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Transforming a Dead Birch Tree Into Raised Beds for the Garden

Remember back in March I shared some pictures of our new DIY greenhouse? Well, it has been getting lots of use and has been a huge success. Over the next few posts, I'm going to share some progress on our garden, starting with the new raised beds that we made with a dead birch tree.

My partner and a friend cut down the tree in the winter. It was lying there in the snow, full of holes from the woodpeckers, and acting as a winter playground for the kids.

I had planned to create some more garden space for the summer and was inspired by the tutorial over on Simple Bites. However, instead of creating traditional raised beds, I chose a few spots that I thought would get decent sun (hard to guesstimate when the trees don't have leaves in the winter) and once the snow was gone, we put the logs in place and filled them with a combination of organic earth and compost.

In one of the beds, I direct planted two kinds of peas (snow peas and sugar peas) and we put in some supports for them to climb up once they started to grow.

In the other one, I planted ground cherries that I had started in the greenhouse. Unfortunately, it isn't getting an optimal amount of sun. However, there are a few ground cherry husks appearing as of yesterday, so perhaps we will have some luck. I do have other ground cherries in pots too though. Part of my experimentation back-up strategy was to ensure I have a bit of everything in both pots and in the garden somewhere.

Have you tried anything new in your garden this year? What are you harvesting right now?
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Reader Comments (12)

Lovely use of fallen trees! We are growing corn for the very first time in our backyard garden...so far so good! Good luck with your cherries.

July 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJen

That's great. I put in one row of corn as a "test". I'm not sure that we have enough sun to be really successful growing corn, but we'll see.

July 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

What a great use of natural supplies! I plant to try this the second I get a large enough plot of land when we build our home in the next few years.:)

July 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJune Park

I am LOVING the look of this raised bed with a re-purposed tree, Annie. Greta job. Thrilled we could be some inspiration.

July 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAimee @ Simple Bites

Love birch trees! Love the raised bed...beautiful!

July 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGretchen Powers

That is beautiful! I can imagine a sand box with that kind of edge, too, so pretty and perfect seating.

Thanks for joining the Homesteading Link Up!

Love this. Beee-uuutiful! Not much luck for me with veggies. Deer are NUMEROUS here! Love to do naturalized gardens for my area, though. Gardening is a HUGE hobby with me.

I love the use of the birch! It looks so much more quaint than a standard garden bed.

July 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercoffee with julie

Fallen trees can be used to grow yummy mushrooms...Try it! :)

July 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmelia J

We planted table grapes and strawberry plants this year and I'm letting some cucumber seeds grow in my compost bin to see what happens. They've already sprouted and are doing great, so we'll see. I used to have a large square foot garden before baby came along but hope to get back to it next year. Love the raised beds!

@Annie: I notice you live near the water. How do you teach your kids about water safety and does it make you nervous? (future blog post idea? ;)) We live near a large creek and though my LO is only 15 months I worry about it and wonder if we should move.

July 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichy

Thanks for the idea, Michy. I will work on a post. :)

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

That would be fantastic, thanks Annie!

July 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichy

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