I built my raised bed last week! It didn't take too long. I laid out lengths of weed barrier over the space where the bed was going, with a half foot of extra space on each side. I removed all the grass beneath the bed and around it. Some I had removed last year when I was planting right in the ground. We connected all of the sides first, and then put in some posts on the outside to help keep it in place.
Last year I lost a lot of my small potential harvest to slugs! So keeping slugs out is a major goal this year. Having the grass and sod removed in a kind of rocky moat all around the bed is supposed to help keep them out and will avoid any long bits of grass they could crawl up. Also, the weed barrier will hopefully keep them from going under the bed walls. I stapled the weed barrier up along the side of the bed to try to make that barrier slug proof. The last anti-slug measure I'm taking is a copper fence! Apparently slugs do not like to cross over copper due to some kind of electrical shock they receive.
I purchased a roll of copper mesh that I'll run around the outside of the bed. This may all seem excessive, but since I'm not actually living right next to my garden I won't be able to pick the slugs off every day. And they're eeeevil.
I'm trying to follow Mel's Mix to make the soil for my garden bed:
- 1/3 peat moss
- 1/3 vermiculite
- 1/3 compost
The peat moss and compost has been easy, but I'm having trouble finding the vermiculite in large quantities. Vermiculite is a mineral that helps the soil hold water. Everywhere I've tried is sold out right now. One store should have some in a few days... but if anyone out there knows where to find 8 cubic feet of vermiculite around St. John's, send me an email!