Welcome to our happiest place!
My husband and I designed this zone 6b garden in the spring of 2017. We didn’t have a plan, a vision, or a strategy, but he knew that minimizing cuts on the galvanized sheet metal was a top priority!
How to plan a raised bed garden?
Our zone 6b garden has many challenges: deer, chickens, dogs, (children- ha!), extreme hot and cold temperatures, wind... We had tried to grow our vegetables in a traditional in-the-ground garden for several years before admitting we needed to invest in something different if we wanted to be successful.
We began by designing beds that each required three sheets of 8x4 foot metal. The beds were designed with a full sheet on each side, then a half sheet on the ends. We used old fence wood 4X4's for the inner frame and trimmed the beds with cedar toned pine for a more finished look.
Each bed measures approximately four feet by eight feet wide and about three feet tall. Due to our lack of building plans, you will have to use a little ingenuity to create your own based on our design, but I am confident that if we could do it, you can to!
How to choose the right size for a garden?
We had a large area available to plan our garden, knowing that we wanted at least six raised beds and a chicken run. Going back to our 'least amount of cuts as possible' rule, we based the size on the width of the hog panels that we used for the fence!
Our garden is approximately twenty-four feet by thirty feet. Aaron loved that we could frame the panels in cedar toned pine and build the fence fairly quickly!
How to stop chickens from destroying garden?
One of my favorite features of the garden is the custom chicken run that allows the ladies to roam around the perimeter of the garden. They follow me around while I work, knowing that I will toss them scraps. I think it is so entertaining to watch them catch grasshoppers that try to sneak into my veggies!
We have learned from years of free ranging that hens are incredibly destructive to landscaping, so this was a creative way to give them both freedom and boundaries.
A FEW TIPS FOR INCORPORATING CHICKENS INTO A GARDEN DESIGN
- Use fencing, wire tunnels & runs to deter chickens.
- Protect your seeds and seedlings: chickens will scratch them out!
- Raised beds offer some protections, but remember chickens can jump and fly!
- Provide dust bath areas for the chickens.
- Have a way to let the chickens in and out of the garden on YOUR terms! (see our trap door to the chicken run in the photo below?)
Would you like to see more?
I've been documenting our garden journey on Instagram @NinnescahHomestead. I'll begin adding pictures and info here as well! Here is a post that tells the story of how we came up with our garden inspiration.
Thanks for stopping by!