Saturday, January 14, 2012

Garden beds finished!

Today, we tackled making the garden beds. Before getting to that though, there are a few other things of note:
  • SO MUCH DOG POOP. Here's the problem: A month ago, there were several spots of dog poo on the third tier of our yard. We were going to pick them up, but then it POURED. Then the grass grew. Then we couldn't find the dog poo anymore. But trust me: Today, our boots found the dog poo.
  • We rented an air compressor and a nail gun. A note to others: Compressors will short circuit when attempted to be operated on a 100' long extension cord. Luckily, after many regroup sessions, we figured that we could run it on a 12' extension cord and then using a long air hose which brought the nail gun all the way to the edge of the third tier (so the completed boxes only had to be moved one tier, not three). A chop saw will operate on a 100' long extension cord, so we were initially baffled when we kept flipping the fuse with the compressor.
  • Air compressors have several air outlets on their sides. Flip them and you'll fail to get the right PSI. Noted (again, after several regrouping sessions).
  • Nail guns are all kinds of awesome.
How did we figure out how many beds to build? Well, we had already built several prototypes back in September so we knew what size we liked best (3'x4'). I measured out the space and then mapped it out on Word using arrows to indicate 5' increments. Then the beds got inserted.

Green= beds that are already made. Black= compost bucket. Blue= water bin. That meant we had 13 more garden beds to make.

13 more garden beds. Each bed takes 6 2'x4's to make. That's 78 2'x4's, and that's the story behind my last post. They took 6 trips to/from Home Depot, but I'm happy to report my car's shocks are still intact.

Then each of the 78 pieces had to be cut. Each piece was 8' long, which got cut into a 3', 4' and 1' piece, and then the 1' got cut down to 10.5" long. Each length got put into piles...

The 4' pieces...

The 3' pieces...

And the 10.5" pieces... (We'll have 26 leftover pieces of the 10.5" pieces, but we'll find uses for them).

Oh, and those piles? Weren't complete. Here's the rest of the 2'x4's to be cut. SIGH.

And, here's the space we're working with. This is the 10' wide section. That's the old chicken coop in the back that needs to be dismantled and the wood reused.

And here are our prototype boxes and the 12' wide area of the tier. Examples of the 3'x4' boxes are the two in the very back and the one in the very front. The tall 2'x2' box will be used as a water bin stand. We haven't figured out what to do with the 2'x5' box (behind the 2'x2'), but we'll find a space for it.

And here's the view from the top tier. The photo does not give the view justice. It's purrrdy. It also gets a lot of sun in the summer.

THE COMPRESSOR AND NAIL GUN (photo taken prior to extension cord woes...).

The extension cord and air valve problems set the whole thing back about two hours, including having to move lumber down a tier (we actually moved some down to the bottom tier and then realized we could nail on the third tier, so we moved it back up. SIGH.).

Oh, and I haven't yet mentioned the weather. It was hovering around FREEZING THE ENTIRE TIME. It warmed up to 35 by the time we finished, which was warm enough so the incoming weather fell as rain and not snow. It's also a bit mucky out there, so much so that I could NOT make it up the slope between tier 2 and tier 3. Thank goodness the northern portion is grassed so I could get up that area.

But, all that said, here are the results. Photo 1 of 2:

And photo 2 of 2:

Pretty, aren't they?

I also had to take a photo from the end of the tier to capture them all.


Next steps? Finding a clear weather window of 3-4 days (minimum) so I can stain and seal. Staining/sealing is a LOT easier to do when the beds are standing on their sides, which is why I don't want to do it when the beds are already filled. Worst comes to worst, I might use our tarp, fence, and posts from our raspberry beds to make a makeshift staining/sealing tent (I don't want to do it in the rain, but if the forecast calls for minimal rain, this could help). Of course, that'd take a LONG time (shuffling in/out beds from in my makeshift tent), but we might not have the sunshine to easily stain.

Then comes us needing to fill the beds. That will involve several dirt delivery trips.

And then there's the fence we want to build along the top of tier 3. The fence will have two gates (I think) and arbors over each gate, which will likely house our climbing green beans.

Whew. But at least the beds are built! And the rain started POURING as we drove to return the compressor and nail gun. For once, the weather was on our side.... but that's only because I'm a wickedly fast nail gunner. Almost 700 nails in less than 2 hours? Darn skippity.

And now the snow can come. 5"-8" expected in this storm!

1 comment:

  1. Those are some very pretty garden beds! Well done getting them finished in time for the snow storm.