Capitol Corridor
Capitol Corridor
Capitol Corridor
University of California
Capitol Corridor

What Do You Want for Your Birthday?

Several women I know asked for jewelry, cruises or trips to Las Vegas; but I asked for raised beds. Walking around the backyard I picked out a good spot -- taking in consideration the hours of sunlight --  my husband and I visited the various box stores in the area. Redwood was chosen because of its ability to last longer.  Our measurements were six feet long, four feet wide and 22 inches high. The height was important to both of us because we are in our seventies and don't bend and stretch as easily as we used to.

We lined the box sides using staples to keep the soil from leaking out between the planks.  After doing the math we ordered three yards of special soil mixed especially for raised beds. In addition, I incorporated four bags of dried chicken manure from a local organic chicken farm.

We enjoyed a bounty of vegetables, greens and herbs and I was amazed at how well plants grew in a raised bed. I found it very interesting that beneficial insects easily found the plants growing in a high rise environment, but the troublesome pests appear to have a more difficult time finding the plants. Very few problems.

The first raised bed we built provided us with strawberries throughout the season. I am still able to go out in the morning every couple of days and find a few small and delicious berries. I am now thinking of changing bed # 1 as a herb garden instead of having the herbs spread all over the yard.

How lucky I am to have a husband who indulges my 'crazy birthday ideas' -- that end up benefiting the both of us! 


The beginning of the raised bed. (photos by Danielle Wilkowski)
The beginning of the raised bed. (photos by Danielle Wilkowski)

Vegetables spilling out of the raised bed.
Vegetables spilling out of the raised bed.

Yum! Strawberries!
Yum! Strawberries!

Posted on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 at 8:50 AM


Living in a more rural area of Vacaville, we have a groundhogs and burrowing critters. I have 5 large raised beds but the pests are literally burrowing up from down below and have made a significant dent in this year's harvest.  
This spring before planting I plan to remove all the soil and either put down some wire or a good solid layer of rocks to keep out burrowing critters.  
Might be something for others to consider if needed

Posted by Ken on October 18, 2012 at 10:00 AM

I like your idea Ken. I haven't run into a problem like you have experienced -- but if I do I will take your advice.

Posted by Danielle Wilkowski on October 19, 2012 at 9:07 PM

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