The raised beds we made when we first started a garden in 2009 are falling apart and it is time for a garden makeover.
When we moved into this home over 12 years ago, one of the first things I did was start a garden. We finally had room and I’d always wanted a garden. I read “Square Foot Gardening” by Mel Bartholomew and went to Home Depot to have them cut the wood for 4’x4′ (1.2m x 1.2m) beds. I used the least expensive untreated pine. My son and I put the beds together and my gardening journey began.
Fast forward 12 years. The garden beds produced pounds and pounds of food and have served me well, but are falling apart. It is time for a garden makeover in this area of my garden.
Garden Makeover: Before, During & After
1. Garden Makeover (Before): Reevaluate space
I’ve learned a few things since I first added these beds. Now that I have the chance to start over, I will do a few things differently. It’s like remodeling a house you already lived in. I knew what I liked about the space and what needed to change.
Things I considered before making a plan for this garden makeover:
This area doesn’t get a lot of sunlight and the gardens aren’t as productive as the other areas of the yard. However, the partial shade is an advantage for some plants in the warmer months.
We need a wider walkway on one of the sides. Having the beds right in the middle didn’t give us quite enough room.
I’d like to maximize the open area at the end of the garden to add a garden shed.
My early beds were only 6 inches (15 cm) tall; this wasn’t deep enough.
2. Garden Makeover (Before): Make a plan and obtain supplies
The plan for the garden makeover included doing the following:
Move the beds closer to the house to maximize the sunlight and create a wider path in the garden.
- The plan is for the new beds to be 2 feet (61 cm) away from the house and 2 feet (61 cm) apart.
- This allows for just over 3 feet (91 cm) on the opposite side for a wider pathway.
Decrease the beds by one, and move them closer to the front of the garden to maximize the space at the back of the garden to eventually add a shed.
3. Garden Makeover (During): Carry out plan
Demo day was a lot less dramatic than I had imagined. The beds literally fell apart with just a little help from me.
Once the old beds were removed and I took out the Garden Grids, it was time for the makeover to begin.
We transferred plants to a holding area until they could be replanted.
We pushed back the bark and put the first bed in place, transferring the soil from the old location into the new bed once it was in place and leveled.
We put the beds in place one by one, leveling and measuring each time.
One bed had a surprising amount of roots from the neighbor’s lemon tree. (No guilt about using those lemons that hang over the fence now!) We dug down and removed the roots.
Because of the water pressure issue, we had to run a direct line to each bed. We ended up adding an additional valve to the sprinkler box and now I can turn on the Garden Grids and program them from my phone.
I also added this Connector Kit for DIY Single Tomato Trellis from Gardener’s Supply to one of the beds.
I had copper tubing cut to fit the size I wanted. I then used the connecter kit to put the trellis together.
The tomatoes in the beds will grow vertically up the string trellis.
4. Garden Makeover (After): Evaluate
This garden makeover was a much anticipated and enjoyed project. I’m really happy with how everything turned out. Throughout this process I learned the following things:
One of the garden beds had a surprising amount of roots. I will be more careful planting trees near beds in the future.