Having lived in this home that I built…or rather had built…for 9 years now, it has come as quite a surprise to me that an entire vegetable garden can be constructed in a single weekend.
Two weeks ago, I mentioned to Dave that I have always considered having a vegetable garden in the narrow back yard, on the eastern end of the house…this wasn’t the first time I had mentioned a garden…the previous occasion resulting in the establishment of a small garden in the ground on the southern side, which was only about 50cm wide running along the fence.
This time though, the space was larger and not really suited to a garden in the ground. Raised garden beds were the obvious choice, though consideration would be required for how to place them so that the plants could be reached from all sides without having to climb into the garden itself. Within a few minutes of making the suggestion, we had a tape measure out with pencil and paper to sketch the plan and determine the materials required.
Step 1 – Prepare the ground.
That same day, we went to the hardware store and purchased a bottle of round up and a large pump spray pack and returned to administer the poison to the area to kill the grass and weeds with the aim that they will not invade the garden…at least in the short term.
Patience is a virtue, desired by many and possessed by few…however I am happy to say that I managed to be quite patient knowing that the grass required an entire week without disturbance to have the desired impact. Fortunately, between work and the girls final week of school, followed by a week-end away, the time passed very quickly and it was in fact 2 weeks until we were able to get back to the new garden plan. To assist in avoiding endless weed pulling, laying weed mat over the entire area will slow down the growth, both in the beds themselves and the paths around.
Step 2 – Cutting the timber to length
Having decided to build raised garden beds out of timber, some simple investigation lead to the decision to use ACQ treated pine which is considered to be preferable to regular treated pine due to the chemicals used in the treating process. As we wanted to have room to walk around the garden, the timber sleepers needed to be cut to size, from 2.4m to 1.8m. Fortunately, Dave is confident with the use of power tools and had a circular saw in the tool chest…so the job that seemed very daunting to me was not even a little bit challenging in the end.
Step 3 – Attach the stakes to the sleepers
To avoid the timber stakes splitting, we pre-drilled the holes for the screws, then attached the stakes to the sleepers. This was something that I was able to help with, after a brief instruction and demonstration on what was required…it was really quite easy considering the drill does all the work…though satisfying to learn (or perhaps re-learn) another skill.