Monday, February 11, 2013

RAISED GARDEN BEDS, STEP ONE COMPLETE




First, I loaded the Jeep (these were NOT fitting in my Fiat, LOL) with the boards.  I went with 2x12's that were 8 feet long.  Other than the two longer beds, they could all be 4 feet so I had the store cut them in half for me.  That saved me lots of work, not to mention, 4 foot long boards are much easier to carry.

These are some awesome things I found online last year.  They are corner brackets/braces that made it so much easier to put them together.  I bought them on sale last year in the Summer when I guess people weren't buying them.  At the time, hey were $16 for a set of 4, which is $4/corner.  Definitely worth it.



You just position two boards in an "L shape" and then this fits right on the corner with a little groove that goes down over the top.  After that, you simply screw them in.  I used galvanized decking screws so that the screws will not rust.  Again, a bit pricier initially than just regular screws, but I'll pay a bit more now for less worries later.  Same with the brackets.  Sure I know you can build beds without them, but I opted for something that made it a bit easier for my first time as well as making sure to hold them together.
It could not have been easier.
  

During the process, 2nd Family's dog "Blue" came to visit.  First he was excited to see me and jumped around licking and tail wagging, then he had to go see what all the fuss was about.

"Do NOT pee on all my hard work, Blue!"

He didn't, at least not there in front of me, who knows what has happened today.





Here they are about a little more than half through the process.  I had to hurry because the skies were getting dark.  A few sprinkles here and there didn't deter me, but a downpour certainly would.





Here they all are finished. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I literally used the LAST screw in the box, flipped the frame down onto the ground, and it started pouring rain!  So I gathered up my tools and ran back to the house, sitting on the porch in a rocking chair and admiring my handiwork.



The rest of Saturday was a washout (it was 5pm anyway) and it rained all day Sunday as well.  I didn't get them positioned, but I also didn't expect to get all of them finished so I still feel ahead of the game.  Next weekend (weather permitting!) I'll space them all apart, level them, and then I plan on tilling the ground inside them and starting a lasagna style gardening plan when filling them.  Baby steps.  First big part done.

UPDATE:  Several of you have mentioned the corner brackets and I realized that I failed to mention where I got them.  I originally purchased them at Plow and Hearth, however, they sell them through Amazon here: 
Set of 4 Solid Steel Raised Bed Corner Brackets.

Amazon also sells other brands and styles, CLICK HERE

They are full price now, as I said, I bought mine last year when they were on a deep discount, probably because it was off season.  Right now is the height of garden planning so they are full price and in demand.

32 comments:

Kirk Dale said...

I like them 1st man - I like them a lot.
I think baby steps are the way to go. There is no point in rushing things.
I hope the rain holds off so you can get stuck into things next weekend!

Farmers Wife said...

Oh that's awesome - great job! Look forward to seeing what gets planted - :-)

Kris said...

Those look great! Can you come to Georgia now??? I need some help here. I also need some motivation. It's been pouring here and we are under water AGAIN. Right now I feel like it might be about June before I will be able to do anything in my gardens. Ugh.

Jenny said...

Very nice looking boxes! You're almost there with the garden! I can't wait for all of our snow to melt (over a foot in the garden now) so i can start doing something usefull.

Candace said...

Nice work! I am going to look for those brackets for a raised bed I am adding this year. If you are using lasagna gardening why are you tilling and not covering with a THICK layer of cardboard/paper?

Tomato Thymes said...

Really nice looking raised beds and I agree with Candice regarding the tilling.

Linda said...

Bird Baths. You can use anything for a bird bath. My robins like to bathe low to the ground. I was at Ikea one day and they had clearanced white terra cotta large flower pot trays for $1 each. I put one on a large cement walking stone and put water in it. Find something fun and antique and create one. You can make a pond with a metal horse watering trouth (sp) but you do have some heavy digging to do. Enjoying your farm blog.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

great start! how exciting!!!

DFW said...

Love them. Don't till too deeply, that just brings up weed seeds. Till just enough to get the other compost stuff you will add, to start breaking down better.

Mary Ann said...

Those corners are NIFTY. I would go with DFWs advice, above, too... we barely tilled last year, and then loaded them. We did put landscape paper down first.

I'm starting to fill our beds already, too.

Anonymous said...

Where did you get these. I'd like to come and pick some up next weekend. And I agree withe the several posts above to make sure you put LOTS of cardboard or weed block (the kind that only lets water through. dianne

1st Man said...

Thanks! Yep, baby steps are best, just baby steps every weekend until Spring, ha. It rained again all day today which is fine, we need it, just don't rain on my weekends, ha.

1st Man said...

Thank you! I'm starting to plan my plants now, I want to plant everything, but I know I need to limit myself. :-)

1st Man said...

