* raised bed

Posted on February 27th, 2010 by maitreya. Filed under Home and Garden.

OK, well after getting the permit, we actually built one. The wood we decided on is untreated cedar fence planks. They’re 6 feet long x 6 inches wide, so we stacked them 2 to a side, and cut 2 of them in half (or rather, the guy at Lowes did) for the short sides. The corners are screwed to 2×2 wooden stakes driven about a foot into the ground. All told less than $20 in materials. Mark built it today and I can’t wait to start planting!


Haven’t decided what soil mix to fill it with yet. Any recommendations?

My new favorite blog is Greenwalks, devoted to planting strip gardening, and based in Seattle no less!

8 Responses to “raised bed”

  1. Karen in Wichita Says:

    Mel’s Mix.

    One part each peat moss (or coir, or potting mix), compost (ideally several kinds mixed, especially since the cheap stuff isn’t very composted yet), and vermiculite (which isn’t cheap even if you can find a bulk source like a pool installer… the teeny bags Lowe’s sells are impossibly expensive).

    The peat/coir gives it body, the compost gives it nutrients, the vermiculite holds water. That’s all you need. Then you top-dress it with compost regularly to replenish it as it settles/gets used up (my boxes are two years old and some have dropped several inches).

  2. Karen Says:

    Hey, thanks for the shout-out!

    I am so excited for you with your new raised bed in the parking strip, that empty rectangle is just so wonderfully full of potential and promise.

    I am no expert, but I wonder if you want to remove the sod within the bed confines so that roots can make contact with the soil? Certain things like carrots might need more room than 6″ but you probably already know that.

    I got soil for a raised bed from Walt’s Organic Fertilizer near the Ballard Bridge – wasn’t the cheapest but they let me shovel my own into the back of my Volvo wagon, which saved on truck rental/delivery.

    One thing I neglected to do once the soil was in and before plants were planted – add some kind of fertilizer, which is a whole other issue but does help with veggies.

    Good luck and hope you have a great growing season with your spiffy planter box!!

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  4. muralimanohar Says:

    Very cool! I am desperately wanting to build some raised beds in my yard, but since I want *raised* beds, ie, up on stilts, cause the snails and slugs in my yard are FIERCE, I am a little worried about starting..don’t want them collapsing from shoddy work! :D

  5. clunymph Says:

    i’ve been curious about mel’s mix, too. alok & i are gonna try the advice from square foot gardening… if his parents let us into their backyard!

  6. Lindsay Says:

    The bed looks great, but it may not be so great to plant edibles so close to the road. Emissions from passing cars could contaminate the veggies. I’m a guerrilla gardener, and I usually reserve strips for non-edibles, and plant veggies further back from the road.

  7. Maitreya Says:

    I’ve never really understood the caution about planting edibles near the road (where near = the 3 foot setback mandated by my permit). Would emissions not contaminate vegetables planted 3 feet away on the other side of the sidewalk? Airborne things diffuse pretty fast. For example, in my 4th floor lab, I have to worry about ozone levels, and they fluctuate pretty much identically to levels measured outside. I plan to wash everything anyway, of course. If I’m wrong here and there’s some actual science on this, I’m happy to change my mind.

  8. Alison Says:

    Woah. How did you get the materials for that cheap? I’m also a Seattle-ite and I just spent WAY too much money on the materials for a raised bed.


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