Everyone wants their family to eat locally grown and organic food. However, it can be expensive and difficult to find truly organic options. The easiest way to find great vegetables is to grow your own garden right in your backyard. It does not get any more “local” than that. Our family has had a garden for the last three years and love it. It has become a fun tradition that has helped me teach our children about nutrition and keeps chemicals off their plate. My children love watching the garden grow and now eat all their vegetables.
We put together this guide to help you build your own own deer proof raised garden beds.
Material needed to build one 4′ x 10′ raised garden bed: Corner posts; Four 4-foot-long 2x6s end rails, Four 10-foot-long 2x6s for the side rails; and four 2-foot-long 2x2s.
The raised beds that we built pictured here include one 4′ x 10′ raised garden bed, one 4′ x 4′ raised garden bed, and one 4′ x 4′ sandbox.
Step 1: Pick a good flat spot in your yard that gets a lot of sunlight.
Step 2: Create Your Walls
Screw the 2×6 to the corners. Stack a second 2×6 on top of the first.
Step 3: Connect the Walls
(The method to connect the walls will depend on which corner system you choose. I used Frame It All system and I also like Aluminum Corners) Either one is easier and looks much better than using a 4×4.
Step 4: Make your Raised Garden Beds Sturdy
Take a 2×2 stake and place it at the middle point of one of the inside wall. You could also place the 2×2 stake on the outside walls but I don’t think it looks as good. Pound the stakes into the ground until the top of stake is level with the top of the side rails. Fasten the 2×2 stakes to the side rails with deck screws.
Step 5: Fill it with Soil
Fill your raised bed with topsoil. You also may want to add some organic matter, such as compost or peat moss.
Cleveland Moms Rock Garden Tip: Reduce the amount of organic material you send to the landfill by getting an Odor-Free Countertop Ceramic Compost Keeper to store your vegetable peelings, egg shells, coffee grinds and more until ready to transfer it to an outdoor composter. Read our Guide to Composting.
Step 6: Water the raised beds well and now you’re ready to plant.
Step 7: Pick the plants and seeds of the vegetables that you like to eat.
A great place to get seeds is online or a seed bank. Check out the Cleveland Seed Bank. We love 100% organic heirloom seeds for our Vegetable Garden. If you want to Jumpstart your garden you can always find vegetable plants at your local garden center. Another great place to learn about vegetables is Veggie U.
Step 8: Deer proof it.
After we planted our first garden, It only took us a few days to realize that we needed to deer proof our garden. There are more than 750,000 deer in Ohio. I think half of them live in my neighborhood.I did a ton of research and kept finding options that all include an ugly six foot high fence. I didn’t want a large fenced garden in my yard. My husband and I went to the drawing board and designed a low profile garden cage. It only takes welded wire fence and T-style Fence Posts to make a two foot high garden cage.
- Measure the length of the outside of your raised beds.
- Simply take the fence and cut it to your desired height and length.
- Pound in the T-style Fence Posts and cut to the desired height.
- Wrap fence around support stakes and secure with zip ties.
- Measure and cut a fence to cover the top of the garden.
- Secure one side of the top fence with zip ties and the other side with twist ties for easy access.
If you don’t have the time or space for a raised garden bed you can also check with your local municipality to see if they have a garden plot for rent. We hope you enjoy your garden. Please send us your garden pictures. Happy gardening.