Building a Raised Garden Bed

Happy Spring Everyone!!! I hope 2017 is off to great start for you, it’s certainly been treating us well. I know I’ve got lots to catch you up on and I promise those posts are in the works but, with spring in full bloom it seems only fitting to start 2017 off with a fun and easy garden project!

This year we finally made some space for a vegetable garden. We were excited to get started, only we didn’t really know where to start. We knew we wanted a raised garden bed, since we have an abundance of critters who frequent our yard, and that it should be some type of quadrilateral shape, but thats where our knowledge on the subject ended. So I set out to learn as much as I could about raised garden beds in one evening.

With all our newfound knowledge we set off for Home Depot with our plans (which I discovered on Pinterest) to pick up all the supplies we didn’t already have on hand. We ended up having to make two trips with the CR-V to get everything, but thankfully we live pretty close!

We saved some money by using a couple 12′ long 2″ x 10″ boards we had already at home, and cut them into 4′ and 8′ sections. We also decided to add a thin layer of stones to the bottom of the garden bed for better drainage. (You’ll  find our full material list at the bottom of this post.)

After cutting the boards & posts to the correct lengths we set to work putting together the frame. Working on a flat surface, Peddy drilled pilot holes and then secured the boards to the anchor posts using 3″ wood screws.

Once all four sides were attached we moved the frame to the location we’d picked out for our garden and carefully placed it upside down.  We marked where we needed to dig the holes for the posts and moved the frame out of the way once again.

After the holes were dug (approximately 6″ deep) we set the frame in place and leveled it off. Then backfilled the holes so the frame wouldn’t move.

With the frame securely in place we anchored our PVC pipes (which, as you can see, I spray painted teal) to the side boards with 3/4″ plastic tubing straps and some 1/2″ #8 screws. We used two straps per PVC pipe to make sure they were secure, as they will eventually be holding the rebar in place.

My sister came over and we put her to work helping us line the bottom of the frame with hardware cloth. We cut the hardware cloth into sheets, long enough to go up each side about 2″ and secured them in place with a staple gun.

We overlapped the sheets by a few inches and used a small sections of wire (that came wrapped around our chicken wire) to “tie” the pieces together. This was especially helpfully when I nearly missed the overlap altogether (as you’ll see below). We attached end pieces last, as they required a little bending and maneuvering around the posts, but with some team work we got it done!

Since we had them on hand, we used a few fence staples along the way to make sure the hardware cloth was extra secure around the posts, PVC pipes and wherever the sheets overlapped.

Now that the basic structure was built it was time to start filling it up! First, was the layer of river pebbles. (We purchased 5 bags of pebbles, but I would recommend 6 for a little better coverage.) I decided to use my hands to spread the pebbles out because I didn’t want to damage our freshly laid hardware cloth with a shovel or other metal tool (I know it sounds silly, but I just had a feeling.)

Once our river pebbles were evenly spread out we mixed up a 1:1 ratio of soil and compost in our wheelbarrow and spread it out in an even layer. Since we could only fit about four bags in at a time, we decided to mix up the remaining bags in the bed itself to save some time and ultimately our backs.

And here it is… our nearly finished raised vegetable garden! We were unable to find the correct size rebar at Home Depot, so we’ll be making a trip to Menards in the near future and will get back to you with an updated post on adding the finishing touches.

I’m so excited and can’t wait to start planting!!!!


What We Used:
(4) 16″ long 4″ x 4″ posts
(2) 4′ long 2″ x 10″ boards
(2) 8′ long 2″ x 10″ boards
(6) 12″ long 1/2″ PVC pipe
(1)  1/2″ 2′ x 25′ 19-gauge roll of steel hardware cloth
(24) 3″ #12 wood screws
(24) 1/2″ #8 wood screws
(12) 3/4″ tubing straps
(6) bags of River Pebbles
(16) bags of Miracle-Gro Garden Soil
(12) bags of Miracle-Gro Nature’s Care Compost
(3) 10′ long pieces of 3/8″-gauge rebar
(1) 7′ x 20′ protective mesh covering
Fence Staples

Power Drill & Drill Bits
Tape measurer
Staple Gun
Wire Cutters
Work Gloves

During my research I came across three pieces of information that I have deemed as the top three tips to keep in mind when building your garden bed.
#1- It doesn’t matter how long your bed is, as long as it’s no wider than 4 feet. This will allow you to reach across from either side to water, weed or harvest.
#2- You should choose a location that receives at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day.
#3- Positioning your bed in a North to South orientation will allow for even sun exposure to all your crops.

