It’s spring-time and the perfect time to start a garden. Build this raised garden bed with or without a cucumber trellis and start gardening tomorrow!

Raised planter bed and cucumber trellisHow to Build a Raised Garden Bed with a Cucumber Trellis

Is there anything better than vegetables grown in your garden? They are hard to top! Cucumbers are very easy to grow, but do best if you give them a little extra care. When we decided to build a second raised vegetable garden, we decided to plan in advance to make it a strategic cucumber garden with a raised wooden trellis. We’re excited to show you how to build a DIY raised cucumber garden.

Hey y’all! We are Morgan & Sean McBride, and we blog at CharlestonCrafted.com where we are crafting our first home into our dream home and empowering you to try DIY. We share with our readers a variety of projects aimed at helping new homeowners make their homes their own. Some highlights include: our completely DIY coastal kitchen makeover; our tropical hammock oasis; and our budget laundry room refresh! Our most recent big project was our DIY concrete stone-look patio, which we are obsessed with. I’m likely to be found sharing behind the scenes and lots of laughs over on Instagram Stories, so pop over and say hey!

How to select a location for your cucumber garden:

The number one thing to remember when selecting a location for your cucumber garden is to make sure it receives plenty of light. At least five hours of morning sun is ideal, and afternoon sun on top of that is good too. You also need to be prepared to water your cucumber garden a lot because they need a lot of water, plus they are growing in the summer, when it is hard to keep these things hydrated.

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Instructions:
Build your garden upside down. Start by cutting your 4″x4″ into four equal pieces one foot long each using a miter saw.

Cut your 8-foot-long 2″x8″ in half with a circular saw or miter saw.

Lay out your 10′ boards with your now-4′ boards on either end and place your 4″x4″ pieces in the corner. (It helps to lay a small piece of scrap wood in each corner to keep the 2″x8″s raised a half inch or so, but make sure the posts stay on the ground.)

Attach your four posts to the inside of each board keeping corners flush using the decking screws.

Dig four post holes in your garden location and install your flipped over, constructed raised bed by placing the long ends of the posts in the holes.

How to build a cucumber trellis:

Materials:

  • Three- 2″x2″x8′ boards
  • One- 2’x8′ lattice
  • Brad nailer
  • 1″ brad nails
  • Circular saw

Instructions:
A cucumber trellis is super easy to build. First, build the frame by cutting two 4-foot-long pieces out of one of the boards and three 3-foot-long boards out of the other two.

Use your nailer to attach the three foot boards to the inside of the four foot boards with two lining up on the outside edges and one exactly in the center.

Next, lay your lattice down on the frame and cut it along the edge with your circular saw. It should be 3 feet, 3 inches. Do that again with the excess to create a second piece for the other side.

Lay the two pieces of lattice down on the frame, marrying them next to each other in center. Use your nailer to go around and nail down the lattice to the frame.

Now, cut two 2-foot-long boards with a 45 degree angle from the remains of the 2″x2″ to serve as your legs.
Finally, position the two legs on the back of the frame and nail the frame down to the legs.

Add garden soil to fill your raised bed about 3/4 of the way full and then add the cucumber trellis on one side. You want to pick a spot that is accessible from the side so that you can easily reach under the trellis.

We are so excited to plant cucumbers in this garden this spring. The trellis will keep them off the ground and give the cucumber plants the support that they need to grow successfully. As a bonus, we also plan to plant lettuce under the shade of the cucumber trellis, where they should thrive out of the direct summer sun.

Thanks for having us and be sure to come visit us at CharlestonCrafted.com.

You can also connect with us on facebook, instagram, pinterest, youtube, twitter, and etsy.

A Note from Pretty Handy Girl:

I love this project that Morgan and Sean built, especially with spring right around the corner. It’s definitely time to start preparing your garden for the growing season.

You may have noticed that the lumber used for the raised planter bed and trellis is pressure-treated lumber. You should know that there is some debate over whether it is safe to use pressure treated lumber for an edible garden. Personally I like to use Cedar or other naturally rot-resistant materials to prevent the chemicals from leaching into your food. You can also choose to prime or line the inside of the bed. I’ll leave the decision up to you.

