The month of April is when I normally start my Spring gardens. I started really getting into growing things before the kids were born, but over the past few years my love for it has grown so much that I add on a new area just about every year. Last year we were in a new house, so I didn’t have much time to plan out my crops and ended up building a quick 4×8 raised bed just so I could have something before it was too late. It did pretty well for a first year crop – I had tomatoes, rosemary, basil, cucumber and jalapeños. The kids loved getting involved, but Judah really stepped up to help nurture and take care of the plants. He watered them on his own every other day! He absolutely loves it, so this year I thought it would be great to build him his own raised bed beside mine that he can take care of and pick/eat from. I also wanted to give it a fun twist, so we built him a tall bed and used chalkboard paint on the sides so that he can really have fun with it and make it his own. Cute? I think so!
When we went to pick out plants for his garden I asked him what kinds of fruit he wanted to grow in it and he chose a raspberry bush. This kid adores raspberries, so what’s better than having his own bush to pick from? Raspberries are a pretty sustainable plant – they don’t require extreme amounts of sun or water and they are fairly low maintenance. Traditional raspberry bushes can get super big, but I happened to find this adorable dwarf raspberry bush at Lowe’s that isn’t supposed to get any larger than the planter box we built. I know the plant looks small in it now, but give it a month and it will fill it out.
Judah helped with every part of the process. He helped level the ground, hammer the box together and even (for the most part) planted the bush himself! It took us about an hour from start (measuring/cutting boards) to the finished product, and total cost is less than $50! Here is what you need:
- 12 two foot cedar boards (I used 8ft boards at $2 each and cut them down)
- 4 wooden posts
- one bag mushroom compost
- one bag organic topsoil
- light sprinkling of mulch
- Raspberry bush (or plant of your choice.)
The first thing you want to do is to prepare the spot you are going to build on. Our yard slopes a little, so we used a shovel to level out a 2×2 foot square.
Next, shape out your square and drive your posts into the ground about 5-6 inches. Older kids can help with this step, but if you have small children it’s best to do it yourself.
Once you have all four posts set, take your boards and nail them to the sides one at a time so they form a shallow box, then stack the second and third row up and do the same.
After that you can fill in your box with a 50/50 mix of mushroom compost and topsoil and then add in your plant.
Fill in the entire box, cover with a light layer of mulch and then paint on your chalkboard. You can keep it natural if you like, but I thought it would be a really cool accent for this, and Judah loved painting it!
After that just give your bush some great sunlight, ample water, and watch it grow!
I’m sure by now you’re thinking I must have a green thumb because it can’t possibly be that easy. But I’m actually not really a naturally gifted gardener. Want to know my secret? I’m a smart gardener. I do my research and I choose high quality plants that grow well in a variety of conditions. Some people think that all plants are the same, but that’s not the case. Selecting plants from trusted growers like Monrovia is going to help you garden better, ensure you have a quality plant, and ultimately be a better investment over the long run. You can find Monrovia plants at Lowes and many garden centers across the country, and it really is worth it to buy quality when it comes to gardening.