Questions on Building Our First Raised Bed Garden

by Laura
(Lubbock, TX)

Hello Charlotte!

I have been researching online extensively lately and your site has been my favorite of all I have visited!

I have 'dabbled' a bit in the past growing things; okra, tomatoes, peppers, garlic, chives (will definitely grow these things in pots from now on!), herbs of various varieties...and mostly have grown all these things in just a simple area in an existing flower bed or containers...

So...this year will be my FIRST attempt at building raised beds with my husband and 18-year old son...and we are super excited!

We have physically emptied our existing flower beds in front and back; turned and tilled the soil and are adding organic compost and amendments (we live in zone 7).

We have dug a couple of smaller beds to grow different varieties of sunflowers, millet and a few stalks of grain for the birds who visit our yard.

Your site has been a HUGE help in my planning process (I LOVED the idea of growing 'taters' in the garbage can - will definitely be doing that - what fun will that be?? Oh...I just love that idea! And we love the 'taters' cooked any which way! :)

I cannot wait for my first installment of your newsletter and I want to thank you for all your time that you give to your site and trying to help us poor souls out here with our garden growing.

I noticed in one of the pictures that you made a raised bed using garden blocks - Did you put plastic on the sides to keep the soil from washing out? It definitely looked like a lovely raised bed with those blocks and I might like to build one of those on the side of our house. Would love to know the particulars in building that one!

Thank you! Thank you!


Dear Laura,

I am happy to hear that you are using my website to help plan your garden!

To answer your question about our raised bed garden:

No, we did not use a plastic liner inside the blocks. They fit together in such a way that no soil "leaks" out at all.

However, we covered the ground with a thick layer of old newspapers as a weed barrier.

We could have used landscape fabric instead, but the newspapers were free!

I have recently added a video showing how we built our raised bed garden to my website on the "Videos and Pictures" page. I hope you can watch it, as it shows step-by-step how we built it.

About my garbage can of potatoes:

Watch the "potato" video I just added to my website also on the "Videos and Pictures" page if you have time. We had a rather humiliating defeat with our potato project. But like most gardeners, I am even more resolved to make it work this next gardening season!

Let me know how yours turns out. I think I put too many seed potatoes in the can, and not enough soil in the bottom. So I am making those changes in my next attempt!


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