Monday, August 22, 2011

Building Raised Beds

The best time to build a raised bed is Autumn if you want to layer materials that will need to decompose over the winter.  I know August is a little early...but we had the time and nice weather so the boys went to work on our raised beds.  Now I'll have time to work on them this fall!
7 yo loved watching how Papa was cutting

The raised beds are 4'x10' (the recommended width so it can be weeded easily).  We decided for beds to be 10 feet long with a walkway in-between.  This allows for a sitting spot during weeding, and the crosswalk provides a way to get to the other side without walking all the way around.  

Each boy took turns holding boards and drilling some, too.

It's made of untreated wood because you don't want to use treated wood for food you are eating.  It's 12" lumber because you want your raised bed to be deep enough to really work.   This will also make it easier to weed.  My least favorite gardening job.
First box almost done; it just needs corner reinforcements
Here they are in place 
Now that the frames are built I can lay down a layer of cardboard, and then start the "Lasagna Gardening": layers of compost, manure, soil, and shredded newspaper. Ideally, we want those things heaped up out of the frame 18-24" in a few months so that when it settles we'll have a nice 12" of growing medium for next year.  We'll see.  
Of course they have to use them as a balance beam...for now

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