Patchers may know we like to get our hands dirty in more ways than one around these parts. We've had it in our heads to experiment with some raised-bed gardening for some time and recently came across a kit we sent away for to see if we could help make that happen.
Patch Disclosure Moment: Full price was paid for this system and no favoritism has been shown to or asked for by its manufacturer.
It's a little pricey at $2,000 but we've been hoping to find something a little different than what's normally available out there and Gardens to Gro down in San Diego seemed to have the closest approximation to our mental picture of what we wanted.
Our goal was to increase our growing space, create an optimal space for deep-root vegetables, and to get the beds and vegetables up to our level to keep from bending down to theirs quite so much.
The kit arrived in good order. It is big and long and may provide a shipping challenge to the delivery company so good communication is essential lest you waste time getting it off the truck. It's all pre-cut and pre-drilled and no one piece is too heavy for one person to move so getting it to the work site presented no problem.
Our kit is in cedar. We'd ordered redwood but they'd run out. We opted for cedar in its place. Site preparation is key -- we spent some time weeding, grading and leveling the portion of the garden we're going to devote to the beds and it paid off as we found we were perfectly level when assembly was complete.
Gardener Joe Quierolo (pictured) gave us a hand early on and although two people are recommended for assembly we did the lion's share ourselves. The workout comes when filling the beds, which we accomplished with on-site compost and clean topsoil plus some soil ammendments and about 20 bags of store-bought potting soil.
Although the site comes with a nifty, dedicated watering system we had a rainwater system in place and water available so we opted not to get the company's offering. We did, however, ask for "gopher proof" wire mesh to line the bottom of the beds. This was essential to ward off the gophers we have around our parts -- all of whom seem to carry degrees from the Colorado School of Mines. Dang, those critters can dig. And eat. So in went the heavy wire mesh.
One thing, the mesh that comes with the beds is raw cut and sharp so be careful and wear heavy gloves. It can be pressed into place with a little maneuvering but does tend to hang up on the smallest thing. Be patient.
We opted for a 6'x12' foot bed with built-in lattice and dog/deer defensive fencing. The kit comes with a nice little garden gate. You can have it come pre-stained but we opted to do that bit ourselves.
Build Time: Three hours (with one person)
Project Assessment: Easy to build and fun. Filling the beds can take some time. We expect to plant the beds soon and will let you know how things turn out.