I down graded the garden expansion to just the four raised beds. As you may recall I had originally planned to add two wall units as well, but the four raised beds gave the most bang for the buck and were plenty of extra work in an already crazy busy schedule (I even have a project that I haven’t even mentioned to you guys, but I will soon).
I had also planned to make the construction of the beds an experiment and try some different methods. Yah, different methods take time. I went with easy. I put all of the beds together using galvanized wood screws, three per corner, like this.
Even a simple joint like this is never as easy as it looks, considering you have to match up the corners as close as possible, avoid gaps, and deal with cupping and twisting in the wood. I tried really hard to get straight boards, but… yah, it seems like they are great until I get them home and then they are… not so great. In any case they all went together. I leveled the areas where they would sit and spaced them all two feet apart, which is just enough space to get a wheel barrow in between.
BTW, the piece that is sticking out into the center on the back right bed isn’t part of the bed, it is a wooden stake just behind the bed. My joints were a little better than that. 🙂
Anyway, then I put cardboard and/or several layers of newspaper in the bottom of the beds being careful to run them completely underneath the wood so that they stick out a little bit outside of the bed.
Then we filled with the mulch mix I got from Rock n Roll materials. It was $10 cheaper per yard than Pioneer for a very similar mix. This was only $21 a cubic yard. Not bad at all and it looked pretty good.
After the first couple of beds we realized that WET newspaper and cardboard was a little easier to work with and less slippery. Each bed was amended with fully composted manure and Azomite granules.
Here you can see two of them are done and two are still needing amendments.
All of them have been finished. I drove posts into the corners and wrapped the whole group of beds with chicken wire to keep the ladies out. It’s working good so far and two of the beds have sprouts, the last two were just planted Monday, so I’ll try not to get too impatient with those. Although it’s tough because I get so EXCITED for the sprouts!