Jul 18, 2012

Tip #3: Design Your Garden Bed {Surviving The Stores Through Gardening}


Welcome back to Surviving the Stores Through Gardening!  It’s time to plan what sort of bed you’re going to have!  Did you know you have so many more options than just putting dirt in a box?   Some of the ideas I’ve seen recently, especially on Pinterest, are REALLY creative!

There really are endless possibilities when it comes to HOW you implement your garden. So be creative! And if you’re on Pinterest, then you can just click on any of the pictures below to pin them to your Gardening Board.

Here are some of my favorites that I’ve seen recently:

If you don’t have much space, here are some cute and creative ways to do a container garden (remember to click on the picture to repin it to your board):




If you have a little more room, a raised bed could be a great option for you.  They are beds that, naturally, are created above the natural ground.  This helps you easily design your own soil composition, if your natural ground is not conducive for growing.   The plants are arranged in geometric patterns and densely planted.   Since you don’t walk on the soil, it doesn’t get compacted and it’s easier for the plants to grow.  It offers a lot of possibilities for planting and makes efficient use of the space.  (We’ll talk more about efficiently using your space next week!)

Designs for raised beds range from the simple ($45 in materials):


to the more elegant:


Or you can even do a mix of container and beds:


If you like to upcycle, wooden pallets can make great frames for a garden, with zero construction involved!   You can often find pallets for free on Craigslist or another freecycle site.


No matter which kind of bed you choose, make sure you choose safe building materials. Treated wood will cause chemicals to leach into the healthy food you’re about to grow.

Penn State researchers have found that old wood treated with CCA (chromated copper arsenate) can leach dangerous levels of arsenic into the soil.    ACQ (alkaline copper quaternary ammonium) treated wood is safer then CCA treated wood and will last for decades in an outdoor environment.   Redwood, Cedar, Osage and White Oak withstand moisture and microbes better than other untreated woods.   (Source: Penn State)

Hydroponic and aquaponic growing systems are growing in popularity by leaps and bounds!  If you’d like to go an untraditional route with your garden, definitely look into these alternatives!  Hydroponics offers a soil-less growing system and aquaponics includes the addition of a freshwater fish like tilapia!   You can find instructions for building your own on sites like The Urban Aquaculture Manual.

Or you can get something called an Aerogarden. It’s more expensive than building your own (and holds less), but you don’t have to build anything. 🙂

Are your creative gardening juices flowing?   Share your ideas with us about what sort of bed you’d like to build!

Related posts:

Sarah graduated from Baylor with a major in bioinformatics and is now making that degree work hard by raising her two kiddos and keeping her husband relatively well fed. In her quieter moments, she can be found enjoying a homemade chai latte and reading on her Nook.  You can also find her over at Renaissance Mama, on Facebook, and on Twitter!
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