I am not a builder of raised beds. Pile up some compost and plant straight into it, that's what I like. I think straw bales make a perfectly fine raised bed (and leave you with some nice compost at the end of the season for mulch). When Fine Gardening was in town a couple of years ago, they made a video about my little straw bale garden, which you can watch here if you're not clear on the concept.
But I'm shifting some things around in my garden, and there's a spot by my kitchen door where I thought a raised bed would be nice for growing a few salad greens and herbs. The garbage cans get dragged past this little area, and we tend to use it as a staging area for any kind of messy home improvement project we might be in the middle of. So putting some structure around this bed seemed like a better idea than just making a mound and planting into it.
So the people at EarthEasy asked me if they could send me a raised bed to try out, and I said sure, bring it on. It was time to get going on that little salad garden anyway. They sent two–one for me and one for Genevieve Schmidt–and we assembled them in my garden.
The video pretty much says it all. No hardware, just slots and pegs. The wood is untreated cedar. They are stackable, and while you could screw in some brackets to hold the stacks together, I'm not sure it's necessary–probably the mass of the soil and plant roots, combined with the expansion of the wood as it settles in and gets wet, will be enough to keep the whole thing upright. (Oh, and if you want to see the full length, unedited version of our assembly process, where it is much more apparent that I stood around and made Gen do all the work, go here.)
And yes! We have not one, but two, to give away! If you'd like a 4 x 8 raised bed from EarthEasy, you're going to have to work for it. Poetry! I demand poetry! A limerick, a haiku, a rhyming couplet–something! You can do it. Or–you could go to Gen's blog, North Coast Gardening, where she's also giving one away, and try your luck over there.)Posted by Amy Stewart on May 18, 2011 at 5:06 am, in the category Taking Your Gardening Dollar.