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April 30, 2012

Scaly Leg Mites in Backyard Chickens

Did you know that there are mites that specifically love to live on your chickens' legs and feet? They like to burrow underneath of the scales on the legs and feet and live in this moist environment. Unlike the mites that live on the chickens' bodies, they cannot kill your chickens. However, they can make the chickens irritable, decrease or cease the production of eggs and lead to permanent leg deformities. They are important to treat once discovered in your flock.

You will see the scales on your chickens' legs and feet will have a "lifted up" appearance.  Some cases are mild, while others are severe.

Photo Credit
Photo Credit

Treat your chickens

1.  Soak your chickens' legs and feet in a warm soapy bath to soften and loosen any dead scales.  Some people add a flea and tick shampoo to the water.  After the soak, dry the legs and feet.

2.  These mites are killed by suffocation.  Apply Vaseline to the legs and feet of your chicken. Try to rub it underneath of the scales that are lifted. Repeat every couple of days for a couple of weeks. It will take at least 10 days to break the life cycle of the mite. Some people who keep chickens with feathered feet suggest using Adams Plus Flea and Tick Mist with IGR (Insect Growth Regulator). However this has chemicals that you may not want your chickens to be exposed to. Manna Pro Poultry makes an all natural Scaly Leg Protector that treats for these mites as well. In addition, Campho-Phenique has also shown some results when people have applied topically.

3.  For severe case, some veterinarians prescribe Ivermectin.  This is a very potent medication.

4.  Inspect all of your flock members for signs of scaly leg mites.  If you are concerned or in doubt, it does no harm to spray their legs with a product like the Scaly Leg Protector from Manna Pro.

4.  Healthy scales will grow back but it can take up to one year.

Treat your Coop:

1.  Clean out your coop and thoroughly disinfect it.  Lock your flock out of the coop after you treated each chicken. In a one gallon bucket create a soapy bleach solution by adding warm water, a couple of capfuls of bleach and a bit of Dawn dish detergent. Scour the inside of the coop and all of the roosts. If you can, remove the roosts and give them a good scrub. Allow the coop to air dry and then apply food grade diatomaceous earth (DE) to every nook and crannies that you see. The Pest Pistol works great for this. Be sure to sprinkle some in the nesting boxes too.  RECLEAN your coop in this manner in 10 days again, to break the life cycle of the mites.



Resources:
http://indianapublicmedia.org/eartheats/bugs-winter-protecting-chickens-lice-mites/
http://poultrykeeper.com/chickens/health/scaly-leg-mite.html
http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/farmlife/msg0708531424810.html
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/623306/ivermectin-for-scaley-leg-mites
http://poultryqa.com/questionsand-answers/diseases-question-answers/476-what-is-a-good-remedy-for-scaly-leg

April 29, 2012

Giveaway: Mommy, Me & My Chickens


Holly Berkley is the author and illustrator of the book, Mommy, Me & My Chickens and is one of Tilly's Nest's newest sponsors.  Up until recently, keeping backyard chickens was outlawed in the town where Holly lives near San Diego, California.  Recently, backyard chickens became legalized and Holly could not resist getting a flock of her own.  She was inspired by her family's journey in keeping and raising backyard chickens that she decided to pen a children's book.


When I received the book for review, I gave it to one of my toughest critics, my five year old daughter.  She brought it over to her big brother and they read it together.  They both commented that the story was cute and were eager to point out that we too have had similar experiences.  It was nice to have made that connection.  Holly's story touches upon incubators, hatching and hatch rates, the brooder, chicken diet, composting, eggs, free ranging, dust baths, the chicken coop and nesting boxes.




The book is very colorful and her drawings are whimsical.  Holly does a fantastic job sharing just enough information to little ones about chicken keeping.  She keeps it simple, yet covers all the basics.  There is even a glossary and chicken fact section in the back.  This book is perfect for families who have not yet started chicken keeping.  It is also perfect for classrooms hatching their own eggs.  I would recommend this book for ages 8 and under.  Mommy, Me & My Chickens would be well suited in preschools and elementary schools.  It would also make a great gift for any chicken lover who has little ones around.

Here is how you can enter to win a copy!

1. You must leave a comment on this blog for entry. Only comments here on this blog post will be
accepted as an entry. Be sure to leave an email address so that we can contact you if you do not have a blog. (1 entry) If you are doing any of the below actions to increase your number of entries, please let us know in your comment. You can earn 4 entries in this amazing giveaway!

