A Weekend Gardening Project…

by Melissa {The Dominion Project}

…that took 13 days to complete. I’m not even calling it finished at this point. But I’m deeming it “close enough.”

Here’s the deal – we wanted a vegetable garden. Not to be all healthy and organic, or even to save money, but just because we thought it would be fun to grow something we could eat. The beds are built, seeds are growing in our kitchen window, and we’re still enjoying the work. So far, so good.

The plan was to designate the area behind our garage for a couple of raised beds. And since Abby LOVES to dig, we’re going to protect it with a 4′ high fence. She also loves to get in the middle of things, so she’s been staked off in the yard for most of our working hours. Needless to say, she’s been less than thrilled.

Now for building those raised beds. Ready for the play-by-play?


We made a trip to Lowe’s for supplies (pressure treated wood, deck screws & some Round Up). Ethan had to run to a meeting, so I got started measuring off the area for the two 12′ x 5′ beds. The entire area is 17′ wide by 22′ deep and we wanted to (roughly) center them in the space. I cut in the border of each 12′ x 5′ box with a shovel & pulled up about 3″ of grass with a hoe. It was harder work & took a lot longer than expected!

Once the beds were marked off, I sprayed the areas with Round Up to kill off the grass. It seemed like a better idea to get rid of the grass now, than chance it growing up through the garden in a few months. Here’s the after picture – if you squint & use your imagination, you can kind of make out the two beds.

The Round Up package said it should work in 6 hours, but we gave it a full 24. It looks like I missed a few spots, but all-in-all, the grass-killing mission seemed to be a success.


The next task – getting rid of dead grass/roots & building boxes. If you’re dying to know all the construction details, we loosely followed this tutorial by This Old House. We were much more thorough in the grass-killing efforts. We used 2×12 pressure-treated pine for the sides & 2×4 pressure-treated pine pieces for the stakes. (This Old House calls for cedar, but pressure-treated pine is cheaper & more readily available.)

After building one box, we were completely exhausted. (Have you ever driven stakes into the ground? Tough stuff. I left that to Ethan.) Plus it was starting to rain (a really good excuse to call it a day!) Here’s the “after” photo of a weekend of hard, physical labor. We were pretty proud!


This was the day six yards of dirt were delivered to our driveway. Moving dirt = hard work. I’m just saying.


Ethan came home from work on Day 4 and got busy. He lined the box we’d already built with bed liner (to keep out weeds & any stray grass) & started filling it with a few wheelbarrows of dirt. But the next day while we were away, Abby decided to “help.” She dug through the dirt, tore the liner to shreds & scattered the pieces throughout the yard. I’m sure it was just payback for staking her in the yard.


It’s Saturday morning & we’re ready to tackle this project again. We put down a new bed liner & packed that box with dirt. Here it is fully filled & as puppy-proof as possible…until we construct a fence (this weekend’s big project!)

After that, we built box #2. Amazing how much faster we moved on this one, since we’d worked out all the kinks on box #1! Kind of makes me want to build #3 (just kidding).


We’re both pretty tired of this project dragging on, so we tackled it head-on last night. Please pardon our mess. We were losing daylight & knew we needed to get this box lined & FULLY filled with dirt. We had no intention of making the same mistake twice!


That’s as much dirt as we could manage last night before it got dark. But box #2 was puppy proof in our absence today & that’s all I could hope for! Ethan finished filling it this evening just before the sun went down (hence, no photos).

I’m sure you’re wondering about the stakes + tennis ball. We were trying to plan out the fence & gate opening (don’t worry, that’s not the final location). Ethan picked up the post hole digger from Mom & Dad’s place today & we bought supplies this evening. So get excited – we’re building a fence this weekend!


4 Responses to “A Weekend Gardening Project…”

  1. What a cute puppy! :)

  2. Can’t wait for the garden salad.


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