Herb Garden

Since late March/early April, James and I have been doing so much work in the yard. We are so happy with what we have accomplished! It's been hard work, but so worthwhile.

One of our favorite and most useful projects has been an herb garden. This was something we wanted to do for a while. James and I cook almost every day and we use a lot of fresh herbs. It's so convenient that now the fresh herbs are from our own garden!

I love just walking out the back door and clipping some herbs for whatever I need!

Before starting this project, James and I talked extensively about what we wanted out of the project. We didn't want to waste time to end up with something that wouldn't be worthwhile for us. We talked about a small container for herbs or individual small pots, but I realized that wasn't what I really wanted.

I told James I wanted enough space for the herbs to grow and to plant all the herbs that I wanted to have available. After talking about it, James said he could build a raised bed to contain the herbs and he would build it big enough to hold 8 different herbs. I had already decided on 7 herbs I wanted and we knew it would be nice to have 1 extra space for the future once we choose what we want to put there.

One of the first things I did before James built the raised bed was make a list of the herbs I wanted and I researched each of them to figure out what they need. I chose:

  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Dill
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Oregano

Fortunately, for me, all of those need full sun and our backyard is full sun most places! How convenient! Unless you want to sit outside in the shade.... That is not really possible. :-x

So knowing the herbs we would plant and knowing we wanted to make a raised bed, we bought our supplies and James went to town!

While it is usually best to start with a plan and drawing sometimes you just wanna jump right in. Obviously I had an idea of what I wanted to build before I went to the store and purchased lumber. So once we got to the house I knew that the top pieces would end up being longer than the bottom framing because of the angle cut. As a general concept we wanted the bed to be 6' x 4' allowing for plenty of room for each herb to grow. The cedar I bought was 8ft long so I had some spare to work with. So I started by cutting one board in half 2 4' pieces and 2 board 6ft long. I then took some pressure treated 2"x4" and cut 4" lengths, to make them the same height as the cedar frame board width.  Once those we cut the next step was to just lay them out and see that everything looked the way I wanted it.

We chose cedar to make the garden bed out of cedar, because bugs typically don't get in cedar like other woods, and it just has a nice look.

Once everything was lined up I used some exterior screws to hold the cedar boards to the 2"x4" post. If you do not want visible screws there are a number of methods you could utilize to avoid having them but for an outdoor garden we didn't think it mattered too much and I wanted it to hold up well over time.
Next I measured the finished frame length and width to figure out how long to make the top pieces. I purposely cut those pieces a little long so I could make adjustments and get the fit and look we wanted. Which ended up being the right call as once I started laying the top pieces down I realized I wanted more overhand than I originally planned for!  Now for the top I did not want visible screws so I used my finish nailer to attach the top boards to the frame. Once assembled we took it to the back yard!

We decided to put down some garden fabric to keep weeds and grass from growing up into our herb garden.

James had the idea to put a soaker hose into the bed as we filled it with dirt to make watering a little easier. He ran the attachment out the bottom on the back. This makes it easy to water the herbs - we just hook up the hose and let it run.

We used Nature's Care Raised Bed Soil by Miracle Gro for the herb garden.

Some freshly planted herbs!

The next thing we worked on was some labels for the herbs. I knew the look I wanted was simple so James and I bought some supplies from Hobby Lobby and I got to work. I will do a tutorial on this later if anyone is interested. :)

A month after planting and watering, our herbs had really taken off!

This is our view from the back porch. :)

We're so glad this project is complete and that we can just run out to the backyard anytime we want some herbs!