As you probably know, I don’t have much of a yard. (This goes for my house in St. Marys as well as my apartment in Pittsburgh.) However, I’m fortunate to have an outdoor area at each place. Because my grandparents had a vegetable garden, it’s always been something I’ve wanted for my own space. I have wonderful memories of their garden and hope to continue the family gardening tradition. (Plus, there’s nothing better than produce fresh from the garden or field.)
I’ve tried growing container vegetables in the past, but I’ve never had much success. This year I’m giving gardening a shot again with help from my friends over at Tomcat. They make a line of animal repellents that are ideal for those of us who want to protect our gardens from critters using essential oils that deter with a smell and taste our animal friends hate.
Today I’m going to share 4 steps to a raised vegetable garden, including how to keep it protected. Let’s dig in.
1. Build a Bed
Of course, you’ll need something to plant in. You can build your own raised garden by creating a box in your yard with lumber. However, since I don’t have the outdoor space for this type of bed, I opted for this pre-built furniture-style piece.
What I love is that there is plenty of room for plants, plus storage below for garden tools, pots, and a few cute accessories.
Choose the option that works best for you. Also, keep in mind what you’d like to grow. For example, vegetables such as zucchini and pumpkins will need a larger space to spread out and might not be ideal for an elevated bed like this one.
2. Add Soil and Plants
With your bed ready, fill it with soil. Since my garden is in a container, I used a soil intended for this purpose. This is important because this particular soil is designed to retain moisture in a confined space. If you’re gardening in an above-ground bed in your yard, a typical garden soil would work just fine.
For my plants, I went with a salad theme. I planted lettuce, kale, cherry tomatoes, and peppers. I realize it’s probably a no-brainer, but when you’re tight on space, plant things you know you’ll enjoy eating.
With luck and proper care, your harvest will be plentiful, so you should like what you’re growing. If you like to experiment with new goodies, shop for them at your local farmer’s market first. You can grow these new favorites next year.
3. Keep it Protected
After all your hard work, the last thing you want is to find that your beautiful garden has become a new salad bar for mother nature’s furry (and not-so-furry) friends.
As my first line of defense, I planted a few marigolds. Their scent keeps away things like beetles, squash bugs, and tomato hornworms. A bonus benefit is the punch of color they give the raised bed. (If you do your research, you’ll find there are a few varieties of marigolds that are edible. What a fun addition they would be to your summer entertaining.)
To further protect my new garden, I used Tomcat Repellents Animal Repellent Granules. What I love about this repellent is that it uses essential oils that deliver a smell and taste that animals naturally hate. It’s also safe for use on edible fruits and vegetables when it’s used as directed. In one easy step, you can protect your garden.
Tomcat Repellents also has spray varieties that serve the same purpose. Check out the full line here.
4. Make it Cute
So now that our garden is planted and protected, let’s make it cute! It wouldn’t be an Inspired by Charm garden without some beautiful and eclectic touches, right?
Before I filled my raised bed with soil, I decided to add a few gold knobs and handles to the exterior of the planter. They are handy for hanging garden tools and gloves. And they give a little character to the piece. You can find knobs and handles like these almost anywhere. Choose ones that fit your home and style.
I also tucked in a few birdhouse picks I painted black. The birdhouses add character while the coat of black paint keeps them looking chic.
One of the things I especially like about this particular planter is the bottom shelf. It’s a great place to keep a watering can and extra pots, plus, I can display a few fun accessories such as my garden gnome with a gold hat. IIsn’t he the perfect blend of functional and quirky?
That’s it, my friends: 4 steps to create a raised vegetable garden. It’s pretty easy, isn’t it?
Also, don’t forget to keep your garden happy with Tomcat Repellents. To learn more about their many products, click here. Happy gardening!