"Getting rid of everything that doesn’t matter allows you to remember who you are. Simplicity doesn’t change who you are, it brings you back to who you are."

Monday, February 21, 2011

Part Duex

We started Sunday morning in the mid 30's, (too cold) so we piddled around the house until it warmed up.  (There's always household chores to do.)

By mid morning it had warmed up enough so we went outside and started to make the other 2 bed frames.  With all the exercise and the sun starting to peek through the clouds, I started to get a bit warm. 

Time for me to "shuck' my pullover.  I pulled it off and SM started laughing and said "I've got to take a picture of this".

Static electricity anyone?  Either than or it's "Cousin It" from the Adams Family.

(We had a good laugh!)  I then went inside and put it back into a ponytail and slapped a ballcap on it. 

Freaking Homesteader Hair!  (Inside joke.)

Back to business then.  SM and I built two more bed frames today.  (Do you see Ginny peeking up over the box?  She's better than "Where's Waldo".)

I can tell you that the garden plans have already changed from what I had proposed a few weeks ago.  I thought they might.  Sometimes you've got to see it to understand what you want to do. 

(*I'm very much that way.  A visual learner.  Tell me how to do it or ask me to read about it and I won't learn a thing.  But if you show me how to do it, I'm "locked and loaded".  It's in the archives forever!*)

We had the 4x4 dug-outs and I thought that we'd just frame each of those separately and build them up.  Well, that's just silly.  More work for ourselves really, so we decided to just make 3 long 12'x4' beds. 

The wood is 2 inches thick and 12" high.  We screwed in 3" long deck screws into the ends and then did good sized L brackets top and bottom where they meet. 

(**It's been pointed out to me that we should do a cross beam for support in the middle to prevent the wood from bowing out.  It's a good idea...but I read the comment after I finished back filling so I'll have to think about what to do now.  Any ideas?**)

SM then wiped linseed oil on the exposed wood while I laid down a cardboard base.  (Curious Casey)

I then started the transfer of more Mels Mix from the 3rd "dug-out" into the 2nd raised bed.

SM had to bug out and go finish up a job this afternoon...("Go make some money, Honey!")...so I was working solo for the transfer of the rest of the soil.

I'm really pleased with all the garden space so far.  Our square footage has really increased.  I'm thinking we may only put in 2 more raised beds over the next few months.  (Plus the corn-pumpkin patch back by the shed.  Double dig that.) 

I suspected my plans would change.  That's the thing about gardening...It's ever evolving, constantly changing.

SM pointed out that this is costing a "bloody fortune".  True enough. 

Hey!...That's why we call it 500 Dollar Tomato!

But although the initial investment is large, I feel the returns will be tremendous particularly during our retirement years with our "suspected" limited income.

Pay now or pay later.  But that's another topic.


  1. It looks great! Love that you used the cardboard method. Our square-foots don't have a crossbeam and they are fine. You really don't even need the outer frame, it just keeps it tidy.
    I agree with you that even though you have some initial cost, it pays off in the end with your superior produce! Good on ya!

  2. You could drive steal stakes in the ground midway down the bed and that should give you the support you need to keep the sides from bowing out.

  3. Your beds are looking great!! Much better idea to have the larger beds then more smaller ones.

    I haven't had any trouble with my larger beds blowing out, but they are designed differently to allow for movement. I think that Jane's idea of driving steel stakes in the ground should work well.

  4. That's what I was thinking too. Reebar is like duck tape...So many uses.

  5. So much for fulltime rving in your golden years. Who's going to drive our rig when we want to move?

  6. It will work just fine...we are making ours with rock we find everywhere and are expecting to eventually just have the rocks tumble down

  7. Tami -- I'm happy that you're taking input from everyone on various ideas for how to build these boxes. Of course everyone has their own challenges and each box is a little different, so certainly make any adjustments that you deem necessary. =) I think rebar would be a great help to support the outside of the boxes. I'm not sure if it was the density of the soil and compost we used, or weak wood, or any number of things, but it *was* something that we struggled with.

    On the ones you've already back filled with your soil, if you still want to do a cross bar, you could probably just use a 2x4 laid horizontally on top of the soil for more support and screw it to the sides. My bowing happened most significantly about midway up the boards, so perhaps just "tying" them together at soil level would help. If you use a relatively narrow board, it shouldn't take up much room or limit your gardening, even if the board was on top.

    Happy gardening! I'm hunting for soil and compost for my raised bed today, so wish me luck!

    City Roots, Country Life

  8. Your beds are looking fantabulous! I want to rush over and help you get that Mel's Mix in them so you can start planting!!!
    My huband asked me yesterday (he bought me an avacado tree) how much $$$ I had in the garden and orchard...I told him I had very little: HE on the other hand had spent a small fortune! :0

  9. Mom - Oh, we're still hoping for the RV thing. Part-time though, in the winter. We'll drive you around then.

    City - I bet that will look so pretty. I love rustic gardens. I can't wait till spring gets going for everyone. Love to see all the different ways we make do with what we have available to use. Lots of creativity out there.

    Emma - That's one of the biggest reasons I enjoy blogging. There's so much experience out there. Someone is bound to have thought of or tried something that you yourself are considering. No sense in remaking the wheel (grin).

    Good luck in your search for compost and soil. Sounds like prices are pretty similar. The bulk place is selling compost for $28 a yard. Not sure I'll bite on that yet. The backfill topsoil was $20 per yard but I can tell you nothings going to grow in that stuff.

    Lynda - Come on over Girl! LOL! I asked SM on Saturday when we were standing at check out "Who's gonna foot the bill?" He kept walking with the lumber and I turned to the check out lady and said "You know he's a kept man."

  10. Your project looks just fine. I am thinking of doing a cinder block raised bed. Blessings jane

  11. Your project looks just fine. I am thinking of doing a cinder block raised bed. Blessings jane