Wednesday, July 3, 2013

New Raised Beds

Sorry I've been neglecting my blog so far this summer but I've been busy and I'll work on catching you up this week.  This post is from work completed May 19th& 20th.  
Left: Old Raised Beds with poor soil and overrun with weeds.  Right New larger raised beds!

Last year we gardened in the pre-existing beds that we in place when we moved in the year before.  These beds had poor dry hard dirt and were over run with weeds.  The size and location made them difficult to weed once veggies were planted.  The first thing we set out to do was clear the old beds.  We went to work first weeding out the overgrowth, then tearing down the frame and levelling the ground.  The dirt was so hard even levelling the soil the very difficult.
Then off to the lumber store to buy the wood.  We went with 8 foot long 4x1's for the walls.  Our plan was for a 32' x 3' bed.  This allowed us to mostly use the lengths as they were purchased.  We only needed to cut the posts (we used 2 foot long 4x4s) and the ends and braces.  This was great because we do not own a saw at the moment so we got the wood cut right in Home Depot.  They will do a certain number of cuts for free (we didn't end up paying for any cuts even though we were over the number, they are pretty good about it).  We built the walls in sections and used these sections to measure out where were would dig the post holes.

The post holes ended up being the most difficult job by far.  We were only going 1 foot deep but this took several hours.  It was too difficult for me to do so GMF took on the job.  (Thanks babe, you rock!).  

Once the post holes were dug we placed the pieces and attached them together in place.  We also decided to add cross braces to help prevent the bed from bowing since it is so long.  

This is the completed bed with no soil.

Then the soil arrived.  Lots of soil.  We calculated that we would need 3 cubic yards of soil.  I'd seen these big yellow bags delivered to other houses so decided to go with them.  They stated that the bags were 1 cubic yard.  But I had a feeling they were much bigger so we went with 2 bags.  I was correct 2 bags easily filled the bed with some to spare for side pots and herb garden planters.  We also purchased a wheel barrow for transporting the soil to the backyard.

It took many trips back and forth but it was worth it.  Check out the completed bed filled with soil.  So much space for veggies!

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