Monday, February 11, 2013

Building & Filling Raised Beds

Update 4/4/2013: This blog post was merged to "Daddykirbs Farm Blog". Please reset your bookmarks so you don't miss any super exciting updates to my garden and orchard!

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This garden area that I have is fantastic! There is a 32 foot square fenced in with a cute gate.... but it's empty. Last year I tried a couple of different methods. I used an old raised bed that was there and that worked fine, but it wasn't enough and wasn't laid out how I wanted it.

Chicken feed bags was the another method that I tried out. This seemed appropriate to me since I have lots of bags and it was more of a mobile solution. I figured I could move the bags around as needed since there was not a clear plan for the garden.

There were a few challenges with the bags. One, they didn't hold water like they needed too. It's hot in Texas and the bags dried out too fast. Another challenge in Texas is the bright damaging sun. Those bags broke down pretty fast. By the end of the season they were brittle and flaking all over the place.

Those methods worked ok... I got some produce out of them. But, it was not that good.

This year I'm investing in making the garden more usable and productive. There are raised beds for the family and the kids that want them... they have their own. There is also a greenhouse going in. It's small, but should be fine for seed propagation and over wintering the lemon tree.

Here is a snapshot of the raised beds:

New Raised Beds - Daddykirbs Garden Blog

Here is a video of the garden as it transitions from empty to useful.

It's worth noting that I did plan on lining the bottom of the entire garden with carpet. My thoughts on that were that the carpet would be a weed block barrier. In my original thought process it made sense. I figured that the beds would be full of good dirt so it didn't matter that they would be on carpet.  Well, after some exchange on the Google+ community, Hobby Farms: Growing Food & Families, that I moderate, I changed my mind. It was mentioned how dangerous it could be to have the chemicals breaking down and getting into my vegetables. This is called "leaching"... I'm not sure how much of it really happens and how BAD it really is, but I figured it's better to err on the side of caution. I really do appreciate the warnings and comments that were made.

Here is a YouTube playlist that show my videos of my garden before this makeover:

Daddykirbs' Gardening Playlist

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  1. I can't wait to visit your place some day, Blake. It looks like a lot of fun as well as a great place to rear a family.

    Dan Grubbs
    Hebron Acres

  2. Dan, I've thought the same about Hebron Acres. In fact, we are heading north this summer and I'm considering seeing if we can swing through your area.

  3. Beautiful garden in the making...since its nice and hot with lots of sun would pea gravel between the beds work? If that is too expensive a nice deep layer of wood chips should keep the weeds in the pathways from being a problem. Make it nice and deep!

    1. I'm considering crushed granite for the pathways. I can get lots of free mulch, but I'm afraid that would encourage the bottoms of my raised beds to degrade faster.

  4. Looks Great Blake, nothing like the order and efficiency of raised beds. I hope you love it as much as I do, I wouldn't change a thing about my garden!

    1. It's been fun planning it, building it, filling it... now I need to plant it! I do hope it turns out as well as it already has in my head :)


This blog has been merged into Daddykirbs Farm Blog. Please look this post up at to comment. I love your comments and interaction. Thanks!