Monday, November 14, 2016

No-Tools Needed Tall Raised Beds

The garden used to be the bottom of an arroyo, so it's mostly sand, some silt and some big rocks.  Instead of a short barrier to keep mulch contained, I need serious soil amendments and a deeper vegetable bed to hold it all.
Two slats high, with ends butted together

Supplies:

  • One bundle of 12-inch construction marking stakes
  • Cedar fence slats, 6 feet' by 3 1/2 inches
  • Something to pound stakes with
  • A lot of compost

I used one slat (6 feet) on the shorter side and overlapped 2 slats on the longer side because I didn't have room for a 12-foot bed.  There is a compost heap in the way for now.  It's a little too big to comfortably reach the middle for planting.  A bed 5 feet wide would have been better.

Like the mulch barrier, the boards have at least three stakes per side, two on one side and one on the other to hold the boards on edge.  Stake the first board in, then slide the top board between the stakes.  That makes a 7" wall to hold the vegetables.   

Stake Placement: minimum of 3 per board.

Could you make a taller bed?  The weight of the dirt inside the bed is not an issue, because of gravity.  With 18-inch stakes you could stack 3 slats for a 10-inch deep bed.

Dumping sifted compost into the bed was easy. I pulled the boards out of one side and wheeled in the barrow to dump.  There is about 6 inches of compost, hand-forked into the base soil

  

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