The spread of COVID-19 has made it worrisome for anyone to go to the grocery store, and it’s made it extremely difficult for grocers to keep their shelves stocked. Many are turning back to another time for inspiration on how to deal with the need to feed their families during these trying days. As a result, Victory Gardens are making a comeback in a big way.
If you haven’t heard of a Victory Garden before, they are fruit and vegetable gardens built by individuals during World War I and World War II to supplement food rations and shortages. Approximately 200 million Victory Gardens were built during WWII, producing 40% of the vegetables and fruit grown in the U.S.
The WWII Museum has a short video explaining more:
While we may not be fighting a literal war, the entire world has been impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19). In response to this war against infection, many people have turned to the new Victory Garden. If you have ever considered getting into vegetable gardening, now is the perfect time to really make the effort to grow your own fresh produce.
Over the weekend, we built our own Victory Garden (We were long overdue for cultivating a vegetable garden in our backyard). As things are constantly changing in the world, I sort of decided now was the time to make this happen on a whim. What I mean is, I didn’t prepare much at all. I knew that I wanted my vegetable garden to be in a raised bed because we have a dog and to prevent run-off getting into the pool. We had some old pallets laying around, so I figured, “What the heck!” Yes, I know that isn’t the optimal material to use to build a raised bed, but we only used materials on hand.
We thought the best way to break down the pallets would be to pull them apart board by board. NOPE. Don’t even bother. It’s a 2 person job and the nails are a real pain in the you-know-what. I didn’t even realize how many nails are used in a pallet until this, and they’re practically buried in the wood. We tried digging them out of two boards before we called it quits on the whole thing. We packed our new pile of wood and nails back up, and I moved on to weeding my rose beds.
It wasn’t until I heard “Vroooooom!” that I noticed Andrew left the backyard. Maybe you were wondering what else we had on hand! Pretty much the bare minimum in the tools department (hammer, mallet, drill…), but one of the things was a chainsaw. Yep-chainsaw. Andrew thought to just cut the boards from the frame of the pallet with the tiny chainsaw we have. It worked and saved a ton of time by not having to pull out all of those nails. The edges are a little rough, but we don’t have kiddos to worry about getting hurt. We used a total of 2 pallets to build a bed just shy of being a 6’L x 6’W x 1’H. It might be worth pointing out that we used our fence for the back side.
Once all of our boards were cut (including smaller pieces to use as stakes & something to secure the wall, I roughly laid out the shape of our bed. We then pulled up the grass within those perimeters. After the grass was cleared, we placed the stakes using a mallet (use your hammer if you don’t have one) to get them as deep into the ground as possible. To finish the frame, we screwed the boards into our stakes. We used the screws that we had in our toolbox – wood screws and construction screws. If you have a choice between the two, go for the construction ones. Just trust us on that one.
I had some landscaping fabric, so I cut strips of it to place along the perimeter of the bed to help keep the grass from creeping in too quickly. It also helps hold the soil in where it would sneak out between the cracks of the slats without it. I left the center of the bed uncovered to give the roots of my future plants as much room to grow as possible. I then used some painter’s tape to help hold it in place while I filled it with the soil I had already. It’s a combo of soil, but we still need to add some compost.
Voila!! VICTORY GARDEN 2020!
While we were clearing the grass, I found a random wooden stake. We also had an extra portion of board leftover, so we screwed it onto the stake to make a sign. I’m still trying to decide what to paint on it. Do I want to go classic with “Vegetables” or do something more personal like “Prats’ Produce”?
Tools & Materials Needed:
Steps: These are intentionally vague so that you can apply them to your own desired setup.
Don’t forget that we have vegetable starters, herbs, and soil available for purchase (including free delivery with $15 minimum) to help you get your own Victory Garden going!
All of that to say – YOU CAN DO IT! And we’re here to help!
**NOTE: If you don’t have pallets but you have other materials like extra stone edging, cinder blocks, or bricks, use those! If you feel comfortable going to a hardware or home store, go get your desired supplies there. OR just go the old-fashioned route of building your beds straight into the ground and forget the raised element. There’s no one way to do this!
Be safe and stay healthy,