Tuesday, April 29, 2014

{Organic} Raised Bed Garden, Part One

Well the calendar says Spring in Minnesota, but our weather sure is telling a different story. This past weekend hubby started building the new raised bed garden planter for me. I am trying to make an all organic, non-GMO, heirloom garden bed. Now before the comments come, I am still learning, and researching my best to do this garden the correct way. I will make mistakes, and hopefully learn from them, but please be patient with me. And remember, this is what I am doing in my garden. What is right for me in my climate, may not be right for you!

So, Friday night rolled around and hubby and I went to the Home Depot with a drawing in our heads of what we wanted to build on Saturday. He is finally coming to the dark side and wanting to do things as organic as possible too. Buying non treated wood however came to be the challenge of the night.

First off, finding non-pressure treated wood is next to impossible, and cedar, however beautiful and non-treated, is expensive! We looked at every single pile of wood in that store. We found cedar fencing that we thought would work cheaper than plain cedar wood. But then noticed the PT on the sign and the fencing was out.  All the other wood was pressure treated also. A worker there told us that "This type of pressure treatment is OK for veggie gardens as there is no harmful chemicals in the process." However, I do not want ANY chemicals leaching into the soil. So rather than stand and argue, we said thank you and moved on to plan B.

We ended up doing research on my phone to see how to use untreated pine. It was cheaper than cedar, and I read that if you coat it in boiled linseed oil, it will protect it from the elements. At 25% of the cost of cedar, it was worth a try. Untreated pine coated in linseed oil it was. Now for the design.

We kept changing our minds as to the dimensions of the garden. Now that we knew what building material we were going to use, we had the sized of the boards, we had to rework the design. So grabbing an envelope out of my purse, we sat and started drawing. We sat on the picnic table in the middle of the store for almost an hour talking and drawing. The workers were having a good time with us, asking when the BBQ was starting. The deck that we were putting it behind is 20 feet across, and I knew I wanted it at least 6 feet deep. After three drawings, we had a new design and started purchasing the wood.

Here are the pictures of the finished product. We ended up with two boxes, 8 feet across the front and back and 2 three feet boxes stepped on top of each other. I wanted to be able to trellis the top, so the 4X4's were left long to string wire between them. The oldest boy dug twelve post holes for me, bless his soul. He worked so hard, even when his friend was over. Hubby and his brother built them for me, and set them into the ground. I "painted" the boiled linseed oil on every surface of the wood before they put it into the holes. The second garden made it to its home minutes before the skies opened up. We have received over 5 inches of rain in the past two days, and it is scheduled to rain for the next three days straight. Guess we will see how water proof the linseed oil will make the wood.

Coming next:
Step two: Lining the inside of the boxes with plastic and filling with compost and other goodies.

I am sharing this post with all of these lovely bloggers.

To read Part 2, CLICK HERE!
To read Part 3, CLICK HERE!


  1. OH this is going to be fabulous - thanks so much for sharing -
    I think we have the same weather as you guys ( I'm in Montreal ) one day it's Spring - the next, not so much !
    Visiting from Not Just a Housewife

  2. Wow! Looks like a lot of work, but it's looking good!

  3. Awesome! Thanks for showing how. Linda