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Building the first raised bed


I have been saving wine bottles for a few years, with some help from mom, knowing I wanted to use them in the garden somewhere but unsure in what manner – I didn’t like the way they looked in the three or four random places I tried here and there. We had tossed around an idea of using them to make a basement window, and an even briefer idea of making a patio under the sumacs, which I thought would look sweet, but would also probably be really slippery when wet.  As the pile grew, storage became limited in the basement, as did our patience with the bottles sometimes falling and rolling around under foot everywhere, and right when I had our big new recycling tote halfway full to bring them to the curb, a moment of inspiration struck: I would use them to make one long side of a raised bed.

I decided to put them next to one side of the big vegetable bed instead of the yard, and made the remaining three sides of the bed using fifty pound rectangular pieces of stone we collected from a warehouse one of our friends once owned. The end result runs a little crooked, but will suit my purposes just fine, so my next step was lining the bottom with several layers of cardboard, which being wood pulp will effectively smother grass and weeds underneath while breaking down quickly. Once the cardboard was down, I poured a thick layer of mulch from the catalpa tree we had to have removed on top. Nearly two years old, it was filled with a ton of fat earthworms, which is a super exciting find and addition to the bed.

Next came a thick layer of topsoil, followed by a thick layer of compost.

Despite being April, we had a week of no rain when I finished, so I waited to plant my onion seeds, which will fill half of the new raised bed. We’ve had plenty of rain today, but we also have a winter storm watch in effect starting tomorrow through Monday night, so it didn’t make sense for me to plant them this afternoon. Instead, I’m collecting rain water, and the onion seeds wait patiently to move into their new home.


From → onions

  1. JDub permalink

    Your raised bed looks/sounds like a fertile haven for yummy plants. I can’t wait to see what happens next. 🙂


  2. Thanks! I just actually got the onion seeds sowed in the finished part this morning – by the end of the week I hope to have another part filled with more soil and carrot seeds 😀


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