Raising a Vertical Garden

Last weekend Jake and I squeezed in a lovely round of golf and still had an afternoon left to get our vegetable garden constructed!  We mentioned here that we were thinking of putting in a vertical garden and I was really sure that that was the way we were going to go, so I measured and drew up some plans and elevation to try to lay it all out.

Raised Bed Plans

Our plan was to put a raised bed beneath the fence section and mount anywhere from 2 to 4 window boxes on the fence, leaving room for a trellis in-between for climbing veggies like zucchini and squash.  I’ll jump right to it with a spoiler, we bought the trellis…

Raised Beds

We were doing some debating about the sizes of the window boxes and whether we should build them or buy them, so first we decided to build the raised bed and get that in place.  Here’s my sketch and plan for ours which ended measuring 24″ deep x 86″ long x 15″ tall (which differs from below, we just did some math in the store).

Raised Bed Plans

Our materials were as follows:

  • 6- 1x6x8 cedar boards
  • 4- 1x4x8 cedar boards
  • 2- 2x2x8 cedar boards
  • 2- 1x3x8 cedar boards
  • Exterior nails/screws + brad nails
  • Pre-made trellis

We found the pre-made trellis in the garden section of Home Depot so picked that up for $15.  We joked that Jake made it really quickly though, since his handy skills are so good.  🙂 #noskillsthere So to get started I measured and cut my 6 2×2 support boards to a length of 21″ each.  We wanted our bed to stand 15″ high, so each side was made up of 2 1×6’s which are actually 5.5″ wide and a 1×4 between them which is 3.5″ (5.5*2 + 3.5 + 1/2″ trim board = 15″) and then added 6″ so we could set them into the ground and stabilize the box.

Raised Beds

Then I moved on to cutting out the front and back of the boxes at 86″ long.  To save some time I clamped multiple boards together to make less cuts and since I wasn’t cutting off much I needed some help supporting the boards at the other end.  Jake was busy, but I made do!

Raised Beds Raised Beds

Guess who was watching me build this garden box?

Racoon

Can’t seem to get ride of her just yet.  Anyhoo, like any bad blogger I’m missing photos of the next step, but I just laid out the 2×2’s and placed my top row 1×6 across and screwed it into the 2×2.  Then the 1×4, then the other 1×6.  The only trick was I pulled the 2×2 boards in by the thickness of the side boards, so they would rest flush when fully assembled.  Hopefully you get what I mean by these pictures.

Raised Beds

Raised Beds

The top trim was just resting there for measuring purposes – I didn’t nail that on until later.  Repeat with the back side and soon you have a front and a back of the box.  Jake jumped in to help at this point since 4 hands were definitely beginning to be more helpful and we started attaching the sides in the same order; 1×6, 1×4, 1×6, then flipped it all over and used gravity to hold the box together while we got the remaining screws in place.

Raised Beds Raised Beds Raised Beds

Woo hoo!  The bathtub, er, planter box is done and ready to be put in the ground!  So, time to dig some holes until the whole thing is flush with the ground.

Raised Beds Raised Beds Raised Beds

Seems like Jake does a lot of work around here, doesn’t it??  Yep… get that man a beer!  Once it was all flush we just used our nail gun to zip some brad nails into the finished edge trim we installed, dug out some holes for the trellis, and also secured that to the fence with 2 brad nails at the top.  In case our adventurous little friend comes to eat my goodies, she won’t break the whole thing.  Birdie supervised and gave her nod of approval.

Raised Beds

Y’all (when I garden I imagine I’m southern) this planter box is huge!  it’s over 7′ long by 2′ deep.  Yes, we jumped inside together and made a corny joke about growing our love, but seriously, it is BIG.  This is just a result of how long our fence section is, but given we are veggie garden novices we decided to just stop here and skip the window boxes on the fence this year.  So instead of the vertical garden idea, we have a raised garden, but I still love it!

Raised Beds

It’s so pretty (she says about the big wood box)! I’ll be back tomorrow to show you want we planted and admit how much dirt it took to fill this sucker up!

Any veggie growing tips to share with us?  Ever build your own raised beds or imagine your southern while sippin’ iced tea and chattin’ about tomatoes?

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