Weekend Project: Raised Bed Herb Garden

We have always had dismal luck with growing herbs in the past. I’m not really sure why. We really want a thriving herb garden however so this weekend that has been our project and hopefully it works!

The first thing that we did was look for the area that we wanted to use for the bed. We decided on a four by ten foot space right near our back door. Not only does it seem to get optimal sun but it is just steps away from our kitchen so the convenience factor is there as well. We dug up the top layer of grass and dirt (and by “we” I mean Martin and our friend Jud) to get the area primed. The picture below was taken after we had already started the process but it shows the area pre-completed bed.

Next Martin measured the area and purchased the wood that would be needed to frame out the bed and to create the trellis structure at the back of the garden. The bed walls consist of posts dug down into all four corners of the bed and then two by ten pressure treated boards screwed into them. We probably could have left the boards as is, but we decided to paint them so they would be more rot resistant and provide a nice, uniform aesthetic.

Although technically we did this next part FIRST we shouldn’t have… so I am listing it as third on the to-do list should you decide to try to tackle one of these beds yourself. We went to the local nursery that Martin works at and bought two flats of herbs, a rosemary bush, and about one and a half yards of soil. The herbs that we selected include some basics (basil, oregano, dill, sage, and cilantro) as well as some more exotic varieties (pineapple sage, curry and chocolate mint). A word about the mint however, at the urging of a co-worker of Martin’s we put the mint into a container instead of in the bed. He said that mint tends to run rampant and take over a garden. Anyways, as you can see, we had our hands full…

Next Martin did all of the construction work… cutting all of the boards, constructing the trellis frame and screwing it all together. I was on paint duty.

Once all of the structural parts were completed we lowered them into the pre-dug holes that we had created for the posts and filled in the bed with the soil that we had purchased at the nursery. Finally we planted the herbs and voila! A pretty fancy looking herb garden. Eventually we are also going to get a climbing, flowering plant to run up the trellis to add a little more color to the area too.

If you have any suggestions or additions please let us know! As I said, I usually KILL herbs so your knowledge is my gain.


7 thoughts on “Weekend Project: Raised Bed Herb Garden

  1. your garden looks so lovely elizabeth! i’m glad the double dig seemed to work and i hope the herbs thrive. there’s something about seeing that dark rick soil against the bright green leaves that just makes my mouth water but i think the trellis is my favorite part 🙂 xoxo

  2. LOVE the homemaking you two are partaking in! /you are so cute!!! I also love the trellis!

    Herbs are SO easy–most just need tons of sun/water, but some NEED shade, i.e., cilantro, parsley (these will even survive through cold springs/falls), whereas others will tolerate it. Also, those sun-loving herbs, specifically basil, will need to be covered when it gets cold at night- last day for threat of frost is April 15 so keep a close eye on things for the next 2 weeks. I love herb gardening, b/c it’s the only thing I know how to successfully grow! Please pass on your knowledge of things you have success with! I am still learning, too, and would LOVE to come and trade garden secrets with you sometime! Good luck!

    1. Thanks for the info! When you have grown herbs in the past did you start from seed or from already established plants? We have always tried to start from seed and I’m wondering if that was part of my problem before. I never seem to have as much luck when I sprout the plants myself… but it’s so much cheaper that way so I just keep trying!

  3. Mint DOES grow rampant! Bonus though – if you plant it outside of your raised bed and let it creep all over the yard when you cut the grass it smells AMAZING. (Childhood memory from my parents’ house!)

  4. Sage and Basil grow like an herbal MoFo here, and my mint came back like a refreshing communicable garden disease. Woo! Plus, Cilantro I didn’t even replant is taking over! Now if only I had been able to keep my rosemary bush alive. :(. Your garden looks so beautiful!!!

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