2. Visit the Mommy, Me & My Chickens Facebook page and tell them Tilly sent you. (1 entry)

3. Don't miss out on future giveaways. Follow our blog, Tilly's Nest (1 entry) Following options are on the right hand side of this website. Current fans will already qualify for this entry.

4. Follow Tilly's Nest on Facebook.
Good luck!

This contest ends on Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 11:59 pm East Coast Time.
Items ship to US address only.


Photo Credit: Holly Berkley (book cover),  Tilly's Nest

April 28, 2012

NPR, The Chickens are Interviewed


I received a phone call from our local National Public Radio (NPR) radio station. They had read that I learned to speak the chickens' language.  They came to create a Sonic ID.  If you listen to NPR, you will know the Sonic IDs to be the small, under two minute, stories that assist in transitioning the main stories together.  My favorite part, is that I recognize each and everyone of my girls talking to me in the background.  I'm so proud of my girls!  Click here to listen.  Enjoy!

Photo Credit:  Tilly's Nest


April 27, 2012

Chicken Potstickers



When I lived in Southern California, I become close friends with many wonderful people of Asian decent. Tradition and family go hand in hand in their culture.  Often, I would visit one of my Chinese friends and find their entire family sitting at the kitchen table on a Saturday afternoon making dumplings.  The Grandma, Auntie, Mom, Dad and brothers and sisters would all sit around for hours, talking while creating the perfect dumplings.  On days they knew I was coming, there was always an empty seat waiting for me.

Ingredients:

Potstickers

1/2 pound ground chicken
1/4 cup minced scallions
1/4 cup Napa Cabbage-minced into fine pieces
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 egg- beaten
1 teaspoon fresh ground ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons soy sauce
30-40 wonton wrappers (refrigerated section of grocery store)
4 tablespoons Canola oil
water

Dipping Sauce

3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce You can add more to your liking but beware, this is a very hot sauce.



Preparation:

In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken, scallions, cabbage, black pepper, egg, ginger, garlic and soy sauce.  Mix until well incorporated.  I use my hands for the best results.

Add water to a small dish.  On a plate, place one wonton wrapper.  Dip your finger in the water and rub water around all the edges of the wonton wrapper.  Transfer the wrapper to the dumpling press. In the center of the wonton wrapper, place 1/2 tablespoon of the chicken mixture. Close the dumpling press.  Open and remove the finished potsticker.  Repeat until you have finished using all of the meat mixture.  If you do not have a dumpling press, Dip your finger in the water and rub around all the edges of the wonton wrapper.  Fill the wonton wrapper on the plate.   Fold the wonton in half and then rub your finger on the edges to seal the meat into the wonton wrapper.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Once the oil is hot, add the dumplings one by one. Turn the heat down to low and cover the pan for approximately 3 minutes.  Do not touch them.  After a couple of minutes, check the bottom of the potstickers.  Once they are golden brown, turn the potstickers and add 1/4 cup of water to the pan and return the lid.  Steam for approximately 10 minutes.  Once done remove from the pan and start the process again with the remaining potstickers.

To prepare the sauce, add the soy sauce, vinegar and Sriracha to a small dish and whisk until well incorporated.

Click here to view our cookbook.




Photo Credit:  Tilly's Nest

April 26, 2012

Winner: The Fresh Egg Cookbook


This morning, one winner was selected at random to receive a copy of this fabulous cookbook provided to Tilly's Nest by  Storey Publishing.  Without further ado...

Congratulations

Mara Lansky

You are our winner!

Please email me your information so we can get this book to you~melissa@tillysnest.com

Thank you to everyone that entered!
Stay tuned for another giveaway starting soon.

Photo Credit:  Storey Publishing


April 25, 2012

Visiting Turkey


I had just finished dropping my son off at the bus and returned home to find four male turkeys on my front lawn.  At first, I did not see them but I knew something was askew.  All the girls were hiding in the coop while sounding the chicken alarm.  I looked up and scanned the sky for hawks.  Nothing.  Then I looked around the coop for a brave squirrel.  Nothing.  Then I looked out in the front lawn and saw them.  Wild turkeys were walking toward me!  Last year on the Cape we had one that kept attacking the mail truck down by the Kennedy Compound.  Click here for video.  Eventually, it was claimed by Ethel Kennedy, but boy was it aggressive and made headlines quite a few times before the saga ended.  I decided to go inside and grab my husband.  I had seen the video and listened to the locals that were interviewed.  I was nervous.  My husband came out and was able to take a few photos of the boys.  By the time we had found them, the chicken alarm had ceased and they had set off across the neighbor's driveway.


