Raised bed gardening

As we have had some really warm weather I was able to create an incredible mess in my garden. One of the goals for my garden this year was to re-do my raised beds. When I build the beds before I used 2×12’s. That was over 10 years ago and they were pretty well used up. So I put an ad on Craigslist for used block. I was able to scavenge 100 used blocks or so to build a few of the raised beds. In my area the local concrete company wants anywhere from 1.65 to 2.05 for concrete block. Crazy high prices. Each bed at 4 foot x 8 foot outside would then take 16 blocks per course and I wanted two courses or 16″ high for most areas and one bed at 3 courses high to use as a hot bed. So at two bucks a block that would be $64 for the beds with 2 courses and $96 for the two beds with three courses. Wowza, thatsallota dollars for a few raised beds. So used block where I could find it and blocks on sale for the rest.

First I dug up all of the old 2×12 beds. Most were trashed, but I saved the ones I thought I might be able to re-use. The remaining will be cut up into two foot chunks and relegated to the wood-burning furnace in the great room.

Then I went through the garden with the skidsteer and re-leveled everything. I would have been at least a month long job by hand so I was going to rent one until I found a friend that let me borrow his. We also used the trailer we carried the skidsteer on to grab the free blocks.

Hers are some pics of the garden with a big pile of dirt covered with snow.

The following day the snow was gone and I was able to finish two of the raised beds. The weather has now turned bitter cold so I will be relegated to working inside again. Here are a pic of the two beds complete.

so, two out of eight completed. Once the other 6 are done I can re-level that are where the dirt is so I can put the chicken coop in. I will work as weather permits. If the ground is not frozen I am okay with working when it is in the 30’s or 40’s but would rather work on the inside aquaponics project if it is much colder than that.