DIY-ify: Raised garden bed for the kids
Is gardening an important part of you? Would you like your family to be more involved? Well, why not start them out early? My daughter is 2 and a half now, and we’ve started getting her into gardening (well, when she wants to). She’s still a little too young to understand that you can’t pull all the tiny seed sprouts out of the dirt, so we decided to make a space that’s all her own. Guess what? She loves it. Yes, she’s still a 2-year-old and can only stand to be outside gardening for an hour at a time, but, she really enjoys it. Each morning we wander outside to water and say hello to our plants. She tells people about her strawberries and beans and talks about watering them and being gentle with the leaves. It’s been amazing.
Being inspired by these beautiful raised beds, I’d love to share with you how we created a garden space for our kid.
- Rot-resistant wood (cedar or redwood): We made a small box out of cedar (finished box dimensions: 2 feet x 18 inches). For this you need 4 pieces of 2 foot x 6 inch + 4 pieces of 18 inch x 6 inch wooden planks. We double stacked 6 inch pieces of wood, to create a 1 foot high box.
- 4 corner brackets (see photo below)
- 16 – 24 exterior wood screws (depends on the corner bracket you find)
- Boiled linseed oil (optional: found at local home store)
- Gloves and an old rag
- Shovel or wooden stakes and a hammer (optional: depending on your garden)
- Electric screwdriver
- Level (to make it straight)
1. Position two 2 foot x 6 inch planks together to create a 12 inch wide piece (see photo below). Screw in the corner bracket. Repeat this will all the remaining pieces of wood, until you create a rectangle.
2. Now, time to apply some boiled linseed oil. It’s not really necessary, but I’ve read it can extend the life of your garden box. Using an old rag and wearing gloves, rub a layer of oil all over the wood in the box. Let it dry overnight. Side note: linseed oil can be flammable. Please read directions carefully.
3. It’s time to install your box! The spot we chose was on a little hill, so we had to dig a small hole to level it out, which helped make the box sturdier. If you don’t plan on digging a hole to install, I suggest hammering some wooden stakes next to the box to make it stronger.
4. Add some gardening soil to the inside of your box.
5. Start planting! We let our daughter help us with the soil and the planting, and she had a ton of fun. We chose plants that would be easy for a 2-year-old to understand. Strawberries are red: time to pick and eat. Pole beans: fun to watch grow up the stake.
We let her do pretty much anything in her own garden box. Teaching her to be gentle, and to keep it watered. I know this will be a great learning experience for her (and me).
Chelsey, The Paper Mama
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