Last year the girls were visited by a lone male turkey.  I wonder if he was in this year's group?

Photo Credit:  Mr. Tilly's Nest

April 23, 2012

Spring in the Gardens: After the Rain

Whatever happened to April showers bring May flowers?  This April we have set a new record for dry weather on the Cape.  It has been over two weeks since we have had any rain.  Living on this little strip of land jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean, many of this year's Spring storms somehow seem to have just missed us.  The grass is dry.  Flowers need watering and the gardens have been slow to emerge from the ground.  However, last night a storm arrived.

All night, I listened to wind and rain beating against the bedroom window.  I was pulled from my sleep by the sound of torrential rains drumming down on the skylights.  It was hard to return to sleep.  All I could think about was visiting the gardens after the rain.  We needed this so badly.  The morning light could not come fast enough, as I yearned to explore the gardens.

On the other hand, the chickens had been living the good life over the past two weeks.  Putting it mildly, they are not fans of rain and wind.  Thank goodness I believed the rumor of rain last night and covered their run before the storm began.   This morning, happy as can be, one by one they popped out into their dry run.  They had no idea how a good rain seems to make the gardens miraculously grow overnight.  I kept my flip flops on and explored the yard. I could feel the rain from the grass collecting between my toes as a fine drizzle still fell from the sky.  I could feel it kissing my cheeks and my hair beginning to frizz.  I too felt incredibly alive.
The pansies held up in the rain.


Overnight the potted peas reached to the sky twirling tendrils of support.


 Finally the Turkish fig unfurled its leaves.  I had been staring at buds all week.


The crab apple's buds are ready to burst.


The lettuce in the garden grew at least 2 inches.


The kale's leaves guided the rain drops to its roots.


A fallen oak leaf hid amongst the creeping phlox.


Spring blooms are arriving in the back garden.


Even the agave welcomed the rain.


Photo Credit:  Tilly's Nest


This post is linked up to Homestead Revival's Homestead Barn Hop.

April 20, 2012

Soul Food

The eyes are the window to the soul.
~traditional Proverb

Today, I stole a quiet moment.  It had been long overdue.  The kids were playing so nicely and quietly together that I took time to sneak off into the gardens and brilliant sunshine where I have been working all week long.  I found a place in the grass and sat.  From my vantage point I could see the chickens, the garden and the new beehives. As hard as it was, I refrained from calling out to the flock. 

Tilly and Oyster Cracker were wing to wing just sitting in a huge dusty crater they had made; a perfect bath for two.  I felt like a spy.  There I was like a fly on the wall, peeping into their moment together.  What were they doing in there?  

There they sat.  I could hear them talking a low sort of muttering under their breath.  Then one would see something on the other's back and they would gently remove it with their beak.  It would be quiet and then their conversation would resume.  There were no awkward moments of silence.  There was no rush to jump up and grab treats from me.  Their guards were down.  They too were just chilling out relaxing.  This was their stolen moment.

Moments like today are so few and far between for so many of us.  It was strange, this realization that the chickens needed time for themselves too.  They needed quality time for themselves, without the pecking order in the way, other family members showing up trying to squeeze their way into the dust bath or any unplanned visitors to interrupt their day.  

Sometimes by doing nothing at all, we accomplish what we truly need.  Hearts are filled.  A sense of peace is restored and we are enveloped in the warmth of the sun's arms.  Our souls come alive.  If I pay close enough attention, I swear sometimes I can feel it dancing in my heart.  

Ordinary riches can be stolen; real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.  ~Oscar Wilde




Photo Credit: Tilly's Nest

April 19, 2012

Giveaway: The Fresh Egg Cookbook


A few weeks back, I received two copies of The Fresh Egg Cookbook from Storey Publishing.  One for me to review and one to giveaway to our blogging friends.  This cookbook is part chicken memoir and part cookbook.  Jennifer Trainer Thompson shares personal stories from her flock and from her kitchen where cooking is truly a family affair.  She even interlaces some general chicken information, which is always fun to read.  Whenever I review a cookbook, it is important for me to create a few of the recipes that intrigue me.  I love to see how they turn out in my kitchen and I love to see how they taste.  Here are three delicious ones that I made during the review of this cookbook.

