Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Raised Rock Beds

I built this myself in 2002!
 If you are thinking of planting a garden for the first time, or if you are thinking of building raised beds, then you may be interested in the way we built our raised beds out of rock. NY state is full of rock. In fact, there is many places, our property as well, that has old stone walls that were built long ago. Many of the walls have fallen over and are now just piles of rock. So they make it easy to build a raised bed and best of all they do not cost me anything.

I have many!
If you do not have access to rock on your property maybe there is a creek or river nearby? That is another good source of rocks. If you are building a house or other building and have to dig down into the ground, there is another good supply of rock. When my husband dug the room for our batteries, he brought up many rocks and built the raised bed I call "the snake bed" due to its shape.

The Snake Bed
I have written many posts about using raised beds for your garden.One is Building Raised Beds Out Of Stone and the other one is Raised Beds Make Gardening Easier. The reason I am mentioning this today is that I have so many people coming from Google searching for raised beds made out of rock. So there must be a lot of people out there who do have rock available to them. It is better than the wood beds because it holds the warmth at night when it gets cooler. They also keep the moisture in, but do not get too wet. Our garden improved so much when we changed the garden to the raised bed system.

Nutmeg's Garden
 All of the beds you see here today have mostly weeds in them as it has not been warm enough for us to plant yet. In a week or so, I hope to start working on them. This bed that I call Nutmeg's Garden is dedicated to my Siamese cat, Nutmeg who died in 2006, at 17 years of age. She buried in front of it. I wanted her close by, not out in the graveyard which is in the forest.

Cinder Blocks & Rock
 My method is to just put the rock around the shape you want and fill with fresh compost. I do not dig it up first, though you can if you choose to. It is totally up to you. My plants have done just fine without having to do that step. You can also add more layers to the rock to build them up higher. Especially as you age, it makes gardening easier, to not have to get down to the ground any farther than you have to. On this particular bed, I set containers of plants along the sides. This bed produces HUGE plants and produce. I always plant my summer squash in it and have been so pleased with the amount of food I get out of it. Pretty easy to plant in too. Try one and see what you think!

 Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole
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