Summer is here and it’s not too late to get outside and do some gardening with your family. This is a (long-overdue) follow-up to my previous post, with ideas and inspiration pictures for various levels of gardening enthusiasm and commitment. We decided that a medium-sized, raised bed garden was right for our family. Raised beds were necessary for us due to our very sandy soil here on the beach. We also decided that we needed to provide definition to our garden by installing a fence, since the rabbit population in our neighborhood is somewhat out of control. I created a plan with a specific layout and dimensions, but in the end we decided to work with the space that we created by linking together the 8 foot long pre-fabricated fence sections we bought at Home Depot because we didn’t want to have to cut the fence sections to fit my plan. So, in the end, our garden was a lot bigger than I had planned. And though I wasn’t crazy about the gothic style pickets and would have preferred pickets that resembled our existing fencing, this fence was the least expensive option at Home Depot and the easiest for us to install ourselves.
Once we had the fence in place we set to work installing chicken wire to prevent those bunnies from stealing our veggies. I read that to keep the rabbits from digging tunnels under the fence it helps to dig a shallow trench along the fence and bury the bottom of the chicken wire so that it makes an “L” with the fence, then staple the rest of the chicken wire along the bottom of the fence.
The shallow trench for the chicken wire
For more detailed instructions on installing the chicken wire (and other methods for keeping rabbits out of your garden) check out this post. For the gate, we obviously were not able to bury the chicken wire but we did put it along the bottom to deter critters from slipping through the slats.
Once the fence was installed, we started to lay out our raised beds. Again, to avoid unnecessary work with the saw, we tried to work with the 8 foot long pressure treated planks we picked up.
We decided that the space would be best utilized by installing three, 4 x 8 foot raised beds and one smaller 4×4 food bed. My amazing husband dug out the sod for each of the beds and created a sort of trench so that the wooden frames actually sink into the ground a bit. We then stapled the weed barrier to the interior frame of each bed.
Then came the soil. Many, many, many bags of soil ….
We used organic gardening soil with the fertilizer already mixed into it, but you can check out how to mix your own and get other raised bed building ideas here.
Once the soil was in place, we were ready for some planting action. More on that in my next and final gardening post! But first, a little note about the flower boxes I added to the fence – all supplies: plastic boxes, flowers, and hanging brackets purchased from Home Depot. I got a ton of compliments on them and I love how they made the garden look a little happier
and help distract me from the gothic pickets that I hate.
In the next post I’ll show you how we ended up here, despite our constant battles with enemy bugs!