Shirred Eggs p.40




Creamy Italian Dressing p.18



Southwestern Egg Burrito p. 117



I found the recipes to be simple and easy to prepare with short cooking times.   A few recipes will require an extra trip to the grocer for items that you may not necessarily stock in your pantry, but can be found at most grocers across the country.  From what we sampled, everything had nice fresh flavor and accented the fresh eggs.  The author shares all sorts of recipes, some expected and some new.  Appetizers, main courses, vegetarian dishes and desserts as well as snacks are all included.  This cookbook is wonderful.  I am always looking for new ways to serve eggs to my family.  It certainly exceeded my expectations.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone with a flock of backyard chickens.

Ms. Thompson does include quite a few dishes that include serving raw or under cooked eggs. Readers should be aware of the implications and risks associated with consuming eggs that have not been cooked to 160 degrees F.

Here is how you can enter to win a copy!

1. You must leave a comment on this blog for entry. Only comments here on this blog post will be
accepted as an entry. Be sure to leave an email address so that we can contact you if you do not have a blog. (1 entry) If you are doing any of the below actions to increase your number of entries, please let us know in your comment(s). You can earn 3 entries in this amazing giveaway!

2. Visit Storey Publishing's website and tell me your top "wish list" book. (1 entry)

3. Don't miss out on future giveaways.  Follow our blog, Tilly's Nest  (1 entry)  Following options are on the right hand side of this website.  Current fans will already qualify for this entry.

Good luck!

This contest ends on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 11:59 pm East Coast Time.
Items ship to US address only.


Photo Credits:  (book cover) Storey Publishing, (food photos) Tilly's Nest

April 18, 2012

Placement of the Beehives

We rarely see honeybees in our gardens, only the large bumblebees.

So as many of you know, I am starting out on my newest adventure, beekeeping.  Finally the weather warmed up literally overnight and it was time this week to kick things into high gear.  The bees are scheduled to come in May and I had so much yet to do.  I had to finish building the hives, paint them and find a suitable place in the yard following the guidelines.  The hives also needed time to "air out" after their painting. So, I have been busy as a bee these past few days.

After building the hives, I found a nice sunny spot and laid down newspaper.  Each hive received three fresh coats of glossy white paint.  Each layer of paint dried quickly in the sun.  It was easy to continue prepping the hive area in yard and returning every now and then to add an extra layer of paint.



Beehive placement requires a few things:
Morning sun with late afternoon shade
The entrance should face South, Southeast or East.
The North sides of the hives should be protected from Northern winds in the Winter.
There should be space to walk around each hive.
The hive entrance should not face toward traffic areas.
The hives need to be elevated for two reasons:
     1.  To keep the ground moisture from getting into the hive.
     2.  To make it easier on your back when lifting the heavy hive components full of honey and comb.
The hives should be easily accessible to you and if not on your property, in close proximity.
The bees require a constant source of water.
The ground under and hives should be kept weed free.  Some people place the hives on mulch, wood chips and even carpet remnants.



I added a layer of wood chips to the ground where the hives would be located.  I placed two cinder blocks per hive on the ground, one in the front and one in the back.  I laid them on their sides to prevent mice from making homes in them and ensured they were level. Next, I gave them a uniform ever so slight tilt forward.  By having the hives tilted forward, rain/snow runs out of the hive verses running into the hive.  This also makes it easier for the bees to clean their hive. On Cape Cod, we place the bottom board directly onto the blocks.  I spaced each set about 2 feet apart.



I faced the hive entrances toward the Southeast aiming toward the rhododendron bushes.  The entrances will be protected from human foot traffic.  A bee loaded down with pollen has not time to fly around us.  They are making a beeline to the hive.  The bees will accommodate for plants near the entrance.  Upon return, they will fly higher up and glide down like a helicopter coming in for a landing at the hive.


As for the water, I picked up this lovely birdbath to add to the yard near the bees.  It was on Winter clearance at my favorite local gardening center.  I just had to have it.  I can see this birdbath and the hives from my kitchen window.  It will be easy to assess if I need to add water each morning.  In fact, this is something that I have added to the kids' chore list.

So I think we are all ready for our bees.  I have done the best that I can with all the requirements of placing the hive.  They are now waiting for their bees.  Our journey has begun and I am so excited.  They say that not many people in their first year of beekeeping get honey.  I guess a girl can dream.

Next time, I will give you a tour of what makes up the insides of a bee-less hive and how to prepare that for the bees.


Photo Credits:  Tilly's Nest




This post is linked up to Homestead Revival's Barn Hop and Deborah Jean's Farm Girl Friday Bloghop.

