Thursday, January 20, 2005

Oh Oh...Another Project Too Big To Do Easily: Build a Raised Bed Garden

NOB HILL--I thought of a couple of reasons to start growing our own vegetables:
  1. I don't like to eat vegetables all that much. However, once I grew carrots (a food that had gagged me since childhood) and found that my home-grown carrots were delicious. I think that if I grow the veggies, I might eat more of them.
  2. If you grow your own, you know exactly how they were grown. More and more, our food is grown god knows where and looks so beautiful in the supermarket you know they did something funny to it to keep the insects at bay and to help them grow. At any rate you know it isn't organic.
Well, there are other reasons but it all fits into one of those themes like taking more control so you can have a better life.

We decided to put in raised beds. We raised them a lot: 2 feet. This is because I have trouble with my knees and getting up and down is difficult. Also, raised beds waste less space because you don't need rows to walk among your plants. I figure it doubles the yield. Of course I could be figuring wrong.

We made the beds out of roughcut lumber: 2x12's. Roughcut lumber is cheaper, stronger, and looks better than kiln-dried lumber. But it can be a little green when you get it. In that case stack it up so air can get to it and go watch TV for a couple of weeks. The cheapest place to get it is Adobe Building Supply. After cutting the lumber prior to assembly I sealed each piece all around with a sealer from Olympic. This necessitated my using plastic to line the beds, but I figured it was worth it. I could be wrong.

I put the beds together with 3 inch exterior screws. They worked fine, but you do need to clamp the wood pieces together sometimes for a tight fit.

The dirt I got from Barelas Landscaping Materials in the south valley. They were the cheapest at $16 per yard plus a delivery charge of $40. There are three suppliers of topsoil located almost right next to each other on Bates Rd. SW. You should visit them before you buy.

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