You may also like this tutorial for building a rot resistant raised planter bed:

How to Build a Rot-Resistant Raised Planter Bed | Pretty Handy Girl

 

how to fix a leaky garden hoseHow to Easily Fix a Leaky Hose

A garden hose is a valuable tool around my yard in the summertime. It’s vital to keep my yard looking beautiful, keeping plants watered, and occasionally for a fun water fight with my kids. But what happens when that very useful hose springs a leak? Not only is it frustrating to use but it is a complete waste of water (not to mention that you get wetter than the person you intend to soak in a water fight.) It may be tempting to throw it out and buy a new one, but did you know it’s fairly simple to fix a leaky garden hose? It is! I have the solution for you in this tutorial on How to Fix a Leaky Hose!

Ready to save money and water? Great! Let’s get to it!

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Instructions:

The first step is to cut off the leaky end of the hose using your heavy duty snips. Be sure to cut perpendicular to the hose.

Remove the two screws from the hose repair coupling clamp using your screwdriver.

Insert the threaded coupling piece into the cut end of your hose.

Have patience, this can be the hardest step. Push it down against a hard surface until the coupling is completely inserted into the hose.

Next, take the two parts of the clamp and put one piece behind the hose, as pictured. Hold it in place while you add the second clamp piece. Line up the screws with the holes on the back piece.

Tighten the screws. It may be easier to set it on a hard surface, as shown here.

Now connect your sprayer to the end and give it a test try!

Hooray! No more leaky hoses. Now where are those crazy boys of mine? Time to start a water fight on this hot summer day. ;-D

This was a simple fix to a frustrating problem and it only cost a few dollars. Definitely worth it! I hope you liked this tutorial and it comes in handy should you need it. Do you have a leaky hose you need to fix? Or have you repaired a leaky hose with this method?

If you liked this post, you’ll love:

How to Install Sprinkler System

How to Install a Sprinkler System

 

Tips to Create Knock Out Container Gardens | Pretty Handy Girl

Tips to Creating Knockout Container Gardens

How to Compost - Secret Gardening Formula | Pretty Handy Girl

Do you compost? Oh my gosh, if you don’t, why not?!!! It is easy, it’s great for the environment and it will result in amazing nutrient rich soil that surpasses anything you can buy from a store! Some of the additional benefits are that you will reduce the amount of trash you produce and keep things out of the landfill.

Keep reading to learn How to Compost and create your own magnificent garden soil!

Now, I totally understand if you are living in the big city in an apartment and really don’t have space for compost let alone potted plants (but if you do want to compost, read more about worm composting in a container.) However, f you have a yard, you really should be composting! It’s easy, it takes very little time, and my little wiggly BFFs (aka worms) do all the work for you.

How to Compost - Secret Gardening Formula | Pretty Handy Girl

That’s right, they eat up all your kitchen and yard waste and turn it into beautiful black soil. How do they do it? If I tell you, you have to promise that you won’t get grossed out. They poop it out. LOL. Yup, compost is decomposition and worm castings (a nicer word for worm poop.) Please don’t run away, find out how easy it is to create this magnificent garden soil.

Here’s the basics for how to compost and get top quality soil for your garden and landscaping for FREE!

How to Compost – Magnificent Garden Soil Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

  • Spading ForkHow to Compost
  • Sealed bucket or container to store kitchen scraps:

Attractive Compost Pails I wouldn't mind having in my kitchen!

Blue and White Floral CrockSea Blue Compost CrockGreen Stoneware Crock
 Copper Compost Bin  |  OXO Flip Lid Compost Container  |  Red Ceramic Crock
Green Metal Pail  | Bamboo Compost Pail  | Sprout Compost Container

 

What can be composted?

How to Compost - Secret Gardening Formula | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Kitchen scraps
    • raw fruits
    • vegetables
    • egg shells
  • Coffee grounds and the filter
  • Newspapers, non-glossy cardboard, paper towels
  • Leaves (brown for carbon and green for nitrogen rich)
  • Grass clippings
  • Plant & flower clippings
  • Yard waste

What can’t be composted?

  • Meats
  • Dairy products
  • Processed foods
  • Plastic
  • Man made substances
  • Metals

Okay, you get the picture. Only raw fruits and veggies (and egg shells), okay?

