I have always wanted a vegetable garden. They grow well here in the south and I have lots of friends who would bring me vegetables from their gardens or I’d snack on their home grown salsa at their houses. I have always loved my landscape garden and this vegetable garden really put the cherry (tomato) on top!
When Colby and I first started talking about the garden, we decided on a spot for it and the size we wanted it to be. From there we made the plans for the build. We decided to go with pressure treated wood over cedar after reading a few articles about the new pressure treated wood containing copper, which is good for plants. Cedar is a soft wood, which is not as reliable in holding the garden together against the force of the soil inside!
We went with a 8ft x 4ft garden that is 18 inches high. We had our local Lowe’s Home Improvement cut the wood and then Colby did some cuts at home as well.
I also snagged some indoor plants! More about that later!
When we got home, Colby measured the ground and took out the grass on top. This was the hardest part of the whole thing since he used a shovel to do it! Lucy loves to help, I mean play in dirt! We are sure you can skip this step and put a liner down but we wanted the plants to root strong so we went ahead and took out the grass.
The corner pieces of wood were 3ft x 6 inches and Colby used the rotator saw to cut them into sharp points to use a stake. Then we used a sledge hammer to drive them into the corners. The side pieces of wood then screw into those corner pieces. (We may or may not add corner pieces to hide the imperfections later.) It’s a fairly simple process to complete, but it is labor intensive! The girls and I went to a local restaurant and picked him up a surprise lunch!!
At the bottom of the garden before any soil goes in, we laid down a bunch of cardboard, instead of weed protector. The cardboard is biodegradable and will be a good in-between for the ground and soil.
There’s lots of varying advice for the dirt inside. Some recommendations say to use all garden soil, some call for a mix of compost, garden soil and peat moss, others say it’s fine to use top soil.. We decided to do a concoction of all of the suggestions!
- What we bought:
- 28 cubic ft of topsoil
- 6 cubic ft of garden soil
- 6 cubic ft of compost
- 6 cubic ft of pine mulch
We used 22 cubic ft of topsoil to filled the bottom of the garden. We mixed the garden soil and the compost in the middle section where the roots would be growing. We just alternated dumping bags in and then used the shovel to stir. We then planted the vegetables in that mixture.
Our Lowe’s had a beautiful assortment of vegetables and lots to choose from. I had no idea there are 5,689 types of tomatoes to choose from! We buy all Bonnie vegetables! Here’s what we bought.
- Husky Hybrid Cherry Tomatoes
- Foodie Fresh Midnight Snack Tomatoes
- Heirloom Black Beauty Zucchini Squash x2
- Straightneck Heirloom Squash x2
- Foodie Fresh Blonde Belle Pepper x2
- Lunchbox Orange Sweet Snacking Pepper x2
- Foodie Fresh Spicy Slice Jalapeno Pepper x2
After we finished planting the vegetables, we put the rest of the topsoil in and then I watered them in well. I like the look of the pine mulch in small gardens so we decided on that style mulch to help protect the soil and hold in moisture.
I’m so excited to watch our garden grow and produce vegetables! We do have rabbits in the area around us so we might end up putting up some chicken wire later. We have had the garden for 3 days and the girls “go check” on it several times a day! I think the idea of growing new plants is fun for them and the fact that Daddy built it, adds to their amazement!