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Ten DIY Steps for Building a Beautiful Vegetable Garden

May 13, 2011

Recently I posted about ways to make the most of your plot of land, along with the pic of our DIY vegetable garden. Here is the DIY info on how you can build something similar:

Materials: shovel, pick axe, rocks for the border, soil, (see note in directions), pebbles, stepping stones, some type of weed-barrier cloth.

Directions

Step 1: Plot out the area of how big you want your raised beds to be. We wanted three beds, all around the same size as a standard raised box bed. Make sure when mapping out the size and place for your garden, you give yourself a little room to move around it and have access to all your plants easily. Mark out the area with a spray paint, or rocks, like we did here.

mapping out your garden space

Step 2: Choose Your Rocks. The first thing you want to do is find the rocks you want to use for your project. We wanted a “free form” look for the garden, with rocks that were a bit rustic looking, and we wanted to stack the rocks three-high (a standard size for a raised bed). Maybe you want something a little more uniform. Get online and do a search to see what you like best, then find a supplier. Lucky for us, our neighbor and friend Brian Kuchinski, owner of Peaceful Ponds, helped us pick out some really great rocks – we even got to go to the yard and pick them out ourselves…decisions, decisions!!

While there, I even got to learn how to operate a Bobcat…

Now that I got that out of my system….😉

Step 3: Get the ground ready. Once you have your rocks at your space, it’s time to break ground. While a shovel works good for this type of job, a pick axe can be key here – it helps get the ground up a lot faster. The goal is to get the top layer of grass up and to make the area level, and you do not need to dig down far.

Step 4: Start to lay your rocks. Now you’re ready to get building. When stacking your rocks, remember that laying your base row is important, and you need to make sure it is level so that the rest of the rocks will lay properly as you stack.

Once you have a solid base you can start on your second row, and then your top row. As you go, keep taking a step back to pay attention to the part of the bed that faces out, that people will see. You want to make sure it is even and appealing to the eye. When laying your final layer, keep in mind that you want these rocks to be relatively flat and smooth, and also appealing to the eye. It may be a good idea before you get started to take inventory of which rocks would look best at the top of your wall, and set those aside.

Step 5: Lay your weed barrier. You can buy weed barrier cloth or felt from a garden center. Cut out an appropriate sized piece and lay it out in each of your beds.

Step 6: Add your soil. You want to make sure that your soil is nutrient-rich so you have healthy plants. If you already had a garden last year, use the soil from that bed and mix it in with new soil and fertilizer as well, such as cow manure. Since we went from one bed to three, we took the soil from our garden last year and divvied it up between the three new beds, adding new soil and fertilizer as we went. Turn the soil as you go to make sure it is all mixed in evenly.

Step 7: Add a few stepping stones. We added three stepping stones in the center of the garden to give some more visual appeal. (With any kind of decorating, adding things in groups of 3’s or 5’s usually gives a nicer effect than even numbers.) We purchased these at Lowe’s. Dig down about an inch before setting them down to secure them in place.

Step 8: Add your plants. Now that your beds are set and your soil is ready, it’s time to plant. We are growing lots of what we had last year, with a few new veggies as well.

Step 9: Add pebbles. We purchased a few bags of these pebbles from Lowe’s to define the space a bit more and give it a cleaner look.

Step 10: Add a few finishing touches. Give your space a few finishing touches with whatever you like: lanters, garden statues, etc.

Now, enjoy your space!🙂

5 Comments leave one →
  1. elena permalink
    May 23, 2011 2:45 pm

    love this design… I am looking to plot a pathwalk to my new porch using pea gravel pebbles and am wondering what you laid into your grass to keep the stones from traveling into your lawn (rubber track?)
    Any info is much appreciated,
    and many thanks,
    elena

    • May 23, 2011 2:55 pm

      Thank you! We actually did not lay anything down, instead we dug the path down about an inch so the rocks sit right in the path…the edge pretty much keeps them contained. So far so good…I never thought of the rubber track, although that sounds like it could work too! I hope that helps!

  2. May 23, 2011 4:25 pm

    here from Apartment Therapy! LOVE your planter beds! So much better than the standard square/wooden planter beds. I’ve been working on a front yard transformation of our own! Can’t wait to show the final reveal!!!

    • May 23, 2011 7:14 pm

      Thanks! Yeah, we liked the idea of something a little different than the traditional wooden beds…Heading over to check out yours!🙂

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