A New Raised Vegetable Bed

My winter project around the house is to redo the backyard. With the quarter in session it is tough to find time for this task, but I have been fitting in bits of time here and there. Last week I developed a design for a raised bed for vegetable production. On Saturday I picked up the lumber. Sunday I built it. And finally this weekend I set it up.

A raised bed in the backyard.

It is 5 feet long and 3 feet wide, constructed from unfinished redwood. Each side has two 2 x 6 boards and one 2 x 4, with a 4 x 4 used in the corner. I set the screws and used hardwood screw caps, which I painted sage green. I’m curious to see how the wood ages. Most sources I consulted recommended leaving redwood unfinished–so that is what I did.

I filled the bed with soil and two different types of compost. I’ll be keeping an eye on the chemical properties of the substrate, but I think it should be an ideal growth medium. I’m more concerned about how much sunlight the site gets, but that is something I cannot control. Our first crop will be some lettuce and spinach; I planted them from transplants.

Another view of the raised bed, with some of the unfinished backyard in the background.

The next step for the backyard is to put in the brick walkway. I’ll be grading it and putting down a sand base, then figuring out which type of brick to use. I’m leaning toward a classic red brick right now. After that will come the small patio for our table and chairs, followed by the plants. I’m hoping the winter break provides time. . .


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