How To Adding Raised Beds To Windy Hill
Most years we have a garden, of sorts. I always laugh and say, it’s about trial and error for us with gardening raised beds. Some years it’s great; other years not so much. But we keep trying, and learning a little bit more each year.
Two kids involved in varies activities, running a business, homeschooling, Dietrich’s many work related activities that are not directly related to the business (teaching, training, and SWAT to name a few), actively involved at church, co-op, family, friends, and the list goes on.
We had raised beds at our old house and discovered that we really liked them for certain things but others did better in a traditional garden plot. Due to time crunch and the cost of wood we decided to give the waist high raised beds at Tractor Supply a shot.
The first bed we bought was wooden, needed to be put together, and was clearly damaged. We were fine with that because we asked for a discount and Tractor Supply agreed. Saved us $25! Never hurts to at least ask for a discount. It was also a great opportunity for our son, Gage, to help put it together and learn more on tool use.
The damaged section ended up on the inside of the raised bed so it would not be visible once full of dirt. Score! Well worth the savings of $25 if you can’t even see it.
The bed has slats that go in the bottom as well as a liner that comes with it. Very simple to put together. You could do it by yourself, but it definitely was easier with an extra set of hands.
It seemed sturdy enough and looked nice. We liked the size (it has a separator in the middle so you can use for it for different plants) and I was pretty excited that it was waist high. Which got me to thinking of how many things I wanted to try in a raised bed. Now I needed more! LOL! Isn’t that the way it goes? Dietrich decided we might as well buy one more wood one why they had them in stock. We also purchased a metal one to try as well. It was smaller, but only had to have wheels and legs installed on it so less work.
Now, I had 3 raised beds to fill with goodies! We chose to do strawberries, potatoes (red, Idaho, and a few sweet potatoes) basil, thyme, parsley, cilantro, chives, oregano, rosemary, purple and white onions, shallots, butter crunch lettuce, and spinach. The lettuce and spinach may not do well for long as the heat will wilt it. But we are going to attempt to add some shade to that bed to see how long we can keep it going. We also on a whim bought garlic to try, but it also may not do well in the heat.
My dad borrowed my uncles dump trailer to get an organic garden mix from a local mulch yard. Using the dump trailer made it super easy to scoop and scrape out into the raised beds.
We are already getting delicious strawberries from the plants we planted. We splurged there and purchased larger plants that already had blooms starting. Dietrich got the first one!
We do have a few concerns about the raised wooden beds. The obvious one being will they hold up long? Only time will tell! We did have to use longer screws then the ones provided in the kit. The shorter screws were already wanting to pull out when moving the beds around to get them level. We also put bricks under each leg to keep the wood from sitting directly on the ground. The only concern with the black metal one is if it will get too hot and dry the dirt out faster. I put the potatoes in it and jokingly said they would come hot pre-baked if it got to hot. Haha!
The links to both raised beds are listed below. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for updates on how the beds are working out as well as the traditional garden plot we did.