Living in the Mojave Desert we don’t have great soil. Raised bed gardening is easy and inexpensive. You can buy ready-made raised beds or follow these easy directions and build your own.
• Know what you will be planting in the bed, where it will be placed in your yard and have your irrigation in place. “In-line” irrigation works well, or you may use a standard drip system. Hand water is an option but more work.
• Measure your space and graph the materials you will need. 2X8 boards nicely accommodate the 6-8” of soil needed for growing. A 2×8, through the drying process and planning of the boards, reduce its actual size to the finished 1.5×7.5 size. The boards come in several standard lengths. When selecting boards lay them on their side to be sure they are straight and have as few blemishes as possible.
• You will need to have a way to cut the shorter end pieces Beds should not be more than 24-36” wide for easy access without hurting your back
• Stain the boards if you want to bring color into your garden. We used one coat of a dark brown water resistant wood stain. Allow to dry thoroughly, up to 3 days.
• Additional water seal maybe necessary to preserve the wood in wetter areas.
Allow to dry for up to 48 hours
• Drill 3 pilot holes (evenly spaced) threw the 2 short, end pieces, ¾” from each side of the outside edge, when constructing the screw should hit the center of the longer board end (this will help avoid splitting of the wood)
• We used 3 in / 7,62 cm, Coarse Thread Drywall Screws to secure the shorter end boards to the longer side boards. Screw together with a Phillips head screwdriver or drill.
• Set in place and fill with amended soil and your irrigation lines.
• You are ready to plant!
Inexpensive “removable” shade or green house topper:
• Purchase 1 ¼”x 10’ schedule 40 PVC pipe
• Cut into four, 8 to 10 inch lengths (you will have some waste)
• Drive into the ground of the four corners of the box so it is flush, do not extend beyond the top of the box
• Purchase 1” x 10’ schedule 40 PVC pipe (calculate amount needed based on desired height of shade structure)
• Cut to your desired height length
• Insert into 1 ¼” “holders”
• Cover with shade cloth or clear plastic sheeting and secure with clothes pins, or other gripper, to the top of the PVC pipe
Herb Companion Magazine: Garden Spaces: Plant the Easiest Garden Ever