Location:

Your pile doesn’t have to be anything special. A simple a hole in the ground is fine. Find a partially shaded spot in your yard. A shady spot is ideal so the pile doesn’t get dried out in the hot sun. If you’ve had a dry spell for a while, go ahead and water the pile. If you have pets, put a little fencing around it to keep them from getting into the compost. (Eating decomposing food can make them sick.) Don’t worry too much about wild animals (unless you have a serious pest problem.) Animals will come sniffing around and may dig a scrap or two out of the pile, but they rarely take up residence in your yard. However, if you are concerned about pests, go ahead and purchase a closed bin for your yard.  Otherwise, save your money, a fancy tumbler or bin aren’t necessary for the compost to produce.

How to Compost:

Keep your compost bucket in your kitchen. (We keep our pail under the sink, but if you have a pretty container you can leave it on the countertop.)

How to Compost - Magnificent Garden Soil| Pretty Handy Girl

After cutting veggies or fruit, toss the scraps in the bucket. Coffee grounds can get thrown in, filter and all! Egg shells are also great for your compost.

When the bucket is full, take your scraps outside to the compost pile. Clear a hole in your pile, dump the scraps and cover them over with dirt or soil (this will prevent attracting too much wildlife to your pile.)

How to Compost - Secret Gardening Formula | Pretty Handy Girl

Occasionally throw in some torn up strips of newspaper to add some “carbon” source to the pile. The key to a healthy compost is to have a good mixture of green (nitrogen rich) vs. brown (carbon rich) materials. Don’t overload on grass clippings or yard waste.

How to Compost - Secret Gardening Formula | Pretty Handy Girl

Flip some fresh soil on top of the scraps and walk away! That’s it. What about my BFFs, the worms? If you start the pile, they will come. Trust me, they’ll find your pile. If you’re super antsy, you could buy some red wigglers from a fishing bait place, but honestly why bother? Soon you’ll have big fat overfed worms happily working for you for free. Go back in 2-3 weeks and check on the progress of your magnificent garden soil.

How to Compost - Secret Gardening Formula | Pretty Handy Girl

I usually grab my magnificent soil from the bottom when I need it. But, you can split your pile in two. Use one side to add scraps to and let the other side “marinade” to perfection. Then switch sides. Frankly my little worm army works pretty fast. Within a month they have produced enough compost to fill some potted plants and more. I rarely buy soil anymore unless I need a huge amount.

What about composting in the winter? If you aren’t under a dumping of snow, your pile can still work in the winter. In fact, you’ll be surprised to see the warm steam rising from the pile when you dig into the center.

Compost Tea:

Now that you have a rockin’ compost pile you may want to learn how to make a compost tea to further nourish your plants and help them be healthier and heartier! I haven’t tried it yet, but you better believe I’ll be brewing some compost tea this year.

Share this article with your friends and do something environmentally friendly! Pin this graphic to refer to later:

How to Compost - Magnificent Garden Soil| Pretty Handy Girl

Now that you have compost to use, learn how to create a rot resistant planter bed:

How to Build a Rot-Resistant Raised Planter Bed | Pretty Handy Girl

And maybe you want to dip your toes in the Square Foot Gardening craze!

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Thank You For Nurturing My Child Teacher Gift Idea | Pretty Handy Girl
Every year my son’s elementary school has a staff and teacher appreciation week. It sneaks up on me and catches me off-guard (every year!) In the spirit of last minute teacher appreciation gift ideas, I’ll be bringing you a week’s worth of ideas that are quick, easy and affordable!

Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas Series | Pretty Handy Girl

Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas:

Decorated Chalkboard | Thank You for Nurturing My Child Plant | Apple Pencil Holder | You Rock Gift 3D Card | Simple Washi Tape Vases

I REALLY appreciate those men and women who give their time and patience to my child and the other kids in the school. So, I want to make sure I give them something a little different than a card (not that a card isn’t a nice gesture though.)

I spotted some glass votive holders at Goodwill (previously purchased at IKEA), and knew I could do something special with them. Then while browsing Lowe’s I found myself staring at the succulent plants. Eureka! I had my gift idea! A “Thank You for Nurturing My Child” Teacher Appreciation gift idea!

