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Friday, May 09, 2014

Building a Quick Raised Bed for the Vegetable Garden!

The 'Before' with only the frame up
We're getting pretty excited to be finishing our makeshift poly-tunnel garden area.  Theoretically, we are heading out of freezing, wintry conditions and into 70 degree days and over 40 at night in the next few weeks.  This means we should be planting out here pretty soon, as soon as we finish hardening off.  Oooh, I am getting so excited.

Today's thrill was building our makeshift raised bed out of stuff we had lying around.  Whoo-hoo!

We began by deciding how wide we wanted our bed to be and then turned over between 6-8 inches of that solid red clay soil (the hardest part of the whole process!!).  Into that we worked many bags of manure, hydrated lime and charcoal from our burn pits.  Theoretically, we're told, that's all we needed to do to amend our soil.

Amending the soil and cutting log lengths

Once that was done, we built the small wall for the raised bed.  We had discussed all sorts of possibilities, but finally decided that we'd just use some old rebar and a few of the many felled trees we have in a huge pile, waiting to be sawed to length for the woodpile.

Rebar and the Lime

It was pretty easy to do. . .we just used eight two foot lengths of rebar and drove four of those bars a foot into the ground in a straight line the length of the bed.  We then laid the thickest of our trees down on the ground against the rebar and hammered in another length on the opposite side of the log from the first, pinning the log into place.

We then just slotted more trees into the space between each pair of rebar lengths, making sure to put the base of one tree against the tip of another, just like they do in log houses.  That kept our wall as even as possible.  To be honest, we thought it would take more trees to build up to our desired height of 10-12 inches, but it took only four!

Made a neat little wall!

Because there was still a little space between the logs, we opted to put some cardboard against the logs just to keep the dirt in.  Since we aren't expecting this to be a permanent solution, we thought that cardboard would be fine for one season.

A little cardboard help keep the dirt in

Then, we just backfilled with gardening mix, two bags of Miracle Grow, and some old bags of potting soil we had lying around.

Tackling projects like this is a family affair!

Tomorrow we're going to make home made bean poles and sort out some tubs.

I can't wait!!!

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