Sunday, April 8, 2012

Making a Raised Garden: by Philip

 While on family leave with Abby and Baby Lee we enjoyed constructing a raised garden. Here is a materials list on photo documentation of the project. Enjoy!

Materials for 1.5’ X 4.5’ X 16’ Raised Garden:
  • (8) 16’ Trex boards (or other composite board products)
    • (3) per side and (1) for the cap.
      • If you want the cap to overhang then you will need to trim the 16 footers down to 15’-7” and leave the cap pieces at 16’.
  • (4) 12’ Trex boards (or other composite board products)
    • These will be cut to 4.5’ length in order to close the ends up.
    • You will also create the caps for the 4.5’ sides from these boards.
      • You will end up with some short pieces since you can only get 2 full end pieces out of a 12’ board but I ended up using these left over pieces to make the planter dividers.
  • (2) 8’ Pressure treated 4x4s
      • These will be used for creating the 16” corner posts.
      • These will be used for spanning across the shorts sides to create the planter dividers.
  • (2) 16’ Doug Fir 2x4s & (2) 8’ 2x4s
    • This is where you should assess how you want to reinforce the Trex.
    • I chose to create a rigid X pattern on the backside of the 16’ side panels.
    • You could just cut 16” 4x4’s and place them every 24” and connect them top and bottom with 2x4’s (like creating a miniature wall that you clad with Trex).
  • (2) Boxes of coated deck screws Deckmate.
    • It was good to have two sizes.
      • The smaller 1-1/2” and 2-1/2” lengths.
  • (1) Bundle of 3’ wood stakes
    • These didn’t find a place in the final construction of our raised garden but they were instrumental in determining the size and placement of the garden and helping us mock up the basic idea.
  • Tools:
    • Drill
    • Circular Hand Saw
    • 2 to 4 clamps
    • Pipe clamps if available
    • A large flat work surface (driveway works)
    • Speed Square and pencil
    • Eye, ear, and hand protection

    Irrigation Parts:
    • (1) 50’ ½” Soaker hose
      • Conveniently divides into (3) 16’ lengths.
    • (2) Barbed brass hose connections (pvc aisle, not in garden center) for connecting the cut lengths of soaker hose to the irrigation delivery system.
      • I used zip ties to secure the soaker hose to the barbed end as it wasn’t as tight as I liked.
    • (3) PVC ball valves and related fittings to connect to the barbed brass hose connections and irrigation pvc.
      • I had an irrigation lateral stubbed up into the planter area. I extended it up so it was at the hight of the planters finished grade and split it into three lines that feed the ball valves. The reason for the ball valves is that our solar orientation is such that half or more of the garden will be in shade at certain parts of the year. So we can shut those soaker lines off at the ball valves when they are in shade and continue irrigating the sunny planter rows.
    • PVC cutters and Red-hot Blue Glue
    • Total cost: $620.00
Staking out the perimeter of the garden

Digging trenches so that the garden is level
Garden gets divided into three parts
We lined the garden with cardboard to kill the grass underneath
We ordered dirt from Treeco

Shoveling and distributing the dirt. Yes, that's baby Lee on Abby 

Planting: zucchini, squash, carrots, beans, peas, herbs, lettuce, cucumbers, and spinach