Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Now I suppose this post would have made more sense a few months ago when people were actually starting to plant their gardens, but we have been eating from our garden a lot lately and I wanted to share how we (When I say "we" and mean "Logan") made our gardens this spring.

This post might have made me a rock star of a wife, but let's just say the pressure might have been on after Logan gave a totally fantastic, redesigned garden space for Mother's Day.
We moved into our home about five years ago and at that time we built a little raised bed garden out of leftover lumber from the house. We planted six strawberry plants at the end and filled the rest of the space with a variety of different vegetables.  Since strawberry crowns are perennials (live year after year) and each year the strawberry plant sends out new roots from the crown, the strawberries kept spreading year after year until the entire bed was filled with strawberry plants. I was thrilled with the growth of the plants b/c they are seriously the best berries I have ever tasted, but that left us without a place to plant vegetables. When Logan asked what I wanted for Mother's Day, another garden bed for vegetables was at the top of my list.

We looked around at different options and decided to replace the outside of the old wooden bed with a cinder blocks and build a new one to match. It was cheaper, less time consuming, and we knew the cinder blocks weather better than the wood.  Overall we are super happy with the beds and love that we can plant herbs or marigolds (to keep insects and rabbits away) in the cinder block holes. Here are some specifics about the beds...

- We used cinder blocks from Home Depot that were on sale for 89¢ a block.
- Each bed is about 11x6 ft (68 sq ft) and took 22 blocks ($19.58).
- It takes about 2 cubic yards of dirt to fill each bed about 6 inches high with dirt.
- You can have top soil delivered to your home for about $90/cubic yard or use black dirt and compost and mix it 90% dirt and 10% compost.
- We planted butter crisp lettuce, brussels sprouts, a variety of different peppers, cucumbers, chives, rosemary, basil, snap peas, tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, and cucumbers.
- When buying your plants, keep in mind that you have to leave room between the plants - usually at least 12 inches.  We bought way more plants than our garden could handle and had to use large planters on the deck to contain the leftovers. 
- We planted our garden a week or so after Mother's Day and bought our starter plants from a little greenhouse down the road from our house.
- Early next spring I want to try growing my own starter plants from seeds.

Besides eating berries from our garden, we have frozen about 3 gallon ziplock bags full to store in the freezer for smoothies!

I could not agree more!
Right now we are using the berries for smoothies, making lettuce wraps (a post on those later this week) and salads with our butter crisp lettuce, using the basil for fresh bruschetta, pesto, and on top of homemade pizza, the chives in grilled potato packets on the grill and we are now just starting to get broccoli that I steam up for Ellis. 


  1. Hi, I saw this posted on Pinterest. Just wondering if you put any kind of barrier underneath the soil? I want to make my raised beds similar to yours, but I am worried one layer of cinder blocks won't be deep enough if I put in a weed barrier.
    Lovely garden btw.

    1. Hi Jenny - We just put layers of newspaper under the soil. My husband said you could put down metal mesh if you are worried about gophers. :)