Materials:
(contains affiliate links)

Thank You For Nurturing My Child Teacher Gift Idea | Pretty Handy Girl

Instructions:

Start by filling the bottom 1/3 of the votive holder with the decorative rocks.

Thank You For Nurturing My Child Teacher Gift Idea | Pretty Handy Girl

Spoon soil on top of the rocks. Read more

Update on Backyard Landscaping | Pretty Handy Girl

Things have been busy in our yard. There’s been lots of mud and dust flying around. I figured you’d like an update on our backyard landscaping. Put on your boots and let’s get dirty!

If you remember, I had big plans to give our back yard a face lift using Belgard stone products. It’s been super exciting seeing things take shape. The landscaper we hired (Arbor Enterprises, a woman-owned company in Pittsboro, NC) has been here working hard rain or shine. They leveled an area beside the house for the garden and shed area and built a small retaining wall using Keystone Stonegate wall blocks. You can see the drainage gravel in the back where the shed will go. And they will cover the rest of the area with weed barrier and Chapel Hill grit.

Update on Backyard Landscaping | Pretty Handy Girl

The blocks go together easily and are held in place with pins. This allows for a sturdy retaining wall that doesn’t need any mortar.

Update on Backyard Landscaping | Pretty Handy Girl

The Keystone Stonegate Wall Blocks are also being used as a seating wall on the new patio. I chose Mega Arbel mosaic pavers for the patio surface and am in love with the random pattern! The guys started laying the Belgard Granika steps off the patio. They weigh 275 lbs. each — I’m so glad I didn’t chose to DIY this project. Read more

Lowe's Spring Makeover Reveal Tour | Pretty Handy Girl

Have you been following all the Lowe’s Spring Makeovers? There were 10 in all, and each one is truly a miraculous transformation. If you remember, there were 10 bloggers who were sent to 10 different areas that were hardest hit by this past winter. We all combed through hundreds of applications to select 10 homeowners who deserved a fantastic makeover. There were challenges; there were lots of Lowe’s heroes who stepped up to help with those challenges; and there were lots of happy tears in the end. You’ll definitely enjoy reading each story and seeing the reveal!

If you’re ready to start the tour, grab a cold drink and head this way—>>> Read more

20 Summer Boredom Busters for Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

If you’re on a quest to keep the kids entertained, I have several Boredom Buster DIY craft projects for you and your kids that will keep you busy over the next few weeks or so.

side_view_calendars

Summer Calendar & Bucket List

 

Thumbprint Pillow | Pretty Handy Girl

Kids’ Thumbprint Envelope Pillows

 

cooling_crayon_hearts

Melted Heart Crayons

 

Sunprints | Pretty Handy Girl

Sunprints (frame-worthy art)

 

DIY Magnets Noggin Characters | Pretty Handy Girl

DIY Character Magnets

 

Placemat_summer_garden_flag_pin

Summer Garden Flag

 

Planning a beach vacation? Why not bring a few craft supplies to create some beach-themed crafts!

Writing Name in Sand Art | Pretty Handy Girl

Writing in the Sand Art

 

Sea Shell Memory Game | Pretty Handy Girl

Sea Shell Memory Game

 

Dragonfly Garden Decor using a Dollar Store Whisk and Skewer | Pretty Handy Girl

DIY Dragonfly from a Whisk and Skewer

 

block print tea towel

Potato Block Print Tea Towels

 

Easy_washi_tape_vases

Easy Washi Tape Vases

 

how to make a yardstick star

DIY Yardstick Star

 

Spray-Dyed T-shirts | Pretty Handy Girl

Spray-dyed Shirts

 

Easy Decorated Chalkboard Clipboards | Pretty Handy Girl

Decorative Chalkboard Clipboards

 

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Kid Designed Monster Dolls

 

boy_playing_indoor_hopscotch

Indoor Hopscotch with Painter’s Tape

 

wine_cork_reindeer

Wine Cork Animals

 

finished_shirt_first_image

Doodle Shirts

 

PrettyHandyGirl_music_Votives_on_shelf

Decorated Glass Jar Votives

 

Magnetic Mailbox Cover | Pretty Handy Girl

Custom Painted Magnetic Mailbox Covers 

Those ought to keep your kids busy for a little while and let you make summer memories that last forever. Happy Summer!

