Today, I finally got all 4 of my raised bed gardens boxes filled to the top with a rich top layer of soil for the top 6 inches. I bought Magic Forest and Harvest Supreme compost from the local AP Nursery. One of the boxes will be dedicated to growing herbs and I already bought a Stevia plant for the first herb. The other three will grow veggies of various colors, shapes, sizes, and tastes. I built these back in 2011 and just never had the money to fill them up to the top. Built at full size they stand at 4 feet. The bottoms are buried a bit into the ground as can be seen from the earlier photos from 2011 below.
I started by digging out a 12’x12′ area in my backyard. I could have dug four individual 4’x4′ boxes, but only having 2 feet of space between them, I decided to just dig the whole area up as seen above.
Eventually, I got all four boxes built and placed into the ground. From there I started filling back in the space in between them with dirt. Here all the boxes have tops for leaning on and setting stuff on while working in the raised gardens. For winter, I plan to get some thin bendable PVC pipes and cross two in each box, then draping a clear plastic tarp over them to make 4 mini-greenhouses, using the small gap from the top board of the boxes and the tops ledges as a way to water the plants and allow airflow.
After a few years of slowly adding various composts and to these boxes, I decided to add a layer of hard Arizona clay soil to them to make up for dirt I could not afford as compost. Then as shown at the top image, I topped each of the boxes off with rich nutrient compost for the last 6 inches of soil.