As I mentioned in my Weekend Recap, last weekend we headed over to the Depot and purchased the fixin’s to make a raised garden bed.  My kids have been asking and asking to grow a garden, and who am I to deny such a lovely request?  I want them to be amazed by planting tiny nondescript plants and watching them mature into edibles that we will enjoy all summer.

I had three requirements for this project:

1.  simple;

2.  inexpensive; and

3.  keeps out the deer.

In my neck of the woods, we have tons of deer.  We encounter them often and they’re precious and lovely – until they eat every.darn.thing.you.plant.  In the fall those lovely deer shred my gorgeous mums.  Boo hoo.  So I needed an effective way of keeping them out of our little family garden.

I know that Pinterest is chock full of gorgeous, handcrafted garden beds in a range of configurations.  But ain’t nobody got time for that (at least not this unbored housewife).  I decided to be creative and go with a square.

I perused various price points, and almost bought a raised garden bed kit from Costco for around $70.  But then I discovered that Home Depot had a four-by-four foot raised garden bed kit on sale for $34.88.  It is made of untreated cedar wood (which is important because some treated woods and other materials used to build garden beds leech chemicals into the soil and your plants – yuck).  It also looked simple to assemble (see point one above) and was inexpensive (see point two).  It was a winner.

We grabbed the garden bed kit, six bags of garden soil for $1.88 each, and some organic composted cow dung for $5.17 (the plants will love it).  As for the deer issue, we decided to buy this:

deer block

It’s made in the USA and comes with a money-back guarantee that it will keep out the deer.  For $19.97, I was convinced.

We also bought green metal stakes to secure the deer netting around the garden.  We already had two green stakes in the garage at home, so we picked up two more.  They are four feet in length and cost $3.46 each.

Then I got to choose my precious herbs and veggies!  I decided on:

1.  Sweet basil

2.  Italian parsley

3.  Rosemary

4.  Thyme

5.  Cherry tomatoes

6.  Cucumbers

7.  Green bell peppers

8.  Yellow bell peppers

9.  Red bell peppers

10. Jalapeno peppers

Because of the small size of my bed, I didn’t want to waste space planting stuff that I don’t use often.  I use all of these herbs and veggies pretty much weekly.

When we got home, Jersey Boy got straight to it by assembling the bed.

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The assembly required one screw driver (although Jersey Boy preferred to use his power tools), and took no longer than ten minutes.

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Easy stuff.

Then we decided on a location in the yard that already had a bald spot and gets a good amount of sun.  We fiddled around with the placement of the bed, making sure that it looked nice and square against the back fence.

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We used a straight-edged spade to make an edge mark outline around the outside of the garden bed.

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After we edged around the bed, we moved it out of the way,

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and dug just an inch or two deep to remove the top layer of sod from the inside of the square.  This helps to prevent weeds from making their way up through the soil and into the garden bed.

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After we had a perfect square,

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we put our raised garden bed back in place.  (Look at those cute little knees.)

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Then we drove our stakes into the ground at the four corners of the garden bed, sinking them about a foot deep.

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Next we filled the bed with garden soil and composted cow dung.

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Then we added the deer netting.  I decided to double-wrap two sides of the bed in a way that would prevent access, but would make it harder for the deer to break-in.

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The metal stakes have handy little hooks on them to attach the netting.

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Here are my precious little plants:

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They came in biodegradable pots that I soaked with water and planted straight into the soil.  No waste = a good thing.

I planted them in pretty little rows and stood back to admire my family’s work.

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That’s one cute garden.

Then I draped more deer netting across the top of the garden bed and zip-tied it to each of the corners.  This made two flaps that fall to the ground, but can easily be lifted to attend to the plants.

We’ll see how the netting fares, but it’s six days in and the deer haven’t gained access.

This raised garden bed was simple, inexpensive and will *hopefully* keep out those precious deer.