PHGFancySign

 

Pin for later!

Lowe's Spring Makeover Reveal | Pretty Handy Girl

**This project and post has been sponsored by Lowe’s Home Improvement. They are a company that works hard to give back to the community. I am honored to have been given the opportunity to make a difference in one family’s life. Thank you, Lowe’s!**

You guys, there is one thing I love more than a beautiful makeover. That one thing is giving a beautiful makeover to a deserving family. Elizabeth and Jörg moved to this home in September. They had no family nearby and didn’t know a lot of people in the area. And then one of the harshest winters on record hit. For this family, the winter brought more than cold and snow. They also dealt with their youngest being hospitalized and a miscarriage.  Elizabeth’s sister, Sarah applied to give Elizabeth and Jörg a landscape makeover. As the oldest of three girls, I know how awful it feels when one of my sisters is hurting. And I know I’d do anything to help them.

That’s why it felt so good to give up four days (two travel and two work days) to give this young family a beautiful makeover.

If you remember, this is what the home looked like the morning we arrived. No landscaping.

front-yard-before

No pathway. No railings. No plants.

barren-landscape-bed-before

No grass or defined play space. In one respect, we had a clean slate, but it left us with a lot to do!

swing-set-before

And, I couldn’t have done it without all these heroes!

volunteers

After two days of non-stop working, we kicked the homeowners out of the yard, sent them inside and told them they couldn’t look at their yard for the last few hours of the makeover. When they came out, their reaction was priceless: Read more

Dragonfly Garden Decor using a Dollar Store Whisk and Skewer | Pretty Handy Girl

Summertime is coming and I’m enjoying spending more time in our garden. I’m always looking for cute craft ideas that I can do with the kids while school is out. When I saw this great idea for making a wire whisk dragonfly on Morena’s Corner, I knew I had to try it. I altered Morena’s plans slightly using plastic beads and used a skewer for the plant stake. The cost and materials are minimal to make this Dragonfly Garden Decor using a Dollar Store Wire Whisk and Skewer. This craft can be done with the kids, but you’ll need to be the one to cut and bend the wires and watch out for the pokey edges with real little kids.

Dragonfly Garden Decor Materials:

Dragonfly Garden Decor using a Dollar Store Whisk and Skewer | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Wire whisk
  • Wire skewer
  • Beads
  • Needle-nosed pliers

Dragonfly Garden Decor Instructions:

Begin by bending the first wire loop out to the side to create a wing.

Dragonfly Garden Decor using a Dollar Store Whisk and Skewer | Pretty Handy Girl

Repeat with three more loops (2 on each side).

Dragonfly Garden Decor using a Dollar Store Whisk and Skewer | Pretty Handy Girl

Use the needle-nosed pliers to cut one wire loop into two short pieces as shown below. (You might need to twist the pliers back and forth to cut the wires.) Read more

Heart Shaped Topiary | Pretty Handy Girl

The season of love is upon us. Have you embraced it? Or are you struggling to find something cute but not cutesy. Or something non-red or pink? Today I have a tutorial to show  you how easy it is to create a heart shaped topiary. Keep it for yourself or give it to the one you love. As the vine continues to grow, the heart will be embraced by the leaves and fill out.

In late Autumn, we had a final blue bloom on our hydrangea bush. I clipped it and brought it inside before the impending cold snap arrived. To keep the hydrangea company, I put a few snips of variegated ivy into the vase too.

Heart Shaped Topiary | Pretty Handy Girl

Over the winter, the ivy grew a healthy root system. Ivy is an easy plant to root. Simply put some clippings in water and keep it watered. After the ivy has rooted, you can create a beautiful topiary plant for a kitchen window sill.

Heart Shaped Topiary | Pretty Handy Girl

Begin by collecting your materials.

Materials:

Heart Shaped Topiary | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Ivy with roots
  • Copper water line or thick wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Pot
  • Rocks
  • Sand
  • Potting Soil
  • Trowel
  • Water

Optional: string, floral wire or a twisty tie

Instructions:  Read more