Thursday, April 18, 2013

Building a Raised Garden Bed

Well here I am building a raised planting bed in the back garden.  I decided to do this after seeing my daughter's raised garden beds in Virginia, and my son and daughter-in-law gave me two Raspberry plants for Valentine's day that needed a sunny p[lace to grow.
 Fortunately, my brother gave me some leftover wood from a fence that he took down.  I had stored it for years out back, but it was stacked so that air circulated well underneath and around each piece.  It was treated wood so it was solid.
 First my friend William and I laid out the 4"x4" pieces for the bottom course.
 We cut some in half for the end pieces.
Lucky for me, William is an experienced dock builder and knew which tools and screws would make creating this raised bed successful. 
 TimberLok 6" screws that I bought in a box of 50 screws.
 Here William is using a drill bit that will get through both thicknesses of wood.  He drills the wood by going out and in so that the drill wouldn't jam in the wood.
 The extended drill bit.
 Then he used a compression screwdriver to set the screws in the wood
 Being an experienced woodworker, William brought enough batteries for his drills.  we used an extension cord and a  plug strip from the barn outlet to get to the back yard.
 Getting through two courses of wood, here William is tacking the courses.
 The compression screwdriver.  The nails cam with a special adapter for their shaped heads.

 The ends are attached from the side

 He removed a lump in the soil to get a level fit.
 With a skill saw William started to trim off the end piece, which we finished with a hand saw.
The Chop saw was used to cut the lumber the correct length.
 William standing inside the planting bed with the blueberry bushes!
 He decided to add two extra wooden braces on the inside of the box, so that it wouldn't bow out, and so that the lawn mower could get up close to the edge of the box.
 Day two was up to me and I got out a spade, a claw tool,  a garden fork, a garden rake, and a metal leaf  rake.  I used all of them to get the grass and other plant material out of the box.
 I used the garden fork first to break up the clods of grass.
 Next the garden claw,
 then the garden rake,
 and finally the metal leaf rake.
 I avoided the areas near the shallow roots of the blueberries.
To get this job done, I had to count on Pomegranate juice, cut in half with cold tap water, that I keep in a really cute Champagne bottle, and Jelly beans!  This was a lot of work!!
 I added top soil and potting soil,
 with pot ash from my wood stove.
By the time that I got to adding the soil, I was so tired that I rolled the bags near the planter box with the garden wagon, my favorite tool of all.

The pot ash added.
The Raspberry plants.
After reading the directions, I dug the holes and added a handful of Triple Phosphate to encourage rood growth,

Watered the plants.
Added  plant markers and a ceramic bunny for fun. A lot of work, but with a great friend who knows how to build things, and the correct tools, a wonderful result.