What I Did This Weekend

I am pleased to say I survived to tell the story of getting my square foot garden beds ready for planting.  I originally thought I would build one trellis bed and one 4 x 8 bed, in hindsight I think I should have stuck to the plan.  But, being the good American I am, if 1 is good 2 is better.   I decided to forgo the original plan and build two trellis beds and two 4 x 8 beds.  These beds were in the overall plan, see the original sketch here.  But deciding to do this over one weekend in the hottest part of the year maybe wasn’t so smart, but I figured, what the heck, I can do it.  I purchased my supplies Friday afternoon so that Saturday morning I would be ready to get to work.  I placed a few flags indicating where the beds would go and I was ready.

I was so proud of myself I thought I had all the kinks worked out.  I had a plan for where each bed would go and had purchases all my materials.  But when I finished mapping out all the beds and put a line level across the area I realized I had a 15 inch differential from top to bottom. (you can hardly see the pink string with a line level in this picture)

What to do??  Raise the lower part of the beds with more wood or dig the higher part down in order to level the beds.  I had planned to raise the beds 10 inches.  However,  if I left the top of the beds 10 inches then the lower part of the front left hand bed would end up being 17 inches off the ground.  Not only would that require a lot of dirt to fill it but I didn’t think I would like the way it looked.  My only other option was to dig the top part of the bed down, this I knew would be a lot of work but it had to be done.  So Saturday morning I started cutting wood and building the boxes.

All the boxes are built and put in place.

Next my helper and I removed the sod and leveled the boxes.

Finally the two 4 x 8 boxes were ready for dirt.  I would mix my own blend of dirt based on Mel Bartholomews directions from Square Foot Gardening.

Here is a picture of what it looked like after all the mixing was done.

Sunday all that was left was to level the two trellis beds, mix more dirt, and fill all the boxes.  I placed the soil from my old garden in the bottom of the beds and then approximately 4 to 5 inches of the good stuff on the top.

After this was done I took the trellis from the old garden and reused it.  If you notice in the first picture the PVC was white so I painted it with green plastic paint. I wired the plastic fence to the poles and finally I was finished.  Wow, what a weekend!!  After all the hard work next comes the fun part, planting…

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8 Responses to What I Did This Weekend

  1. meemsnyc says:

    Wow! This looks amazing! You did an amazing job!! We are going to do some raised beds next year. We realized quickly that our 25×25 garden lot filled up to quickly with plants.

  2. Titania says:

    Hi Charlotte, you did an amazing job making all these fantastic garden beds. It will be so much fun planting them out. Are you planing to plant vegetables? One beet, if you can spare it would look lovely planted with herbs, perhaps also some flowers which you can use for cooking or garnish. Making herb salt is very easy.
    after you have harvested the herbs you dry them in the sun or you can buy an electrical dryer or in the oven.Solar is best as it does not cost any money. When the herbs are dry that you can crumble them they are ready to make the salt. I crumble them as fine as possible, pick out the stems and discard as they are very hard. Add organic sea salt, mix and fill in glass jars.Ready to use. You can use and mix any herbs you like naturally for cooking, you use cooking herbs not medicinal ones. It is nice to plant also some medicinal herbs like Chamomile, Peppermint, Verbena and beebalm or Oswego tea. Lavender looksand smells fantastic and you can put some into your linen

    • Charlotte says:

      Titania, thanks for stopping by. Yes, this garden is for vegetables. I will have to check and see what herbs I would be able to grow at this time of year. I haven’t checked into that. I don’t know that much about herbs, what are your favorites for your salt?

  3. Your beds are looking great! Having built quite a few ourselves this year, yes, you were crazy to do it in the heat! However, I know how good it feels to get it done! Just finished three more ourselves this weekend, and I agree, planting is the best part 🙂 Can’t wait to see them planted out!

  4. WOW that’s a lot of work! I’m sure your assistant helped, though–every shovel needs a foreman to scowl at it and make sure it keeps working correctly, right?! lol. (The puppy is too cute!)

  5. Pingback: Char's Gardening » Blog Archive » How Does the Garden Grow

  6. Pingback: Char's Gardening » Blog Archive » Rabbits and Compost

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