Part of my gardening is done on flat land in traditional rows . . . what I refer to as my field garden. Other planting is done in raised beds.
We've got 26 raised beds and over the span of years, normal deterioration of the wood frames has taken its toll. In the past couple of years, we've had to replace a few of the raised beds here and there. This spring, in doing a maintenance check, I found several that had pretty much given up the ghost over winter.
There are eight beds that I decided had served their purpose and needed to be replaced. One was done in early spring and is in use this summer growing season. That leaves seven more we want to get replaced yet in readiness for next year's use.
In his spare time (ahem), my dear husband has been working on constructing the replacement 4' x 8' frames. Above are four of them ready to go out into the garden area. We've used 12" wide boards for these frames.
How bad are some of the existing bed frames? Here's one that we've tried to give a little extra support to in order to keep it limping along. Enough now though. This one comes out and will be replaced.
You can see daylight through each corner of this other bed's end board which is just about totally nonexistent. Yup, time for this frame to go.
There's a blog post I did showing us installing a new raised bed frame if you're interested in more detail. Click here to go to that post.
Both of us are avoiding going to do outside jobs this morning. It's heavy and humid out there and prime conditions for biting insects. We have the possibility of thunderstorms today and tonight. We need the rain again and I wish it would just start raining and clear out the mugginess. Maybe even bring in some cooler air. Not holding out for much, am I?
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You know, I dont think I have heard anyone in blogland say "it was a really nice day today" I guess we are all suffering through this summer. The new beds look good. Now how did Papa Pea FIND that spare time?
I know I am going to regret being the cheapskate that I am - I built my beds with 1" lumber. I will have to bookmark all your posts so I know what I will have to do then the time comes (too soon). The insects seem to have been gathering strength in our neck of the woods - I can't go a foot out the door without my charming bug net. Blech.
What kind of wood are you using for your frames? We just got some cheap pine boards but not nearly as thick as what you've got. Wood has become so hard to get and expensive now.
I think it is a great idea using the raised beds. Seriously considering it for myself when I get set up. I like the idea of keeping them contained, and cutting down on the need for weeding (I know there is still some, but not as much as with a field garden). Keep up the good work!! :) It's muggy as all get out here this morning too, but the rain keeps skirting us.
That is a lot of raised beds!How do you fill them all and what do you use to fertilize every year?
Jane - I gathered the materials for him, chained him to the flat bed trailer to use as a work table and told him he got no dinner unless he finished the new boxes. Hee-hee.
Susan - Uh-oh. That 1" thick lumber probably won't hold up very long. Plus, it will bow and bend on you, I'm thinking.
We don't have to wear bug protection every time we go out . . . just at certain times. Now I wish we could figure out some sun and ungodly heat protection! We have another hot, hot, hot one going today.
Sparkless - We had some 2" thick Douglas fir we had originally purchased for another project but didn't use so hubby decided to use it for the new raised bed frames. So we kinda sorta feel we got this wood for free . . . or at least didn't have to lay any money out for it right now.
Stephanie - When we first moved here, the area where we wanted to garden was a couple of inches of gravel and the soil underneath was very poor so we knew we had to start out with raised beds. I love them for some crops and do, indeed, plant very intensively in them to reduce weed growth. Biggest drawback is that they dry out much faster than a field garden. (But that can be good in very wet weather, too!)
Spiderjohn - We try really hard to grow as much of our food as possible which takes a lot of time and space!
For fertilizer we use compost made of garden weeds/spoiled greens, dirt, old hay/straw, kitchen scraps and since we use the deep litter method in our chicken house, that goes into a composting area when we clean the chicken house out. We let it compost for a year before putting on the garden soil.
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