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As a homeowner for about 3 years and a woman who is always wondering what I can do to reduce my “carbon footprint”, I decided it was time to take on a vegetable and fruit garden.  Now you must understand, I live in a subdivision FULL of rabbits. I have lost many lilies and hostas to these little buggers, so a standard till up your yard and plant some beans scenerio just wasn’t an option!

So I opted for a raised bed.. but that presented many more questions, how big do I make them, how tall do I make them and just how do I ensure that those rabbits wouldn’t get my veggies??  So after much much research here’s what I did:

I planted two 4’x12′ raised beds that were a total of about 33″ high.  4′ wide because it’s recommended not to go wider simply because the wider you go the harder it is to reach the center, and if you have to walk on the bed to reach the center that sort of defeats the purpose of a raised bed, right?  12′ because.. well it was divisible by 4 and that’s the lengths I wanted to get my lumber in.. =)  I used 1×8 cedar boards stacked on top of each and used 4×4 cedar posts for support.  How did I get the extra height?  I designed it so that the posts would have slots cut in them for a vinyl lattice.  This way the lattice could be removed for planting and weeding, but I’d get plenty of height to keep those pesky rabbits out!

Here’s pictures of the process!

This is just a section of the bed – the two 1×8 boards stacked on top of each other, with post on the bottom to bury and space on the top for the lattice.

Thanks to the handy work of my dad he put my vision to life with notching out the posts for the lattice.  He even had to one up me and bevel the tops to make them look finished!  Props to my dad, he’s amazing!

Now, because I was about 8 months pregnant when this project was in full swing, the installation was mainly up to my hubby, Ryan, who was a total trooper.  I did some work, just not as much as I normally would.. Here is one bed completely installed except for the lattice.

Here’s a different view.  Now, when I add another bed next year I will be adding a step at this point in the process.  I should have added some cross support at the base of the bed, connecting the posts to the one across from it.  I didn’t think about the fact that adding 14 inches of dirt would make a 12′ bed bow out.. who would’ve thought?  So we had to add cross support afterwards, and they look sort of goofy, you can see them in the following pictures.

Here’s the beds after the lattice is put in.  This is towards the end of the growing season (beginning of September), so most everything is either harvested or dying.

Here you can see those cross supports I was talking about.  Not the best looking, but hey, my beds aren’t bowing out in the middle anymore!

I am proud to say that my design worked, and I lost no food to those rabbits.. now my lilies are a different story..

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