Enclosed raised bed


Joined
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Location
Lansing, MI
Hardiness Zone
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Country
United States
When I started a garden last year I quickly learned that I had a lot of wildlife coming after my plants. The birds and squirrels aren't too destructive and would be near impossible to keep out anyway, but the woodchucks and rabbits cost me some plants early on and were easily blocked by short fences. The problem with those short fences is that they made it very difficult to reach into the bed, so when I went about expanding my garden I decided to do an enclosed raised bed area for the plants that are vulnerable to those pests. I did a fairly basic design with 2x12's laid on the ground with 4x4's as posts and 2x6's as headers to support the chicken wire fence and the metal mesh trellis of two sides (which is another a bonus of this style of enclosed bed: bonus trellis support all around). In a 14x14 space I was able to fit 46 linear feet of 3' wide raised bed with room to have containers sitting in the walkway and still get around. One thing that I would do different next time is to build taller beds, they would make it a lot more comfortable to work in. Even with the 2x4 ledges to sit on that I'll be adding, getting down there to work can be unenjoyable even for a reasonably young guy like me.

To prepare the ground I removed the grass with the roots and tilled up the top of the soil bit to blend it with the new soil to go in the raised beds. The enclosed raised bed itself needed about 5 yards of dirt to fill it, I ordered a total of 12 yards of dirt/sand/compost mix from a local landscape company for this and other beds. Anyway, I just wanted to show how much growing area you can squeeze into an enclosed space that looks relatively attractive in your landscape and could look downright fantastic with even a little extra effort and materials beyond what I did here.

Materials required were:
~5 yards of dirt/compost
14 x (2x12x8)
9 x (4x4x8)
8 x (2x6x8)
4 x (2x4x8 for door, plus 7 more for the interior ledge I'll eventually do)
53' of 6' chicken wire (could use welded wire fence also)
~80" of 3' chicken wire for door
Gate hardware kit for door
20+ 90 degree metal braces, I used two for every post which is probably overkill, along with some in a couple of corners I thought needed to be stronger)

The dirt was delivered before I started building any of my new beds:
PXL_20210406_224618949.jpg


The posts and one side of the trellis are up here:
PXL_20210420_235135626.jpg


The 2x6 headers and chicken wire are up (Yes, that header needs to be made strait. I was intentionally following the top of the chicken wire rather than going for level and that was the wrong choice, I'll fix it someday. Probably.):
PXL_20210428_002339902.jpg



...And the (mostly) finished product with its first seasons' plantings. (I'm still adding 2x4 ledges to sit on around the interior perimeter)
PXL_20210526_224201761.jpg

PXL_20210525_002059469.jpg
 

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Joined
May 27, 2021
Messages
20
Reaction score
10
Location
Lansing, MI
Hardiness Zone
5b/6a
Country
United States
Thanks to both of you. I'm very interested to see how it works out myself, there's some spots that get a little more shade than I'd like so it'll be interesting to watch.
 

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