Overview of Our Circumstance
1). We have clay soil . It’s beautiful and black, however it’s METHOD too dense and holds moisture too well.
2) We have limited tools– ie. no tiller, and clay soil is difficult to dig.
3). We have actually had a great deal of rain so the soil is even stickier and denser than typical.
4) We were going to need to improve the soil in the beds.
4) Fancy, raised bed packages are not a financially practical choice for us this year, and the lumber required to build the beautiful cedar ones you see on. Pinterest. is likewise excessively expensive right now.
What We Required
We needed these beds to be inexpensive, easy to put together, and quick to start. They didn’t need to last a life time, because we intend on structure something more significant next year. Whatever product we used required to deal well with our wet and hot environment and not leech chemicals or anything insane like that. While they aren’t our permanently beds, they still required to be fairly tough as they ‘d be holding a lot of soil and water and (ideally) plants over the next year.
While walking the aisles at McCoys I bore in mind that Pinterest post about utilizing the fence slabs, and when I saw how affordable the planks were I squealed a little! Cedar fence planks were $2.19/ each and to build the size bed we wanted, we ‘d just need 6 of them, so we had our sides for under $20! Our plans were to develop a bed that is 6 x 12, (an error we won’t make once again when we construct our genuine beds next year, however more about that in a future post).
More Gardening Ideas & Resources
The slabs themselves are 6 ‘ long.( 1 ‘ x 4 ‘ x 6 ‘ so our sides would be best as-is. The longer areas front and back would require a little work and enhancing. We discovered these metal corner brackets (. 3 ‘ Inside Corner Brackets. which we utilized on the outside., by Hardware House $2.59 for 2), and braces (6 ‘. Mending Plates by Hardware House $1.29 for 2) and decided they would be perfection for this project. The hardware cost $6.47 in overall, and brought our grand overall to … * drumroll *.
$ 6.47 + $13.14 = $19.61!!
which suggests we ‘d have a perfectly great 72 sq feet raised vegetable garden bed for less than $20 … (fine $20 and some change after tax). Our spending plan was $40 for the task, so we threw in. a roll of landscaping fabric. for about $20.
The construct was exceptionally basic so I will not go into too much detail here. I think the photos are quite obvious
A couple of weeks prior to we planned to build the beds, we killed off the turf utilizing some old blow up bed mattress that Mama was throwing out. They did an excellent task!
Next we spread out the landscaping fabric and laid the fence slabs out.( Roddy wants me to discuss that. this is not his basic screwdriver of option . His regular chauffeur had no battery and so he was required to use. this gag Christmas present driver. — which worked remarkably well in fact!).
It was simply a matter of screwing the braces into location on the longer pieces once we had whatever lined up.
Being fence slabs the wood has actually notched edges on one side this prevented us from using both screw holes on the corner brackets, but we found that the joint strength was not jeopardized. Truthfully, once we filled the beds with dirt we do not even observe the notches.
We’re truly new to gardening, and the information we discovered online was so frustrating. Who understood there were numerous various methods to improve dirt quality! We returned to basics on this– if you’re a long-time garden enthusiast you may have some hints and pointers for ways we can enhance our soil for next year– however so far this year our technique is working for us. Once again, truckloads of soil were not in the spending plan for our modest raised garden beds and we had to work with what we already had..
Here’s what we did
First we layered some old wet cardboard on top of the landscaping fabric.
Then disposed a thin layer of partly mulched leaves on top.
Next we went to my father-in-law’s charming compost stack that he has been building on for years in preparation for his own veggie garden when he retires. And we also got a few of the gorgeous compost from our worm bin– however our bin is sadly too young and too little to have yielded enough for this bed– we’re considering broadening our worm operations to stay up to date with future beds. We likewise put a healthy amount of compost tea from. the worm bin. over the dirt at this point.
The worst part came next– we knew we ‘d have to begin bringing in some of our own soil from the lawn, but again, because of the rain and clay soil combined with the huge tree roots all over this residential or commercial property, this was going to be a nightmarish task … up until we had the brilliant idea to raid the old abandoned pig pen where we ‘d still be dealing with damp clay, however at least tree roots would not be a problem– and we hoped that pig pen dirt would be a fantastic source of nutrients for the plants.
Mama informed us about an old pile of topsoil that they had had delivered lots of years earlier. We went to inspect and yes, it was still there, however grass had actually claimed it and made it part of the general lawn landscape. We discarded this in and mixed it with the garden compost and the clay and the mulch and watered it well and left it to sit for another 2 weeks– watering and stirring it up a bit about every other day– hoping that we ‘d get the soil types to marry.
We have our very first spring seeds in the ground and we’re currently seeing shoots glancing out of the dirt. While our Brussels Sprouts are truly going for gold! I am questioning if this has anything to do with our soil combination?