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  • Kevin O'Rourke

Garden Tour and Building Raised Beds | DIY Cheap Garden Beds | Bear Bottom Acres

Join us for our first garden tour of the season. Also, Kevin gives tips on how to build beautiful, and rabbit proof garden beds for cheap.

My gosh it is so nice to finally get out in the sun this year. This is my probably my most anticipated Spring so it seems like it has taken forever. Mother's day is coming up so now it has become a three year tradition for me to build Heather a raised garden bed. This year I made two and I think it will be the last year that we will build them at our home in Hastings.

The design is really simple. Right above is the installation instructions from Menards. The first two I made were exactly like what the plans called for. In addition I used 1" X 2" boards and chicken wire to make a cage around that rabbits couldn't get into. It works great but if I were doing it over again I would make some improvements. When Heather grows something tall it usually grows into the sides and pulls on them and weighs them down. I would make that a little stronger and sturdier. Out of 4 sides two of them are removable so Heather is unencumbered when she is working in them but they are a little too wide for her to easily reach across.

The ones I made in year 2 and 3 are the most efficient in that there is very little waste of the boards and I can buy four less so that saves about 10 bucks. The wood is only $30. What costs almost the same amount is the 6" screws that hold everything together and I recommend using an extra 4 compared to the installation instructions when you are putting the first 2 layers together.

You may think that you can move them around once you have built them but usually the wood is water logged after sitting in the lumber yard so they are surprisingly heavy. Also you are screwing in relatively close to the ends so it is best not to torque it too much. Build it close to where you are going to have it.

Heather had me go buy top soil and organic manure, 40 lbs. bags and a 1 to 1 mixture. I recommend buying a bag of top soil first and checking it out first before buying 30 or 40 of them. Last year we were very happy with the value but it was a different company this year and it had a lot more larger wood chunks and some garbage mixed in like little scraps of metal. It is probably made with the yard wast that is collected in neighborhoods and of course someone is sticking something they shouldn't into the yard waste bin.


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