Friday, April 24, 2020

Raised Garden Beds

For the last few years, my wife and I grew cucumbers and tomatoes in large planters. This year we decided to up our game and we wanted to start a larger vegetable garden. We did a lot of reading, and this is what we came up with.

You'll hear that you're supposed to use pressure treated lumber when the wood contacts the ground, but the issue is that the pressure treating is not the kind of stuff that you want to leech into the soil that your food grows in. So the next choice would be cedar. But unfortunately, in my locale, combined with the Covid quarantine, made cedar not easily accessible in the stores by me.

So my 3rd choice, and granted not the best idea, was Douglas fir. It was relatively inexpensive, and our thinking was that we could always replace boards that rot over time if we need to over time.

We chose a section of the yard near the back where it gets mostly full sun. I also already had a useable sprinkler zone back there that I could convert for use with the raised beds.

This is all the fir that I bought for the project.

I started by cutting the end pieces. I designed these to try to use the most of the boards I bought. The beds are 8 feet long (a full board) and 4 feet wide (half a board). I cut all of the 4 foot pieces first, and sanded them down.

To strengthen the corners, I used 4x4's, cut to size, to be the inside corners that the boards screw to.

These are the end assemblies for 2 of the beds.

Here are the 3 beds finished and dropped in place. They're all very unleveled, both on their own and to each other.

And here it is all level out. With the ground being sloped the way it is, I had to tier them. I think it looks pretty cool that way anyway. We partially filled them with soil from garden beds in the front yard, and plan to fill them the rest of the way with the appropriate soil.

We have plans to put a worm tower in each bed, made from 5 gallon buckets, compost material and worms. We're also going to wind up fencing the area in to keep rabbits out. That's still to come though.

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