We have been working on a new and exciting project - we are using recycled boards for an elevated garden space!
We recently replaced the deck boards on our patio (take a peek at that post) and we discovered that the boards were cedar and were actually pretty solid still. The tops of the boards were quite weathered, causing the nails to pop up and people to get splinters in their feet as they walked on the boards. Overall, there were a lot of boards that were in pretty decent shape and were definitely strong enough to recycle and repurpose the boards for an elevated garden space.
To be clear, neither Cam or myself have a green thumb at all! But for some reason, we've always wanted a garden space to play around with and experiment a bit. At our last houses, we either didn't have the space for a garden or we weren't there long enough to get into gardening. At our current house, we had a long and narrow space along the side of our house that was under-utilized, but still got a lot of sun in the later part of the day. We decided to use this spot to build an elevated garden space using the recycled boards from the patio.
Here's a before photo of the space we used to put the garden:
We spent a couple hours cleaning this space up and prepping it for an elevated garden space on the little slope next to the house. We did some weeding and removed the tree shoots that were popping up everywhere.
We had the slope looking a lot better:
There were a bunch of walking step stones that were scattered about, but not being used so we started to set them down in a line so that we would have a nice walking path next to the garden space:
Next, we pulled down the gravel off of the slope and placed it around the walking stones. Having the gravel along the walkway would make the area look neater and cut down on the weeding that would have to be done to maintain that neater look. We used a rake to pull the gravel down the slope and around the stones:
At this point, we were finished with the prep work and set to get started on the structure for the elevated garden space. We started by mapping out where we wanted the garden to sit on the slope and how much space we wanted to have to navigate around it. Once we had the exact location of the garden figured out, we started to dig a hole for the first post. My husband didn't want to disturb the ground as much in this spot so we only dug down 8 inches before we put the post in the hole. We also cut the end of the posts so they were in the shape of a stake. We put the stake-end of the post into the hole and pounded it down a bit further. Once we had the stakes into the ground about 15", we slowly put the soil back evenly on each side of the post. We tapped down the soil gently, while ensuring that the post was level. We started with the two end posts and then we did two in the middle and two on the opposite end.
We were ready to put the recycled boards on the front of the garden.
The next step was to start drilling the recycled boards onto one end of the garden. We made sure the posts were level as we put the first board on. We put the first few side boards on until they started to hit the gravel and we had to account for the slope so we installed the side brace so we would have something to screw the lower end boards into. Once we were finished with the side, we worked our way around to the back and then completed the final end piece of the garden.
We added supports after the structure was built. We added two supports along the front and a brace in the middle of the garden. We used a combination of a reciprocating saw and a hand saw to cut off the tops of the posts. Lastly, we collected a ton of random rocks from around our yard and placed them in the bottom of the garden - this did two things:
1. Cleaned up our yard. haha.
2. It will provide easier drainage for water in the garden.
This garden was incredibly cost effective! We paid for three 4"x4"x9' pressure-treated posts and the screws. We also have to haul a bunch of soil to put in it that we're estimating will cost about $150. Here's the total cost:
Pressure-treated posts: 3 @ $13.60 = $40.80
Take a peek at this beautiful garden!