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Tutorial: Easy-Peasy Raised Beds

By fiwit
October 28, 2013

When I first moved into my house, I diligently dug flower beds by de-turfing the 20-year-old Zoysia grass and tilling up the red Georgia clay. Then one day I realized I could simply build raised beds, and it cut my bed-creation time in half. I can now build an 8ft by 16ft raised bed in about a day, and here's how I do it:

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Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Oct 27, 2013 6:12 PM CST
I remember when you were doing these beds. Great article!
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
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flaflwrgrl
Oct 27, 2013 6:18 PM CST
I agree And I like that you give all the options too such as regular vs a modified huglekulture & all the photos are wonderful! Thumbs up
Ya done GOOD!
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: virginiarose
Virginia
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virginiarose
Oct 27, 2013 6:21 PM CST
I agree Thumbs up Hurray! Great job!
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Mary
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fiwit
Oct 27, 2013 6:25 PM CST
Thanks, everyone! *Blush*

Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Oct 27, 2013 6:35 PM CST
Great job. Love the photos. You can bet I will be forwarding this to several friends. I may still end up helping them build the raised beds, but that's much easier than helping them dig!
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Oct 27, 2013 7:33 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Great tutorial! You've inspired me to get out and make some more beds. I like your modified hugelkultur approach.
Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
Gardening dilettante, that's me!
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fiwit
Oct 27, 2013 7:56 PM CST
dave said:Great tutorial! You've inspired me to get out and make some more beds. I like your modified hugelkultur approach.


Thanks! It's because I live in a subdivision...as long as I have a wood frame around it, they don't fuss about how long it takes me to fill in a bed. Hilarious!
Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
My yard marches to the beat of a bohemian drummer...
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
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blue23rose
Oct 28, 2013 4:48 AM CST
Very nice article, Mary. I really like your two-tiered bed.
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
Gardening dilettante, that's me!
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fiwit
Oct 28, 2013 5:16 AM CST
blue23rose said:Very nice article, Mary. I really like your two-tiered bed.


Thanks! You should see the other ones I built this year...I'm saving those for another article. Whistling
Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
My yard marches to the beat of a bohemian drummer...
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Oct 28, 2013 6:49 AM CST
Ooh, you just gave me an idea. Hurray!
I paid a neighbor to cut down a cypress tree and the trunk is lying on the ground. Instead of paying someone to cut up the tree trunk into manageable pieces I will build a raised bed around it - right there where it lies. Ta-da!
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
Gardening dilettante, that's me!
Plays in the sandbox Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Dog Lover Daylilies The WITWIT Badge
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bluebonnets Birds Region: Georgia Composter Garden Ideas: Master Level
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fiwit
Oct 28, 2013 6:52 AM CST
greene said:Ooh, you just gave me an idea. Hurray!
I paid a neighbor to cut down a cypress tree and the trunk is lying on the ground. Instead of paying someone to cut up the tree trunk into manageable pieces I will build a raised bed around it - right there where it lies. Ta-da!


Brilliant! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!

Ya know what else you could do.... drill some holes in the trunk and use it as a planter. Thumbs up
Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
My yard marches to the beat of a bohemian drummer...
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Oct 28, 2013 9:00 AM CST
Thanks, but nope, can't...it's not the stump; it's the entire trunk of the tree with the limbs and branches removed. I'm sticking with the raised bed idea.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Oct 28, 2013 9:39 AM CST
I'm not an authority on trees, but I believe cypress trees are pretty rot resistant. Meaning that if you bury the tree in a bed it will be a great way to 'dispose' of it. But it won't rot and make compost/soil for you any time soon.
Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
Gardening dilettante, that's me!
Plays in the sandbox Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Dog Lover Daylilies The WITWIT Badge
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fiwit
Oct 28, 2013 10:30 AM CST
greene said:Thanks, but nope, can't...it's not the stump; it's the entire trunk of the tree with the limbs and branches removed. I'm sticking with the raised bed idea.


I realize that -- you've got the tree lying on the ground, right? I was thinking of a long horizontal planter while you waited for it to decompose. It was just a thought. No pressure. Thumbs up
Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
My yard marches to the beat of a bohemian drummer...
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
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vic
Oct 28, 2013 10:54 AM CST
Fantastic article! Thank you! Thumbs up Thumbs up
Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
Gardening dilettante, that's me!
Plays in the sandbox Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Dog Lover Daylilies The WITWIT Badge
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bluebonnets Birds Region: Georgia Composter Garden Ideas: Master Level
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fiwit
Oct 28, 2013 11:00 AM CST
You're very welcome! I tip my hat to you. Glad you liked it!
Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
My yard marches to the beat of a bohemian drummer...
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Oct 28, 2013 11:49 AM CST
Just saying, but you could drill holes into the tree and pour Epsom Salt in there to speed up decomposition.

http://www.ehow.com/way_5720752_epsom-salt-formula-stump-rem...

Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Oct 28, 2013 7:18 PM CST
@virginiarose You are more than welcome to come to my house, bring your tools, and do the work if you want to help something decompose quickly. If you do come, I can pay you in lemonade and cookies.

I planned on going with the easier method of building a raised bed similar to what @fiwit showed us and I will completely ignore the tree trunk for the rest of my natural life.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Anna
North Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Texas Clematis Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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canadanna
Oct 28, 2013 7:22 PM CST
Like the pictures and step by step and especially the comment on taking time to fill them up. Well done!
Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
Gardening dilettante, that's me!
Plays in the sandbox Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Dog Lover Daylilies The WITWIT Badge
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bluebonnets Birds Region: Georgia Composter Garden Ideas: Master Level
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fiwit
Oct 28, 2013 7:26 PM CST
greene said:@virginiarose You are more than welcome to come to my house, bring your tools, and do the work if you want to help something decompose quickly. If you do come, I can pay you in lemonade and cookies.

I planned on going with the easier method of building a raised bed similar to what @fiwit showed us and I will completely ignore the tree trunk for the rest of my natural life.


Sounds like a plan! Thumbs up
Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
My yard marches to the beat of a bohemian drummer...

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