A few weeks ago we decided to set up an edible garden space with above-ground raised beds in our backyard. Our vegetable plants started to outgrow the containers they were in. At first we were hesitant to move plants to raised beds on the ground on the far end of the yard because we had issue with rabbits eating our veggies in the past (and our dog Eggy was part of the buffet party, too). But after much reading, we decided to build beds that are higher than the normal height usually seen in the market (about 6”).
My father sketched out the initial design concept and we loved the diamond set-up he shared with us! The raised beds Ales ended up building are about 1.5ft high. These boxes are 4' by 4'. We currently have 3 boxes in this space. We used 2"x4" cedar boards for durability. Stained in pecan color and sealed. The arbor was DIY'ed with repurposed old iron trellises and some PVC pipes.
We mainly have fruit veggies here and also planted rabbit resistant herbs and plants. Mixing plants up help “confuse” pests and rabbits. So for example, rabbits don’t like basil, peppers so in these beds we have some tomatoes, a lot of peppers and basil. We recently added some green onion and pole beans. The plants have been growing great since we moved them here. We have not seen rabbits eating our plants. We do see them eating grass around the yard. :)
One thing we learned is not to limit growth, once plants outgrow the current space and still have a lot of potential to grow and produce, we have to figure out how to transition them to a bigger and better space. Otherwise they would be so limited in their space and will start getting stressed, wilting, and could eventually die without reaching their fullest potential.
I’ve also been learning plant families recently and learned that a lot of the most common fruit and root vegetables we eat daily are from the Solanaceae family. Tomato, peppers, eggplant, potato, for example, are from this one family. They produce food crops, so these plants need a lot of energy, most importantly sun and water (and some other extras). We also love that tomato and peppers are not rabbits' favorites.
Learning how to care for plants, temperature they like, amount of sunlight they need, how they like to be watered, etc… could be overwhelming with so many different plants. Understanding plant families could help. Plants in each family share many common traits especially around care and knowing the families and their traits help simplify the care process.
Enjoy pictures of the project below. Follow us on Instagram for our daily garden updates. Happy gardening!
The corner of the yard, original state when we got the house, overgrowing bushes that were not trimmed for probably years.
Trimming & cleaning up.
Ready for a kitchen garden!
Sketches from my dad!
Picking out wood.
Stain color matched Eggy's color. Check! :)