Friday, December 6, 2013

Father & Daughter Project for the Garden

Having just moved to my parent's home I now have space to do a real garden and actually have a place to have a compost pile.

The soil here is very hard and full of rocks so raised beds are what will work best.  We all have bad backs and arthritis so I took that into account when I searched for a plan.  I found several on Pinterest and chose this one because I liked how it looked and it seemed that it would last a long time.
They didn't have instructions so I just made my own.  My bed is 3' x 8' and 26" tall.  I'm short with short arms and that seemed a doable size to me.  

Dad and I made two 8' panels and two 3' panels using treated wood (which is no longer made with arsenic).  We used 2x6's for the bottom rail and 2x4's for everything else.  My design differed from the one I found on Pinterest as my ends did not use inside posts, the corners are done the same as the center supports-screwed into the rails on the outside and they overlap to make strong corners.  The above photo is a close up of the way the corners overlap.
There is an extra piece of 2x4 behind each vertical post so we could screw the corrugated tin panels in for plenty of support.  We made each panel and screwed them together right where it sits as it is very heavy.  The wood is so wet we will wait until Spring to paint it.

Dad used his rototiller to dig up the ground a bit where this sits so we could level it and have it slightly lower than the ground level so dirt does not wash out.  Apparently that was a problem with another bed Dad built.  
For filling it I started with 4 layers of cardboard from my moving boxes then added some cut up small tree limbs Dad had laying around (that helped clean up the yard).  We'd been saving veggie scraps in the freezer for 2 weeks so I thawed those to add along with some stale and moldy bread.  Then I added ten 40 pound bags of top soil, it's not very good as it has a lot of sand and some small rocks but for the bottom it will provide good drainage.  That filled this bed up about 1/3 after I watered it down well.  We'll continue to add kitchen scraps, newspaper, cardboard and soil this winter and in spring we will top it off with good garden soil and manure mix.  

In spring we'll build a compost bin.  Dad wants another bed like this already but we need to wait as I still have not found a job.  This will give us a good start.  We are taking apart the two 4x4 beds Dad made and will reuse that wood to make one taller 4x4 bed for the tomato.  Yes, just one tomato.  My friends have seeds for a native wild tomato that grows huge and will overflow the 4x4 bed.  The fruit is slightly bigger than a Roma but tastes wonderful and is very prolific until the frost hits it.  I had to use a shovel to dig out the stalk and root.


HermitJim said...

Looks like a good project to me! Looking forward to the coming updates!

Tessa Zundel said...

Shared with our FB followers at

deborah harvey said...

could you sell the tomato seeds?

ladyhawthorne said...

The seeds are not mine, they belong to a friend. Jackie Clay at Backwoods Home Magazine has some called punta banda that may be the same thing, check out her blog post here:

BCtruck, rebuild, repair,repurpose said...

Nice work! i know that roofing tin wasnt cheap. Lookimng forward to seeing some veggies growing.

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