So I don't have a car yet, having just moved out of the city to the suburbs. But when I first moved in, my husband and I rented a car. Since we had the car, we tried to get as much house related stuff as we could, knowing we wouldn't have one again for a few months. In my excitement, I bought a couple cold weather plants, (this was in March) even though we did not yet have the bed set up. I got some mesclun greens, romaine lettuce, chives and a strawberry.
I decided to use cinder blocks as the most cost effective means to build raised beds. I figured the cinder blocks would also be good if I only used one layer, they could be moved next season if necessary. Being a beginning gardener, I knew this season would probably hold some lessons for me so I didn't want to do anything terribly permanent. We also picked up 10 40 lb bags of soil.
Two weeks later the plants were looking pretty unhappy in their containers, but I still hadn't any time to set up the bed. So after work on a Thursday hubby and I frantically dug up the weeds, arranged some of the cinder blocks and filled it with soil. I couldn't believe it took 8 full bags of soil just to fill this one tiny bed!!!! We realized at this point, we were going to need a better solution for getting soil then loading a million bags into a rental car.
To the right is a picture of the first finished raised bed. That's two mesclun in the front, with a chive in the corner on either side. Then 4 romaine in the middle and another 2 mesclun in the back.
I also put the strawberry in a self-watering pot that I was lucky to score on sale for $5.99. Here it is.