April 17, 2012

Winner: Chicken Coop from My Pet Chicken



First a huge thank you is in order to My Pet Chicken for sponsoring such an amazing giveaway this month!  This was by far our most popular giveaway yet with over 1100 entries.  One lucky winner was selected at random with the help of a random number generator to win the Clubhouse Chicken Coop.  The winner will have to identify where they found the 5 hidden Tilly emoticons in order to claim the prize within the next 24 hours (deadline is April 18, 2012, 1:15pm East Coast Time).  The winner should email me at: melissa@tillysnest.com with links to all 5 Tillys.  If the winner fails to locate all the Tilly's in the time frame allowed, a new winner will be randomly selected.

Congratulations!

Susie H.
~(:>3)=
Check your inbox an email has been sent to you!

Thank you again everyone for entering.
Stay tuned for a brand new giveaway happening later this week.

Photo Credit:  My Pet Chicken

April 15, 2012

Beauty Parlor


Feathers rocking an amazing do.

I have three nesting boxes.  The problem is that I have four broody Silkie Bantam hens.  They are stubborn.  As a concession two will often share a box but when one of the big girls comes into lay for the day, it is like World War III.  Every Silkie jockeys for position to stay in their box.  What does a girl who wants to lay her egg do to the broody girls?  She talks to them and gives them a peck.  Often, these hormonal Silkies cannot be reasoned with.  They have an unreal dedication to brood.  The only way they vacate the nesting box is through repetitive pecking by the big girl who wants to lay her egg.  Finally, one little Silkie can't take it anymore and abandons the nest scooting out into the run.

This repetitive pecking for the Sikies comes at a price.  It affects their cute little heads.  Once filled with a poof ball of fluff, they have now succumbed to the feather styling efforts of the bigger girls.  Some little ones sport mohawk-like dos. Others appear to have a sort of male pattern baldness working.  Then there are some that are missing a few patches here and there, almost mange-like.  I feel badly and know that as soon they snap out of the broodiness, their beautiful poofy coifs return.  The Silkies, on the other hand, are unfazed.

I wish I could be unfazed like them when I get a bad hair cut.  We have all had them.  When trying out a new stylist sometimes the cut is just a little too short, shows off the ears too much or just is the wrong color.  I think the worst cuts though have always come when I have brought a photo in as an example.  "I want to look just like this movie star."  The problem is we are not in Hollywood.  We have humidity; combine that with running around the day, doing errands, laundry, cooking, washing the dog and serving as an after school taxi cab does not always match the do.  Having naturally wavy hair, often those Hollywood styles end up at the end of the day looking like a huge ball of frizz with it's own zip code.  Sometimes, I think the chickens could do a better job at styling my hair.  Hey, they'd probably do it for free, especially if they found some bugs in there after I was done gardening for the day.

Have you entered the chicken coop giveaway yet?  You have only until tomorrow by 11:59pm East Coast Time.  Click here for the link.


Photo Credit:  Tilly's Nest

April 14, 2012

Visiting Itzy Bitzy Farm

Social media is a wonderful thing when it has the ability to connect people that live so close to one another that never would have met if it weren't for the power of the internet.  One such person is Susan from Itzy Bitzy Farm.  Susan is one very talented horticulturalist who moved up North from the South only two years ago.  She is an amazing gardener who can grow and teach you about anything that grows in the dirt.  The other afternoon I had a chance to swap chicken advice for gardening inspiration and plants.  It was a wonderful day.  We started off touring her garden.  First stop was the greenhouse.  As she rolled up the door, the warm steamy smell of fresh mulch filled the air.  Love that!  Susan also shared an amazing tip.  She keeps an oscillating fan on low blowing across her seedlings.  This helps to make their stems strong and sturdy against the wind.



Tiny asparagus ferns

Next, we toured her raised beds.  She is still building and has at least 10 beds planted with seeds and plants including strawberries, onions, peas, asparagus, broccoli, turnips, garlic, beans and so much more.

New peas emerge from the warm soil.
Her talents are evident everywhere you look and the growing season up North has hardly begun.  We still are without leaves on our trees and the daffodils are just beginning to bloom.  I could sit and talk to Susan about gardening forever but it was time now for me to share with her my knowledge about chickens.  You see, Susan is just getting started in backyard chickens.


