If your soil is unsafe or unhealthy, no worries, a raised bed garden allows gardens to recreate the ideal planting environment above ground. Due to the possible soil contamination in New Orleans, raised bed gardens are highly recommended for New Orleans residents. Most importantly, these elevated bottomless sand boxes use high quality soil containing manure and compost, warmer soil, an ideal drainage system for aerated soil, and less weeds and pests. This type of garden allows for topsoil infusion if gardeners are working with salty earth, sand, or clay. As they have clear boundaries, the raised beds gardens are perfect for those with little ones or animals. They can be constructed from almost anything including wood, concrete block, mounds of soil, and found materials.
The best materials to frame the gardens with are concrete block or untreated hardwood, since they are so durable. However, be warned that untreated pine wood will rot and treated wood carries the potential of chemical leaching. To make building the garden even more economic and environmentally sustainable, use recycled bricks, rocks or hardwood. The following materials are for a standard 4′ x 8′ raised cinder block garden bed.
- Soil Test +/- $15
- 36 Cinderblocks (or equal amount found material) +/-$52.00
- 2 yards of Garden Soil +/- $50.0 ($35/yd)
- 30’Roll Garden Fabric Weed Barrier +/- $30.00 ($30/100 roll)
- Rake, shovel, skuffle hoe, etc.
- Level +/- $7.00
- Cow Manure, bag +/- $32.00 ($8/bag)
- Chicken Manure, bag +/- $2.00
- Mulch +/- $14.00 ($7/bale)
- Fish Emulsion Fertilizer, bottle, +/- $14.00
- 60” x 50’ Galvanized Fence/Trellis +/-$4.40
- 60” x 50’ Galvanized Fence for Compost Bin +/- $9.94
- 7ft Fence Posts $14.00 ($7/post)
- Roll Baling Wire $.50
- One flat of veggie seedlings $24.00 ($2/seedling)
- Find sunniest area and remove grass to level the ground (use sand if needed).
- Lay out Garden Fabric to distinguish between ground and new soil.
- Lay in the posts at each of the planned corners and perimeter to create the walls.
- Lay out the first layer of blocks around the perimeter and insure blocks are level.
- Place the second layer of blocks in a staggered pattern. This is imperative.
- Fill the raised garden with soil, manure, fertilized, compost, etc.
- Plant vegetable and flowers
- Tulane City Center
- New Orleans Food and Farm Network- City Farms
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