Kick off to the 2016 Holidays

*While I realize the day has long since past, I figure it’s never a bad time to express what one is thankful for.

Thanksgiving 2016

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving! We certainly did! We were lucky to be celebrating locally, with family from near and far (on my side). It’s always fun catching up with family and eating delicious, home cooked food (and desserts)! This year I was responsible for only one dish… the creamed corn.

I’d made it last year and it had gone over well, so I offered to make it again. This year, I decided to double the recipe and had planned for an additional hour of cooking. Unfortunately, I miscalculated and we ended up having to leave 20 minutes earlier than planned. Thankfully we had a couple latecomers (ahem, Dad!) so I was able to get in a little extra cooking time along with a couple other side dishes that were finishing up.
I knew we had a winner when they asked to keep the leftover! 😉

Thanksgiving 2016 corn

I’ve always enjoyed Thanksgiving and as I’ve gotten older I’ve really come to appreciate the sentiment behind it. For me, it always seems to be a time that I reflect back on years past and reminisce on childhood traditions. Growing up, I loved the holidays. Always such a happy and exciting time. My family would ALL get together in celebration. We’d pile around the dining table waiting for Grandma’s famous pies or walk to the nearby hill to go sledding. It’s been years since I’ve done any of these things but for whatever reason, around this time of year, it seems like I was just out there yesterday.

This year, I have countless things to be thankful for. At the top of the list is, of course, my family and friends. Especially my amazing backbone, my other half, my knight in shining armor… Ped! I don’t know where I would be without him. He is simply the best! Continuing to provide me with more than he should or than I deserve. I can’t imagine life without him and am so thankful for all that we have together. I’m thankful that he puts up with my crazy, high maintenance ways and loves me despite them.

I’m also excited that, at least in our household, this is the kickoff to the holidays! A time where we slow down and appreciate the little things in life; like hot chocolate, fireplaces and colorful, twinkly lights. When we all take a little time out of our busy schedules to see those we love the most and decide to tell those we can’t see how much they mean the old fashion way, a hand written, snail mailed Christmas card. It really is a wonderful time of year if you let yourself enjoy it!

Easily Clean Pet Bowls & Toys

In a perfect world I would wash my pets food bowls after every meal, but who has time for that? Honestly, I struggle to keep up with my own dishes. With that being said it was definitely time to give Lina’s bowl a good cleaning.

Pet Bowl Before (Main)In the past, I’ve spent countless hours trying to scrub this bowl clean, but since then I’ve discovered a much easier way.

A quick google search led me to articles recommending bleach-water soaks and baking soda, salt scrubs. Personally, I didn’t like the idea of soaking my pets food bowl in bleach and I was trying to avoid as much scrubbing as possible. (Been there, done that!)

The solution? A White Vinegar, Warm Water soak. (Seriously, it’s works magic!)

Pet Bowl Soak

Mix approximately one (1) gallon of water and four (4) cups vinegar in a medium sized container. Small items (that can be completely submersed) should be soaked for 30-45 minutes. Larger items may need to be rotated in the solution in order to cover all surfaces. In this case, soak items for about 15-20 minutes before rotating.
Once the entire item has been soaked, hand wash with warm water and dish soap (I like Dawn ultra).

Pet Bowl Wash

Ta-Da! Good as New!

Pet Bowl After

It works great on toys too! Check out this before and after of the puzzle toy pictured above.

Pet Puzzle BeforePet Puzzle After


Have another pet safe cleaning recommendation?
Did you try this simple cleaning recipe? Let us know what you think.
Leave a comment below!