As many of my 3 read­ers will know, we’ve had a veg­etable gar­den on the south side of our house for a lit­tle over a year now. We got quite a bit out of it the last two years but I wasn’t com­pletely happy with the pro­duc­tion. Lots of things did well but things like pep­pers and cucum­bers did not. I had the feel­ing that it was due to the soil. When we first built it, I used Gum­bo­Buster from Soil Build­ing Sys­tems. I had used it before for sev­eral flower beds with pretty good success.

How­ever, grow­ing Texas native flow­ers in some­thing like that and grow­ing veg­eta­bles are two com­pletely dif­fer­ent endeav­ors. For the flow­ers and trees, any improve­ment to the soil is a major step because our soil here in the Metro­plex is so ter­ri­ble. Veg­gies on the other hand require a bit more care put into the soil. Also, we had major rab­bit issues this year with an in-ground bed and when I put up a rab­bit fence, it kept me from weed­ing around the bed. The result was a bermuda jun­gle that caused me great grief in the fall.

So with that in mind, I under­took a rebuild­ing project of the veg­gie gar­den to make it into a raised bed or two that would have less square footage but bet­ter soil. This time around, I used the actual veg­etable soil from SBS and right off, you can tell it’s a bet­ter soil. As usual, the project took 3 weeks instead of 1 but such is life I sup­pose. I only got col­lards and gar­lic planted before I ran out of plantable days but I’m excited with the results and hope­fully, the spring gar­den will be con­sid­er­ably more lush.

Here’s the before pic­ture with some of the ingre­di­ents (the four bales, 2 of alfalfa and 2 of hay) in the back­ground. For the bed on the far end, I used a no-dig method doc­u­mented here

Two cubic yards of dirt. About 20 wheel­bar­rows full. A lot.

The bor­ders. I used 2x12s, 10 feet long to build a 20 foot bed, 5 feet across. I also built a 5x5 bed of the same depth.

The three quar­ter fin­ished point. I for­got to take pic­tures of the beds before they got filled but I sunk 18 inch pieces of 4x4 6 inches into the ground. I attached the 2x12s to the top foot of these with heavy duty exte­rior screws.

The 5x5 bed with the gar­lic and collards.

And the final result that Scooter appar­ently approves of in the background.

Assum­ing this turns out to be a rous­ing suc­cess, I’m think­ing about adding another 10x3 foot bed on the fence side of this one, prob­a­bly ter­raced with stones.