Building raised beds

Sunday was a beautiful day in Seattle. The sun was out and it was a great day to get outside and work in the garden. And just look how it turned out!

If you remember, this grassy lawn is what we started with:

On Friday we had a friend with a truck (hi Matt!) take us to Home Depot for supplies. Since we were starting from scratch, our list was pretty long and took two trips. Here's what we got:

Lumber - cedar boards 2" x 8' x 6"

Exterior screws - 3 inches

Garden soil - Miracle Grow Organic Garden Soil (3 bags)

Compost - Booster Blend by Cedar Grove (8 bags)

Potting soil (for herb planters)




Planter (for herbs)

So we were all set to get started on Sunday when the sun was shining. After the grass was cut out (by the landlord), the next step was to build the frames for the raised beds. We loosely followed the instructions from The Pioneer Woman. Our cedar boards were cut to four 3' boards (the other four boards were already 8', the length we wanted). Home Depot made those cuts for us. We marked the long boards in 3/4 of an inch from the end and drilled pilot holes for each screw using a 7/64  counter sink bit.

After the holes were drilled, Ryan screwed the boards together. It is important to use exterior screws because they won't rust and fall apart in damp soil. We also chose to use cedar because it stands up to rain and rot better than other woods.

We got the two beds in place! The next step was to till the soil, digging down about a foot and turning it over, picking out big rocks and weeds as we went.

Then we dumped the compost and garden soil into the frames and mixed it in. We chose to use Cedar Grove Booster Blend, a mixture of compost and manure. Cedar Grove uses yard waste and kitchen scraps from Seattle residents to make their compost. In fact, starting on Thursday, they are having Compost Days in Seattle - you can get two bags of compost free. Check here for details.

We didn't get any pictures of the mixing process because that was HARD WORK, man. I am still sore. But just look at that beautiful rich soil, just waiting for our plants. I can't wait to make a trip to the garden center to get our seedlings!

You probably noticed the planters on the patio (and shopping list) for our little herb garden. Stay tuned for a post all about prepping pots and planting herbs.