I’ve put a lot of work into combating weeds in my life, and nothing does that as well as a raised grow bed and plenty of Mulch! Since this is a brand new garden, in a brand new location, I really went all out on expenses, you could do this for MUCH less using free materials and your own soil. The total cost is still far less than the fruits/veggies would cost me in the grocery store, and for a much better product, so with that I’m happy.
The supplies I purchased were:
50 Bags of Garden Soil ($350)
120 Cinder Blocks ($165)
10 2x6x8 boards ($45)
40 Bales of pine straw ($120)
4 Rolls of Bio degradable paper weed block ($20)
The total project took one person most of a weekend to complete, and should render 1000+ LBS of healthy, all organic fruits and vegetables for less than $700. So while this isn’t the most cost effective way, it certainly will save your back weeding later, and is a good option if you have limited space and want to grow a lot of vegetables.
Take a look at these photos to see what I did this year, and then I’ll explain it.
During this stage I set up all the blocks (You’ll need them to hold down the weed block). There are 5 grow beds, each 10 blocks long and 3 blocks wide, and 2 feet apart from each other. That’s a total of around 250 SQFT of growing space. I recommend laying down two layers of the biodegradable weed block in each row, and then setting the blocks on the row as you move down to each next grow bed.
I also used pine straw to help hold paper in place that wasn’t near any blocks. It’s important to allow for a good amount of over hang on the grow beds as you don’t want sneaky weeds working their way in from the outside either.
This is a picture of all the beds built, the next step was filling the outsides with pine straw after creating a wooden border that was about 6 inches tall.
This is a picture of the beds completed, and the pine straw in place. It’s about 6 inches deep which is enough to smother out any would-be invaders.
Here I made some stringers for my peas and cucumbers.
Here’s the final product.
The vegetables I’m planting this year can be seen in my article: My Garden 2014.