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deck patio & porch, diy

DIY Patio Garden

By Stay at Home-ista on Apr 22, 2012

We have an expansive deck off of our main floor, but there was something missing, something green. I've been toying with the idea of a small vegetable or herb garden, but our natural soil here is solid rock, so growing anything in it is chancy at best. I could build a raised bed, but we have the benefit of living in the hills where deer and wild turkeys (no kidding I *just* saw one in my backyard) roam freely, and I've already seen what happens when I inadvertently planted some "deer candy" in our yard. Gone. Vamooshed (is that even a word?) Like the plant never existed.

diy patio garden

Surfing Pinterest one evening (oh, how I love you), I happened upon a kit to make a raised bed on a patio from Scout Regalia. A few clicks later and it was winging it's way to me through the magic of UPS.

This is the moment where I express incredible gratitude to my husband for being so handy. In graduate school (we both studied architecture) he was even a shop assistant, working a few hours a week in the woodshop in the basement of the building, helping other students to use power tools to build models of buildings. Anyhow, we don't have a complete shop set-up, but we have a pretty handy assortment of power tools, and he is oh-so-inventive, so we set up a makeshift sawhorse from the bags of soil and we were good to go.


We bought two 8' 2x6 boards, then cut them each down, giving us four long sides and four short sides for our rectangular bed.



Yep, that is totally the corner where our water table used to be. We will have to find a new spot for it come summer. Somewhere around this time the sky started to darken and it looked like this.


So, working quickly, we put down the special membrane that came in the kit (I bought an extra one too since we were making a larger bed that 30x40 which is the size of one membrane). In retrospect, we probably could have made this work with off-the-Home-Depot-shelf brackets and a shower curtain with holes in it, but since this is my first venture into gardening, I wanted something with a little bit more of a safety net. Although, if I really wanted a safety net, I probably should have read the directions, instead of just going with gut instinct:)

So, after we screwed the brackets into the sides (the deck is sloped for water drainage, so so we had to rest the corner on our tape measure to make it level), we put it in place and plopped the membrane in. Update: Read the instructions! You need to staple the filter fabric to the boards so the dirt doesn't spill out. I learned that the hard way.

building a raised bed garden

At this point our daughter, son and their friend decided to "help" put the soil in. Look how sunny it appears, as if we have all the time in the world...


dirt in a raised bed patio garden

We laid out the plants on top of the soil to get a sense of placement before actually digging them holes.  We chose (clockwise from top right) 4 tomato plants (which will eventually need cages or strings), 6 strawberry plants, 2 basil, 2 zucchini, 2 cucumber, and 2 artichokes. Slightly odd assortment, but it's all things that our kids will actually eat if they bear fruit (or veggies as the case may be).

plant layout in diy patio garden

Following the directions on the plants, we soaked each of them, dug a hole, tore off the bottom of the compostable container, place the scraps in the hole, planted the plant, then refilled the hole.


Our finished product:

finished diy patio garden

Then this happened:



Needless to say, we didn't need what I'm about to show you.


We got the kids watering cans, gloves and tools. Because it's just too cute, and Target is my friend/enabler.


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