Building a raised garden where we could plant our favorite vegetables has been on our home improvement list for a while. Chuck and I were also smart enough to know that we do not have the necessary talents or tools to build a raised garden but that didn’t stop us.
We contacted a professional.
When it looked like spring would finally happen in Michigan, we got an estimate from a local landscaping company to install a raised garden bed. The estimate was shocking! So we regrouped. Steve “Wise Guy” Wieczorek to the rescue. He knows how to build things and has all the necessary tools, plus he loves us.
If you don’t have a friend like Steve and want to build your own raised garden, there are plenty of DIY websites with instructions. Steve also said that you could call him and he would be happy to build one for you too. For a small fee of course.
Locating the perfect spot for the garden.
We had the perfect location for our garden, lots of direct sunlight and close to the waterspicket. It is also where Ann Arbor’s Northside deer herd loves to frolic. We may be building a perfect deer garden.
Creating a design.
Math! Believe me you need math to build a garden.
Purchasing the materials.
Steve and I made a trip to Lowes to purchase the materials. Steve had many questions:
- Should we buy the more expense cedar lumber? Yes, I said.
- How high should the fence be? “High enough to keep the deer out” I said. Steve said, “deer can jump 12 feet.” I decided that a 4 foot fence will need to work.
- Do you want the heavy duty fence posts? “No,” I said, “we aren’t keeping cattle in, only deer out.”
- What kind of weed-suppressing fabric do you want? “The kind that works,” I said. Who knew there were so many different kinds. Another Lowes customer offered this advise, “Don’t go cheap! You’ll regret it.” So we bought the expense stuff.
We finally left Lowes and my credit card didn’t melt when I handed it to the cashier.
Preparing the location for the raised garden.
Chuck mowed the grass but we did not remove the turf and weeds. The weed-suppressing fabric had better work! Charlie and Steve outlined the garden and staked the corners.
Building the beds for the raised garden.
Do not try to carry lumber like this unless Steve shows you how first.
Chuck was assigned some of the more difficult tasks.
Charlie the dog was the site supervisor. I think he was a bit concerned.
The site super thinks a few safety regulations were being broken here.
Installing the raised garden beds.
To be sure the beds don’t move, we anchored it to the ground by digging holes to set the corner posts. (This was Steve’s idea.)
I could hear the deer laughing as the fence was installed. I actually had a dream that the deer ripped the fence to shreds while we were sleeping and left it in a pile for us to find.
Steve made me a custom gate for Crazy Charlie’s Pickle Patch.
I had 8 yards of premium garden soil delivered from the Rock Shoppe a few days prior. My only caution here is to make sure that you do not ask the driver to dump the dirt near any important cables to your house. When our dirt was delivered the driver did not look up and managed to rip a cable off the house. This did not make Chuck very happy.
Chuck would like you to know that DIRT is very heavy.
Finished. (Well almost. Waiting for the mulch.)
The site supervisor is especially glad we are done.
Let the planting begin.
Stay tuned for the woodchip post. Urban Foresters are removing several trees from the backyard and we are using wood chips from that project as mulch for the garden.