On the first sunny, spring-like Saturday of the year, 37 people gathered at the Homestead 1839 in West Burlington to learn about building raised beds.
The workshop began inside the historic barn at the Homestead where participants learned about various styles of raised beds, what types of materials to use to build and fill your beds, and why raised beds can make gardening easier. Then the group moved outside where Tom Jones, husband of local Master Gardener Linda Jones, demonstrated how to put together a raised bed box. After the demonstration, participants were invited to grab a screwdriver and participate in the build!
There were multiple stations where groups worked on building the side walls, attaching the walls together, squaring up the boxes, and filling them with a soil mixture. A delicious lunch was provided by Master Gardeners as a thank you to all of the workshop participants who came out to learn and help with the build. After lunch, the group got back to work building and filling beds. By the end of the day we had built 8 raised beds. Seven of the beds were built 18" tall (3 2x6s stacked on top of each other) and made of pressure treated lumber. Another bed was built of cedar, but was only 12" tall (2 2x6s stacked). We chose to make the shorter beds of cedar because the lumber was more expensive.
These raised beds will provide easier access for volunteers who come and work in the donation garden, reducing the distance that one would have to bend over to plant, harvest or pull weeds. The beds were also designed with a 2x4 on top, so that gardeners can sit on the edge of the bed while working.
If you'd like to know more about how we built these beds, please see the document link below: