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…