On the enclosed porch sits a lovely brooder that Susan built with her son for her newest family members;  eight little ones altogether in assorted breeds- Buff Orpingtons, Delawares, Silver Laced Wyandottes and Speckled Sussex.  Susan picked them up from a feed store 30 minutes from her home.  She also was able to purchase a coop for her girls there too, but they are still too young.  They are only one week old.  For now they must remain in their brooder.  Susan and her son created the brooder using plywood and hardware cloth.  Inside, 12 inch tall corrugated cardboard surrounds the outer walls preventing drafts from entering.  A heat lamp hangs from above.  One chick feeder contains feed, while the other is filled with water and marbles fill the water tray to prevent accidental drownings.


As soon as Susan opened the brooder door, her little ones came to cautiously say hello.  Her Buff Orpingtons are the most curious.  Soon enough, one hopped up onto her leg to examine a treat.


It is so clear to me how much Susan has already bonded with these adorable one week old babies!


Susan has done her research and it has paid off.  She has even found a wonderful feed store that makes its own feed locally.


chick feed

I am thankful for the role that social media plays in the world of chicken keeping.  In fact, I wish that lived closer to so many of you.  Oh, how I wish we could shrink this big wide world we live in.  To me, there is something to be said for meeting in person. Those are the connections that bring things full circle for me.  Of course, there is something to be said for the chick fever that sets in when I meet them in person too!  How can you resist coming face with this?


Susan is new to blogging but has so much to share.  Please take a moment to stop on by her blog and leave her a word or two of encouragement, for a new blogger they mean so much.  Also, don't forget you have just a day or so left to enter the coop giveaway!  Click here to enter.


Photo Credits:  Tilly's Nest

April 13, 2012

Easy DIY Raised Garden Beds


Two years ago, I was enlisted as the Project Coordinator for a new school yard garden project.  It was the first of its kind on school property and was started on a shoestring budget.  One way that we kept cost down was to build our own raised beds.  After scouring various gardening magazines and internet sites, I combined much of what I saw to form simple and easy gardening beds.  This project requires beginning woodworking skills.  Alone, it took me a just a morning to complete, including the time spent at Home Depot purchasing the supplies.



Here is what you need to create THREE 3'x6' beds.

A good cordless screwdriver
1 box~3" decking screws
6~ 2"x10"x12' non-pressure treated boards (sometimes the boards do not equal 12' exactly. This is what happened at my local store.)
2~4"x4"x8' non-pressure treated posts





Did you know that Home Depot will do all the cutting for you?  Ask them to do the following:

1.  Cut 3 of the 2"x10"x12' non-pressure treated boards in half creating SIX, 6 foot boards
2.  Cut 3 of the 2"x10"x12' non-pressure treated boards into 3 foot boards.
     You need a total of SIX three foot boards. There will be leftover.
3.  From the 4"x4"x8' non-pressure treated posts cut TWELVE 9 inch post sections. There will be leftover.

Now that you have all of your pieces you can head home and start building.

On a flat level surface, gather the pieces you need to create one bed. I found a nice place in the backyard.
~2 Three foot boards
~2 Six foot boards
~4 Nine inch post sections.
~12 decking screws

Place a six foot board on the ground.  Underneath on the ends, line up your nine inch section to the edge of the each side of the board.  Be sure the bottom of the section is flush with the bottom of the board. There will be space a bit smaller than 1/2 inch at the top.  Screw each section into the board in three evenly spaced places.  Repeat these steps on the other six foot section.



Stand up your six foot sections.  Be sure the little gap is at the top.  The posts should face inside the box at one another.



Line up one three foot board on each end and use three evenly spaced screws to secure them into the sections of post.  Repeat this on the other end.



One bed is complete.  Repeat the above steps with the rest of your bed supplies to create two more.  Here is how all three of my beds turned out.



Before you fill the beds, move them around the yard and be sure that they receive plenty of sunshine, especially if you are going to be growing vegetables in them like me.  The wood that I used is non-pressure treated fir.  Sure, it will rot at some point but that will be years. Even though arsenic is no longer used to pressure treat wood and prevent rotting, I still do not want any of the currently used chemicals to leech into the soil and into the plants.  In a few years time, it is easy to replace a rotting board or two on one of these beds.

I felt so accomplished that I had only done this in one morning.  Once I determine a good sunny location, I will fill the beds with soil, compost and peat.  Stay tuned and I will share that with you in the weeks to come. I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial and I hope that you will try to make some raised garden beds for you and your family to enjoy.  Would make a great weekend project for the family.

Photo Credits:  Tilly' Nest


This post is linked up to Deborah Jean's Dandelion House Friday Farm Girl Blog Hop.