Cleaning Up the Ol’ Raised Bed Garden

I’d been dreaming of starting my raised bed garden for years but so many other things just seemed to come first. Home repairs, a major overhaul of the backyard in preparation for puppies, adopting the puppies, realizing our house was too small for us and puppies, a major home addition and remodel. I could go on. Needless to say the timing was never right or we were perpetually in flux such that we couldn’t adequately plan even a half–step ahead of the other.

So, now – just a few months after finally committing to the garden – I’m wondering why I cheap-ed out! I purchased a great cedar raised bed garden kit on Amazon but I didn’t buy the critter guards to go with it to keep the dogs out. Gemma is nosy, a rude stepper and can dig a hole faster than you can blink. Not to mention I know she’d munch on the onion greens which would be so very bad for her. Clearly, I needed the critter guards. But no! The extra money apparently could not be spared.

Heaven forbid I should actually invest in a hobby I’ve been dreaming of for five years. Lawd!

What I did come up with was semi-effective and visually sub-par. I opted to use our old puppy gate. This created a shanty-town, junk yard effect. The gate is meant to connect back to itself in an octagon shape, connecting the two ends together is where it gets its strength. Instead I pulled it completely straight and somehow expected it to stand on its own. We eventually staked it to add a bit of support. Staking it just made it all the more complicated and cumbersome to move. Which then, understandably, made Brian reluctant to mow between the gate and the raised bed walls.

Showing my garden to friends and family was not the triumphant humble-brag I was hoping for. I had to convince them that we did, in fact, have a garden and that it was just beyond the dilapidated, warped fencing.

No, that’s not a batch of overgrown and perfectly organized weeds.

That’s the garden.

Yes, behind the puppy gate.

2017-05-06 14.13.22.jpg
The raised bed garden with the puppy gate, before I installed the critter guards. Yes, that’s my internet line lying across the grass. Don’t get me started on that eye-roll.

I ordered the critter guards with Amazon prime and got them just days later! Finally and a great big hallelujah!

I started by folding up the puppy gate and removing it. Phew, it felt so good to be done with that precarious old thing. It was then that I realized how overgrown the area had become. Brian wasn’t around at the time to mow it and since I can’t start the stupid mower, I just got the clippers out and cleaned up the brush and pulled the weeds between the containers.

Since I have my raised bed garden against our fence, I only needed two 4′ sections of garden fencing. They come packaged 4 per set, so I figured I could use the extra two segments to block off the potted plants from the pups. I had a bit of trouble when I got to the tomatoes. The netting was obviously a hassle but it was the tomato stakes that ended up being a bit of a problem. I put my stakes right next to the wall of the garden kit so I had to hammer my way through it. You can tell that the panel in front of the tomatoes leans out a bit but I think all-in-all it looks pretty sleek!

2017-05-06 15.49.09

I was worried that having two panels in the garden bed and two panels installed into the ground might look a little strange and stair-stepped. But, I was pretty pleased with the final product! I would even say that the critter guard panels that I installed directly into the ground would be a great way to fence off a traditional vegetable garden.

I opted not to hammer them all the way down because the ground was hard and I also thought this looked great! I’m going to sprinkle some marigold and thyme seeds between the potted plants to give a bit more visual appeal.

Here’s a final before and after:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s