We're building our raised beds using these plans from Sunset Magazine. I've been a devoted Sunset reader for years (from a line of devoted readers!) so always trust what I find there. These beds are super simple and should be easy for Paul and I to pull off despite pretty limited carpentry skills. (I was trying to remember the table saw safety I learned in 7th grade shop class...but given how many years it's been since those fun, noisy, productive days, I realized I'll have to rely on Mr. Google to help me out.)
Now, for the overall garden plan - the bones and layout. This is a large, nearly square space. The actual size was much easier to see once all the concrete was removed (by my strong hubby) and the soil tilled. Overall, it's over 1100 square feet! We plan to build a 6' fence and/or plant some tall shrubs along the southern side (and beyond) to screen the view, noise, dirt and rocks the obnoxious folks next door hurl our way when they race their quads and go carts around their pasture (which butts up against the front third of our southern boundary). We plan for 3' paths all around and between each of the beds or other items in the garden so we can easily move a wheelbarrow or garden cart through. We will also fence the northern and western sides to keep the critters out.
My man is so smart! Not only will our greenhouse and shed still be easily accessible, but we'll have TWO areas in which to plant in the ground until we come up with any future permanent beds! This is the best, too...not only do we finally have a home for the raspberries, strawberries and blueberries we've been itching to grow, but we can also have a small plot for corn and/or pole beans, which will help screen our back patio from another neighbor's view. Cool!
I'll continue to post updates as we make progress. Obviously, our first plan of attack is to get these beds built and filled with the perfect soil/compost mixture, and then plant our veggies, herbs and beneficial insect-attracting flowers as soon as our first frost is over and the soil is warm enough. We may need to wait on the berries - at least the raspberries and blueberries - until next spring, and that's ok. We have plenty to keep us busy this year!