What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God's building. 1 Corinthians 3:6-9
My husband and I used to plant large gardens, when our children were at home, but now that there is just the two of us, we decided to downsize on our garden space and go with two raised gardens. My husband believes the following statement , "There are two things that money can't buy, true love and home grown tomatoes." So tomatoes were one of the plants we were surely going to plant in our garden. We are looking forward to seeing what our garden will produce, as well as seeing how it will do in a confined space. So we began the process of getting every thing we would need to make our raised gardens. Below I have listed these steps in the order we did them.
1. Order your dirt or get bags of dirt. (We purchase a truck load of dirt, because we planned to make more than one raised bed and to use the rest in other places in our yard.)
You will need 1 1/2 yards of dirt per raised bed, if you make it the dimensions we did.
2. Lay out the area where you want your garden to be, and stake it out a few feet larger than the plan of your bed in all directions. If you are making more than one bed, leave a couple of feet between each bed to walk through and to work. Put stakes around it.
3. Kill the grass in that area.
After your grass dies, lay out your bed or beds the size you what them to be. Ours are 4' x 10' x 12" high. Some of the lumber we used we already had on hand, the rest we purchased. We purchased grass killer and Weed Block as well.
If you are purchasing the materials, you will need:
3 - 2" x 12" by 10 feet long boards (Two of the boards will be used for the sides.
The third board will be used for each end and four gussets. Cut off two four feet boards from this 10' footer. The remainder of the board you will use for your gussets.
To make your gussets, measure the remainder of your board and mark the half point, then cut the board in half. You will have two pieces, then draw a line from corner to corner and it will look like a triangle. Cut on the drawn line and you will have four gussets. (in the picture below, the tips of the triangles are cut off because we were using scraps of lumber that we had on hand) You will not need to cut the tips off of your triangle boards.
Pictures below will show you where to place your gussets.
We screwed our boards with number 8 by 3 inch deck screws. You will need approximately 40 of these screws per raised bed.
You will also need a roll of Weed Block. It comes in different widths, so you want to buy a 4 foot wide roll. The roll we purchased came with spikes to stabilize it to the ground. If you look closely you can see it in the picture below.
4. Measure out the 4' x 10' bed and put your stakes down. Next, roll out your weed block to fit the area, we cut ours a little longer than the 4' x 10' measurement. Lay your boards out as shown in the picture below.
Nail or screw the boards together. (My husband used screws instead of nails because he thinks the screws are sturdier, and if you need to take it apart, it is easier to get apart.
Next attach the other 10' board as shown below:
Leave the bottom of your bed open until you get your dirt in the bed. We used a wheel barrel to get our dirt in the bed.
Notice the gusset placement in the picture above.
Once you have filled the bed with the dirt, nail the bottom board into place. Rake out your garden and now you are ready to start planting.
We planted 12 tomato plants, 6 pepper plants and 3 rows of green bean in one of our beds. In the other bed we planted zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers and 3 more rows of green beans.
We are so looking forward to the fruit of our labor, but as I thought on our little garden that my husband and I have planted and watered, I reflected on the truth of the matter that only God can give the increase and make it grow. It certainly is the time to plant in our area of the country, if we want to reap a harvest in the fall. So if it is time to plant in your area, perhaps you will consider a raised garden.
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