Planting the Raised Bed

I bought a raised bed made by a company called Gronomics a few years ago. It's my teaching bed for my summer workshops. But, before it's put to use teaching others, I use it for my spring crop of red lettuce. Let's get that baby planted!

Planting the Raised Bed

My raised bed is on the South Patio surrounded by a lot of natural stone. I also store some of my clay pots around the perimeter. I stack my clay pots upside down with a piece of burlap in between to keep them from sticking together and to protect them from contraction during the winter.

This is a top view of the bed before we started cleaning out some of the debris and plant material chunks leftover from last year.

Raised Bed Top View



People often ask about the shade-loving, waxy foliage behind the bed and it is Japanese Spurge. Even in our Minnesota climate, this spurge stays vibrantly green under our deck.Japanese Spurge



I always mix in some standard 10-10-10 fertilizer into my veggie beds and my raised bed is no exception. I like to haul smaller amounts of the fertilizer around in an old ice cream bucket instead of dragging the huge bag with me.101010


I stopped by Lowe's and found four of these Dwarf Alberta Spruce on clearance for $3 each. This summer, I'll use them as visual anchors in the four corners of my raised bed. They dress it up a little.
Dwarf Alberta Spruce


They had a little bit of damage on them, so we cleaned them up a bit before planting them.

Cleaning up spruce


Here's Emma placing the first spruce. I'm so glad my kids love to garden.Emma setting the spruce


Check out the raised bed with the four spruce in the corners. I love how this turned out.Spruce anchoring corners


Here's the red lettuce - it's not red yet - but give it a week. It'll turn red.Red lettuce close up


To help control spacing, I dig the holes and Emma places the plants.Planting the Red Lettuce


Viola!  I can hardly wait for my first spring salad!

Red Lettuce Final

Jennifer Ebeling
Jennifer Ebeling is a proud Minnesotan and U of MN alumni. Gooooooo Gophers! Each week, Jennifer produces and hosts Still Growing - a gardening podcast dedicated to helping you and your garden grow. The show is an in-depth interview format. Guests featured on the show share a passion for gardening and include authors, bloggers, professional gardeners, etc. Listeners and guests of the show can join the Still Growing community on Facebook. It's a place to ask questions, share garden stories, interact with great guests featured on the show, and continue to grow and learn. Jennifer and her husband Philip have four children, a big golden lab named Sonny, and live in lovely Maple Grove, Minnesota. P.S. When she's not teaching her four kids a new card game - or teaching them how to drive a car - Jennifer loves inspiring individuals and groups to maximize and personalize their home & garden.
Jennifer Ebeling
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  1. Anna M on May 16, 2013 at 8:44 am

    I Love reading about gardening, raised beds and almost anything about planting in the summer. I have many raised beds but as my arthritis increases in my knees, I need my raised beds raised even higher. I love the little trees in the corners of your bed! Oh, it won’t be too long until we have fresh lettuce! Yum!

    • 6ftmama on May 24, 2013 at 12:44 pm

      I agree, Anna. I have arthritis in a knee and I don’t kneel anymore either. Raised beds are easier to work with and are quicker to produce. I love them!

  2. Deborah Weber on May 16, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    How fun having those dwarf spruce “spruce up” your bed, and how wonderful your kids enjoy gardening as well. I enjoyed seeing your process of prep and planting and the lettuce looks delish. Lettuce is such a great immediate results kind of crop.

    • 6ftmama on May 24, 2013 at 12:42 pm

      Deborah – Hi again. Yes the red lettuce is a favorite of mine. It’s easy for the kids to harvest and it keeps me on my salad bandwagon which can be a challenge for me sometimes. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Ruth Packard on May 17, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    I love the idea of placing the spruce in the corners! And what a good price you paid for them!

    Last summer my husband built me a smaller raised bed next to our greenhouse. I filled it with several varieties of lettuce, green onions and basil. I found it was too hot for the tender lettuce leaves. The light reflection off the greenhouse tended to burn the plants. So this year, I have a very large lettuce bowl on our front porch…with only northern exposure. The basel, chives, and parsley are planted in separate pots also on the porch.

    Thanks for posting your new planting!

    • 6ftmama on May 24, 2013 at 12:41 pm

      Hi Ruth. I’m thrilled you stopped by. Raised beds are awesome and it’s something everyone asks about. They are also addicting – one leads to another, and another… and so on. I need to add one in my front garden just for veggies. I love chives, too. I’ll do a post on how to serve them as a garnish later this June. So cute.

  4. Michele Bergh on May 23, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Very cool. I’m hungry for salad already 🙂 I really like the added touch with the spruce in the corners. I wouldn’t have thought to do that.

    • 6ftmama on May 24, 2013 at 12:37 pm

      I love the spruce too! Sometime we’ll have to walk through the garden and harvest together. You can take some greens home for supper.

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