it grows so quickly in the ground.

  26. Hi Pam,
    I love your raised beds. Can you tell me what kind of wood you used and where you got it.

  27. This is gorgeous! This is a current project we are working on but i know it won't be as magazine worthy as yours!
    Great job!

  28. Your garden is AMAZING! I love the levels and all the yumminess you filled them with. I just have my one little raised bed, but you've inspired me to plan bigger next year :)
    Well done, you!


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