Saturday, July 21, 2018

Building raised beds

We have started some new projects down here at the farm. Among those are some new raised strawberry beds. Our current beds are made of rocks found on the farm. These beds work as a short-term solution that uses up extra rocks around the farm. However, after our recent strawberry success, we needed a more long-term solution.  This year we had a very nice crop of strawberries, despite the deer and rabbits all fighting us for a share. This allowed us to make a number of strawberry based goodies including strawberry preserves, syrup, cakes, pies, and muffins too.

This time we decided to use a raised bed design that Grand has used for a number of years. We made these beds using three 2x10x8 board and cut one in half to create two end pieces. When assembled the boards create an 8x4 raised bed. These beds can fit double the strawberries our other rock beds can. We built two of the above beds and are hoping to have as many as six beds when we are finally finished. We ordered our strawberry plants from Indiana Berry Company. We have always been very happy with their plants. Their plants always come in very good condition when they arrive and do great after planting. We used an assortment of potting soil, compost, sand, and peat moss to fill the beds. To prepare the area for the beds we burned off all the weeds with a propane burner. We are determined to get a handle on these weeds without using any evil pesticides. We also put down weed block over the entire space. We just rolled it out, covering under the beds and the paths between the beds and space around the edge. We are edging the whole strawberry world with the rocks the old beds were made out of. This will make a nice finished edge between the pasture and the raised bed section. Pictures of the building process and the finished beds are below.

Burning off the grass in preparation for laying weed block 

Weed block to go under the strawberry beds
Empty strawberry bed ready to be moved into position
L-Bracket holding together the corner of a strawberry bed
Soil used to fill the strawberry beds
A finished bed with strawberries ready to grow!