The past couple summers, I have missed being able to grow herbs and tomatoes. I tried putting them in containers, but they didn't do well at all. So this year, I talked my son-in-law Matt into building a standing planter box, since bending to the ground for gardening is difficult these days. I found a pattern with video instructions on YouTube (where else) and he agreed to help. Off we went to Home Depot to gather the necessary materials: treated lumber, deck screws, and hardware cloth. I borrowed some tools and a set of saw horses from my other son-in-law, Reagan and Matt set up shop in our garage, where his tools have been stored, He cut all the pieces according to the pattern, then moved the partially assembled sections to the backyard where he put them together and attached the legs. I helped him secure the hardware cloth across the underside and he "pictured-framed" it in place. Andy helped us move it to a spot against the fence where it would get lots of sun and be within reach of the hose. Then I went out and purchased 14 cubic feet of raised bed planting soil in bags.
Andy and I laboriously transported the soil in my little garden cart in several trips back and forth to the garage. Then I laid down a layer of landscape cloth in the bottom of the planter to help keep moisture in. We emptied the bags into the planter and smoothed out the soil. Now came the fun part! At our local nursery, I bought thyme, Italian parsley, tarragon, basil, sage, Greek oregano and curly parsley plants, as well as two kinds of tomatoes, cucumber, eggplant, red, green and poblano pepper plants and just for fun, a few strawberries. Then I planted them in neat rows and mulched between the plants. Growing anything in the Texas heat is a challenge, but I hope with consistent watering, my new babies will grow happily in their raised bed. Many thanks to Matt for taking on this project.
P.S. I've already promised the first strawberries to my grandchildren, so wish me luck!
I'm Chris Barabasz, retired from a 35-year career managing communications for health care development (that's fundraising for you civilians). I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and freelance writer. My husband Andy and I moved from Delaware to Texas to be closer to our daughters and three adorable grandchildren.