Building a Raised Bed

Reader Contribution by Nebraska Dave
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Winter is finally over but Spring didn’t really get much of chance to be Spring. Flowers bloomed; trees displayed their flowering excellence; and snow melted away but it stayed cold and dreary all through March and April. Then came the warm rain in April that melted about 18 inches of snow pack almost over night. Terrible flooding resulted and the effects are still being felt in Nebraska from the flood devastation. Fortunately I’m not one that got flooded. I’ll take the small amount of water in the basement compared to ten feet of water in the house. Some had flood insurance but most didn’t. Many houses were a total loss. One thing I’ve learned about life is that there will be disasters along the journey of life. It may not be floods but emotional and some time financial devastation happens.  I learned to just keep on trudging forward and eventually things will get better.

Recycling Pallets

There is granite countertop business near my house. Heavy duty pallets are required to transport granite countertops. These pallets are about 12 feet long and weigh over 100 pounds each. It’s a bit of a chore to get them loaded up but well worth the effort. I decided to make a raised bed and see how it holds up. My garden is totally about experimenting with new crazy ideas just to see if it will work. The company just sets them out by the road and lets anyone take them. If no one takes them I suspect they just end up in the landfill. Most things in my gardens are recycled material. I have netted about 150 concrete blocks from the flood zone that a friend has just given to me for helping him. There’s probably 50 more he said I could have. Those will be used to make permanent raised beds at Terra Nova Gardens.  

The back side of the pallets were covered with a double layer of weed barrier and set into a ten inch trench around the perimeter of the bed.  Support boards were used across the top to stabilize the bed. A heavy layer of garden waste was dumped in the bed and a 10 inch layer of dirt was shoveled on top of that. 

Potatoes were planted on top of the dirt layer and another healthy layer of garden cleanup waste covered the potatoes. Then the bed was filled up with dirt and covered with a four inch layer of fresh grass clippings. 

Half of the 28 foot bed was planted in potatoes. The other half had yellow onions planted just before the fresh layer of grass clippings was applied. The onions are now popping up but no sign of potatoes just yet but with the 80 degree weather over the next few days, I expect they will be showing signs of growth soon.

There it is in all it’s glory. How long will the untreated wood last before rotting out? I’m not sure. It’s heavy duty oak wood so probably at least a couple years maybe.

So on to the next thing and there’s always a next thing, isn’t there.

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