Raising The Garden

by Josh on May 20, 2008 · 6 comments

in garden,Projects

The calendar reads May, but I have already “raised” all my summer garden vegetables. That’s because I spent my Saturday project time building up the garden plot.

I took on this project for two reasons: the corner posts were no longer strong enough to properly support the chicken wire pest fencing, and the soil level was mounding over the top of the raised garden bed. I want the fence to be stronger and better looking, and I want to add to the soil with composted manure; the garden bed couldn’t accomodate either of these as it was.

Raised Garden Collage

For this project I replaced the 2×2 fence posts with 4x4s and raised the bed walls with a new course of 2×6 boards. Because the fence posts only need to support some lightly stretched chicken wire, I chose to use short posts. Each is only 4 feet long, with approximately 8 inches below the level of the garden soil. These posts are supported mostly by the screws anchoring them to the upright boards of the garden wall but will be further strengthened when I add railing boards between the posts near their tops.

The new and old garden wall boards are screwed to the fence posts which will help hold the two courses of wall boards together. I also used construction adhesive on all contact surfaces of the garden wall boards to maintain a strong connection between the old and new walls of the raised bed. At the end I added decorative post finials to give the garden a finished look.

Still left to do on this project:

  • Install the railing boards
  • Stain the lumber
  • String the chicken wire
  • Add composted manure to enrich and raise the soil
  • Plant the veggies!

I should have time to finish these remaining details this week.

As an aside, I was thrilled with using my new cordless drill on this project. Just as advertised, the lithium-ion battery ran strong through dozens of 3″ screws until it abruptly ran out of power near the end of the project. The drill performed the same on the second-to-last screw as it did on the first– a remarkable change in battery performance from the ni-cad battery powering my old drill. After 20 minutes in the charger while I cleaned up tools and debris, the drill was ready enough (on an incomplete charge) to drive the last few screws in the project.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

jennifer May 20, 2008 at 8:50 pm

Nice! I haven’t used my new LiN drill long enough in a row to test the battery lenghth yet.

Your gardens will LOVE being off the ground!

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Sandy May 21, 2008 at 7:07 am

So glad you got to use the new drill. I was wondering if it would live up to spectation, and it did! Nice raised garden!!!

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Sandy May 21, 2008 at 7:08 am

Sigh. That should have been expectations. What a twit!

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Josh May 21, 2008 at 4:55 pm

@Jennifer: I hope you’re right about the garden showing me some love. I could buy a lot of veggies for what this little project is costing me.

@Sandy: No worries. If not the drill, then surely the garden will be the object of some “spectation” this summer when we enjoy the improved view in the backyard.

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Sandy May 22, 2008 at 4:51 pm

You are so kind. 🙂

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fred@opc May 23, 2008 at 6:58 pm

Josh – I’ll be very interested in whether your veggie garden returns the investment (other than the intangible joy of having a successful garden – not to be dismissed). When I was younger, a few years I tended large tomato plants for my parents. We would fertilize and water.. and water.. and water. Then, maybe we get 20-40 tomatoes for like 10 hours of work and a bit of cost in materials. I think you *can* get a return on investment by growing food yourself, but the hourly pay isn’t very good unless you do it in mass quantity. We buy our vegetables from the nearby asian market. About 1/2 price from traditional grocery stores and they buy much of their product from local farmers. Of course, we don’t get the satisfaction of knowing that we could have survived in the 1600s without a local grocer and asian market 🙂

Good luck on the garden.

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