About a week ago I posted The House that Gangsta Built, which described my experience erecting a greenhouse directly in front of three of my bee hives. The next step of this project was to construct raised beds which would be placed inside. Raise UP!
For this, I used fir 2×12 boards, and I simply butted them together and screwed four-inch outdoor screws into them to hold everything together. Somebody recently asked me why I don’t use pressure treated for my raised beds. The truth is, I’ve read that at one point pressure treated boards contained arsenic. Frankly, I don’t know whether they still do, and I don’t trust the people at the big box stores to tell me. So, I buy fir. I’d rather replace them every few years than take a chance on arsenic. Just sayin’.
Anyhow, take a look at the picture below. You can get the basic sense of the construction of the raised beds. Regrettably, I didn’t take any pictures while they were being built.
So after placing the beds (carefully) into the greenhouse, I filled them up with composted manure, peat, vermiculite, perlite, and top soil. I bought it all in bags from the big box stores. It was expensive, but every time I’ve ordered “weed free” screen loam, it’s been plagued with weeds. Big surprise. The picture below shows the various constituents prior to mixing.
And the final product…
Ready for planting! If you look closely at the picture above, you can see the little plant tags that I placed in the soil to mark my seeds. This picture was taken on March 13th. Our frost date is around May 15th, so I took a chance planting seeds this early. I really wanted to test out how the greenhouse would perform. So I planted, micro greens, bibb lettuce, snap peas, onions, carrots, and asparagus. The greens and peas are particularly cold tolerant, so I figured they were the safest bet. Three days later I went to check on the seeds and, in the words of Biz Markie, “Oh! Snap! Guess what I saw?”
Microgreen city. The bibb lettuce and snap peas have since germinated, so I’ll have to keep this post updated as the spring progresses. Gangsta, out!