Hi all! Happy weekend!
We’ve had a big run of warm spring weather the past few weeks so like the last post, we’ve been able to get outside and do lots of projects. But we got a huge snowstorm overnight and into this day, so it’s a good time to sit in my comfy recliner and catch you all up!
The latest big project was building a raised garden bed out of free pallets I collected from work! We already built a nice 8’x4′ raised bed out of cedar, but talk about an investment…
Let me lay out the materials, tools and methods I used to make this raised bed for you.
Materials & Tools
- (3) heat-treated pallets*
- (6) 8′ long boards
- 2 boxes 1 1/2″ galvanized screws
- 1 box 2″ galvanized screws
- Circular saw
- Electric drill
- Measuring tape
- Straight edge
- Safety goggles
- (12) bags soil/compost/manure
- Cardboard (no tape!)
*be sure as you’re collecting your pallets that they’re heat-treated (HT), not chemically treated. You’ll see they have a big HT stamped on them. If you don’t see that stamped the pallet, I’d pass it up. You don’t want icky chemicals leeching into your garden!
I started out by taking my handy-dandy circular saw and buzzing off the useable parts on the pallets. If you have a saw blade that cuts through metal then you could cut right through the nails holding them in place and get even more usable wood out of them.
I then measured and cut each piece to 10.5″ long. You can decide how long you want them, just keep in mind that’s how tall your bed will be. I cut mine that length because that’s how tall other raised bed is.
Each 8′ side of the raised bed fits approximately 24 pieces of pre-measured and cut pallet boards.
The next part was the toughest, but really, not that tough in the grand scheme of things! Nick and I selected the cut pieces we wanted for the first side and got to work carefully lining them up to be level with the top of one the 8′ boards. Once they’re level, start screwing or nailing them on! Then align another 8′ board along the bottom and do the same. Then you’ve got one side done!
Repeat for the other side, then cut the remaining 2 boards in half to do the 4′ sides.
Now all you have to do attach the sides together. Align each side and I suggest pre-drilling. Ask me why.
Woohoo! We carried that beautiful beast out to the yard next to the first raised bed. I think I might like the look of this shabby little bed better…!
Now’s the fun part – filling the bed! We got bags of local soil and cow manure from Lowe’s but incorporated a bit of other organic material in the bed well.
I started by lining the bottom the bed area with clean cardboard. This acts as a block for any grass or weeds that might try to grow through your bed. Plus it’ll break down naturally!
Next, we collected leaves from our yard to layer over the cardboard. Not only is this organic material awesome for the bed, but cuts down on the amount soil we have to add! Win-win!
My mom says it looks like a designer bed with the different colors coming through. 😉 I know that this bed will likely not last as long as the sturdy cedar one we built, but was a heck of a lot cheaper!!
We are going to grow cucumbers and squash in this bed. In the previous bed we planted broccoli, lettuce, carrots and cauliflower.
Next project is to build PVC mesh frames to go over the beds to protect the plants from those pesky squirrels. 😛 Stay tuned for that!
Do you guys have any garden projects in the works? I’d love to see them!
Until next time!
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