This weekend I realized that spring was really in the air when I was almost swarmed by wasps while working in the yard. If I lived in town I would have gotten a fine for having my grass to tall already.

Of course my neglected riding mower needs new tires and some electrical work so I did what I could with my tired redneck modified push mower.

All this yard work got my “green thumb” arising from the overcast winter and I decided it was time to get my garden going.

In the past it’s usually been a disaster! Last year I tilled up a big plot in my yard, added mulch and topsoil, fenced off the area and fought with watering, weeds, insects and other pests. I spent more money on my garden than I even came close to getting in edible veggies!

That plan didn’t sound like a great idea again and I wanted something a little easier to maintain. My mother-in-law had done raised gardens before, but they were large and still hard to work with. So I did a little research and decided to build a raised box that was completely self-contained.

I built a garden box that was 8 feet long and 2 feet wide so that I could reach all the plants easily. So that I wouldn’t have to keep my dogs out of it I put it on the end of my deck. I figured that would help keep it top of mind for me so that I wouldn’t wind up neglecting it.

IMPORTANT TIP: Never use treated lumber for a raised garden box. The chemicals can be toxic and may cause permanent health issues!

I may set up another one this week so that I can grow some more variety of vegetables.

When it comes to your garden box there are going to be a few considerations that you’ll need to make. Here are some things to think about:

  1. Where are you putting your garden box? If you’re placing it directly on the ground, i.e. Dirt or grass, you really don’t need a bottom for your garden box. I would put down weed barrier fabric and then place the bottomless box on top. Any other surface such as concrete or a deck I would use a wood bottom to keep the soil from staining or ruining the patio or deck.
  2. What do you want to grow? A garden box will have limited space so you need to plan on the veggies you want to eat most. You also don’t want your plants crowding each other out. I planted more seeds than I need so that I can keep the best ones. In my first box I’m only growing 3 tomato plants and a few yellow squash plants. This way I can focus on them and get the best produce from each plant.
  3. How much sun or shade do I need? I live in North Texas and most of the vegetable plants I plant are going to want full sun for most of the day. Check the information from your seed packets and plant markers.

If you really want to utilize your ability to produce your own food go ahead and grow more than you need. You can practice different long-term storage techniques such as canning, pickling, dehydrating and freezing.

Go get your garden in gear and let me see your planter boxes! Go to our facebook page at and post your garden pictures for us to admire!