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Raised Garden Beds are an Easy Solution for Recession Gardeners

Filed in Green Living 4 comments

this-old-house-raised-vegetable-gardenNow that recession gardening has become the newest craze, home improvement stores can barely keep enough seeds on their shelves.

Problem is, most people — I would bet — don’t know the first thing about managing a garden.  Much less, how to start one beyond buying the seeds and few bags of potting soil at your local Home Depot.

Having grown up on a farm, I can say the best advice I could ever give anyone who wants to start a garden is to start small.

And by starting small, I mean a small container garden (like mine) or small raised vegetable garden.

Reason being, if you go overboard and start a garden beyond your ability to manage it, you’ll waste quite a bit of money and a lot of time.  Worse yet, your failure (however bad it may be) will likely leave a bitter taste in your mouth towards gardening and never try it again.  By starting small, you’re also lowering the risk that you will make a fool of yourself by digging up half of your backyard.

Nothing says you can’t quadruple your size of your garden the following year if you find you have a natural green thumb.  If you do it right, the National Gardening Association says you can expect an average savings of $500 for your efforts.

Building a Raised Bed Vegetable Garden

I’ve probably built half a dozen raised bed gardens in my day, and it’s really quite simple.

Three 2 x 10s, one 2 x 4, and a few wood screws is really all you need.  Lots of home improvement shows will go all out telling you to use 12″ rebar to hammer into the ground or interlace a series of 4×4 posts together for maximum strength, but I find going the simple route is really all you need.

This step by step protocol from This Old House is perfect for the average weekend warrior and comes with a few diagrams to help you along.

If you’re the type who needs a few instructional videos to boost your confidence level, here is a great video from HGTV (note this video goes a little off topic by showing soil preparation and mulching). I’ve also included a second video below.

Planting : How To Build A Raised Planter Bed

So what about you?  Have you started a raised bed garden in the past?  Are you going to start your first garden by going along with this popular trend?  Even President Obama and the First Family are starting a vegetable garden on the South Lawn.  So why can’t you?

Photo by This Old House

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Posted by CJ   @   2 April 2009 4 comments
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Sep 25, 2009
6:47 am

This is definitely one positive thing that has come out of the global recession. Hopefully it will continue even after things get back to normal, because when you grow your own veg, it tastes better, you eat more of it, and you stay more healthy.

Great post by the way.

Sep 25, 2009
8:48 am
#2 Matt SF :

Thanks RVG! It’s funny that you mention “tasting different”… I held a (completely unscientific) taste test of home garden raised vs. store bought tomatoes a few days ago. Garden raised won hands down.

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