24 July 2014


The idea of being self-sufficient has always appealed to me. I like the notion of being confident in mine and Kevin’s abilities and knowledge to (at least partially) be able to provide for ourselves. With that being said, I noticed that for as much as I admire that concept, we weren't really doing anything to achieve that goal.

It was time to change that. Maybe not a huge move-somewhere-with-no-people-and-start-a-completely-self-sufficient-compound-ready-for-the-zombie-apocalypse kinda way, but baby steps. 

So we built ourselves a raised bed!

It’s a very basic structure and super easy to build. You cannot mess this up. I promise.  All you need is:  3 2x6x8 boards and screws. When you buy the wood, you need to get one of the pieces cut in half at the store (the first cut is FREE so no worries there!)

TIP: Have the person who cuts the board actually measure it to find the true center because the stated measurements of boards are usually more than the actual measurement. So, if you just have them cut it in half based on the stated measurements you are going to end up with 2 uneven boards for your end pieces. Not ideal.

Clear out the grass (if you are positioning your raised bed on grass) using a shovel, hoe, or even sod cutter if necessary and even out the dirt base.  Once you are satisfied with your base, take one long board and one cut board, square the boards to each other with the longer side overlapping the shorter side and screw together (we used three 3-inch screws at each overlap.) Repeat the process with the other boards. Place on your base. We lined the bottom of our bed with a weed/grass barrier and would recommend you doing the same especially if you cleared out a grassy area like we did!

 Once the structure is built, you need to fill with planting soil until 2 to 3 inches below the top of the bed. We used a mix of a bunch of soil we had left over from work around the house that included both topsoil and planting soil. Not the most professional mixture, but we had it, so we used it! Next year we are planning on adding compost to the soil.

Now for the fun part: buying plants!!! We started this project a little later into the growing season than ideal so we decided we were just going to plant a few things and see how they did. So we went with: 2 cherry tomato plants, a zucchini plant, a squash plant, a spaghetti squash plant, and a leek plant.

 To date, we have harvested out of our garden 2 zucchinis and 8 cherry tomatoes! Another zucchini is growing and should be ready to pick next week along with a spaghetti squash. And our tomato plants are filled with green tomatoes. . . just waiting for those suckers to ripen! We haven’t had as much success with our other squash plant, but it’s still growing so hoping we might get something from that later.

 We have so enjoyed watching our little garden grow and learning a few basics of gardening. We will definitely be adding a second raised bed next year!

NOTE: The raised bed we built is very basic and not the only way to build a raised garden. If you are looking for a basic, easy, inexpensive option, this is it! If you want to get creative and more complex, you absolutely can! In fact, we are already thinking about how we are going to build our next one.

Go find your inner green thumb and {ENJOY}
Xoxo, Christie

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