Ha, I would if I could, lol. I hear ya about the rain. It was yucky saturday, and all day yesterday and all day today. Tis the season. I suppose it could be worse, snow instead of rain, ha. It'll dry up soon, fingers crossed!

1st Man said...

A foot??? holy cow! I wouldn't know what to do with all that, ha. I guess just wait to melt like you. I wonder how that translates to rain? Is a foot of snow melted like 6 inches of rain?

Thank you for the compliment, much appreciated!

1st Man said...

I updated my post with the link to where I found the ones I got last year. They aren't as inexpensive as i paid but I also found a link at amazon to some others.

As for the tilling, I guess I didn't understand how it worked. I thought with grass it needed to be tilled up first. So just cardboard and paper? I need to google it. I was just sort of winging it, ha. THanks for the advice!

1st Man said...

Thank you! And thanks for the advice, that will save me a lot of work if I don't have to do that. Now where to get a bunch of cardboard and paper, ha.

1st Man said...

Well thank you very much first of all for the nice words about the blog. You know, that's so true about birds, now that I think about it, I see them in small puddles of water on the side of the road, ha. I like finding something antique too. Thank you!

1st Man said...

Thank you! I was daydreaming at work all day, ha. Of course it helped keep my mind off the dreary cold rainy day too, ha. :-)

Annie*s Granny said...

Gorgeous! Oh, I can hardly wait to see them full of lush vegetation! I agree with the layers of cardboard and newspaper as a base, rather than tilling. That also attracts the worms that will do your "tilling" and fertilizing for you :-)

Yes, I had my son till my garden this fall....why do you ask? LOL! I don't usually resort to it, but I had that goldmine of leaves from the neighbor, and nowhere to put them, so we tilled them in.

1st Man said...

Thank you thank you! I'm trying to decide now if I need to till. I was thinking of just breaking it up a bit. Thanks for the info!!

1st Man said...

Landscaper paper? Would that work like the cardboard and paper in lasagna gardening? I am thinking of doing something like a hybrid I guess. I figure I'll get the positioned next weekend and put down paper/cardboard/whatever and then give it a week or so and start filling. Not sure if I should try to get a truckload or soil or bring in bags and mix my own. Decisions decisions, ha.

1st Man said...

Didn't find them in a store, ordered them online. Wood of course I got at Home Depot, 8 foot long boards were cut in half for free at the store. For 4x4 beds, the 4 foot boards fit very easily in most cars. I updated the post with a link to where I found them. It was Plow and Hearth, which has an amazon storefront so I figure it was easier linking there.

Lots of cardboard huh? Looks like I'll be heading out to grocery stores looking for boxes, ha.

1st Man said...

Yay! Stamp of approval from Granny makes me happy! Progress huh? I see them lush and green and providing lots of veggies...it keeps me going, ha.

That's several votes for no tilling, I can live with that.

Frugal Living UK said...

Agreed, those corner brackets are pretty awesome. Not for sale in UK amazon, but seem to be able to buy them for $9 postage. If I do some more raised beds in the future may consider having them shipped! Your raised beds look wonderful and I can't wait to see them all positioned and filled with soil. You are going to get so much wonderful crop from them and I'm really excited for you.

Domaine Coquelicots said...

"Do not pee on my work Blue!" We have the same "problem" with the cats when we are working. Like they really really want to "help" :D Good job! I can't wait till the snow melt here. Which type of wood did you use?

Candace said...

Thanks for the link. I have the book "Lasagna Gardening" by Patricia Lanza and she calls for just cardboard/paper then the layering. The trick to success is a VERY THICK layer of cardboard/newspaper that overlaps by at least 8 inches. My first attempt I didn't have enough layers but the second time it has been very successful. I put a flower bed over crab grass and it worked!! This will be the 3rd year for that lasagna bed...I just add compost(homemade) every year and it is doing better than the beds right in the ground. VERY FEW WEEDS to take care of!!! I think you will like how it turns out. Good Luck

1st Man said...

They really made things SO easy. you practically don't even have to hold the boards together, you just put them together and push this down over the top in the little grooves and the hold themselves up. Then just apply pressure, make sure they are lined up and screw in some deck screws (a cordless power screwdriver works great, ha). I did all of these by myself and it took just a few hours for all six. Good luck!!!

1st Man said...

Ha, I totally understand!! It's pine. Thank you and I hope you get to plant soon! :-)

1st Man said...

Thank you, I will definitely do that. I need to get that book too. I keep forgetting. I just need to hoard up some cardboard and newspaper. I love the idea of very few/no weeds. ;-) Stay tuned!

Bee Girl said...

YAY!!! That is all ;-)

1st Man said...

Thank YOU!!!! Exciting huh? I remember when you did your beds, you inspired me!! :-)