Monday, May 30, 2011

Building Raised Beds with Trellis - Tutorial

Raised beds with wire trellis
I did this all by my own little self; design and execution.

The man had a day off today; after all it is MEMORIAL DAY. Happy happy!

Being from Europe, I decided, I am not memorialising any past event. I am living in the now and I am building what I have been wanting for a while: Raised beds with trellises.

In particular I want them to 'hide' our composting endevours. The plan was to create somewhat of a curve around the compost piles. Then plant something climbing (am thinking about perennials, such as scarlett runner or lima beans or even air potatoes) to 'hide' the unpretty sight, which is why these raised beds need trellises.

Raised beds make gardening easy: Just fill them with soil and grow-grow-grow. Especially if your soil isn't that perfect, this is a great way to start.

It is recommended to use redwood or cedar ― both are beautiful and rot-resistant. We cannot use cedar because we have chickens and ducks, who do not like cedar.

After I decided on the measurements, I went to the home despot.

My goal is always to save some money: So, instead of buying lumber (redwood can be pretty pricey), I chose redwood dogear fence pieces. They are about 6 feet long and my home despot cuts them for me; I use 6 in regular size and have them cut 3 in pieces of 2 ft each. Cool, because I am not crazy about using the electric saw and - as I said - Roberto has a day off.

For my three and a half raised beds with trellises, I used:

6 pieces of 4 feet length (1.2m) dogear part 1 and
6 pieces of 2 feet length (60cm) dogear part 2 as well as
18 rebars each 1 foot length (30cm)
5 rebars each 4 feet length (1.2m)
A wire fence of about 12 feet length (4m) and 4 feet height (12m)

Cost me about $75.

And here is how I did it:

Lotta on the left and Big.

First of all, I had to take all that watersucking useless lawn out...  GRRR. This is slave-work!

But fortunately our ducks, Lotta and Big, are visiting me. They are hoping I am digging up some worms for them.

While I am picking the lawn out, I am very careful not to hit one of these beaks.

Long rebars on the left

Taking out lawn is pretty rough because the soil underneath is usually pretty compact and hard to work, which is just more reason to use raised beds. One can argue that I should have sheet-mulched the beds but I felt sheet-mulching is more a winter project (when the rain comes) here in California, because you need to use a lot of water to get the rotting going.

Back to the beds: Then I hammered the 1ft rebars in the ground, right next to the position where the wood was going to go.

Did that with all four sides of the bed. Then nailed everything together.

Now, for the trellis, I hammered one of the 4ft rebars on oe of the long sides.

Hope you can see the woven wire.

Later, when all three and a half beds were done, I 'wove' the wire fence around the rebars.

Then I filled the beds with soil and put some ollas (terracotta vases that hold water) in.

Now, I only need to plant. But that is going to have to wait until tomorrow. I am hungry and tired now...

"Nature never says one thing and wisdom another." Decimus Junius Juvenalis

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