Building a Garden

We have a conspicuous concrete slab in the back corner of our lot that was part of some sort of carport at one time. We wanted to put in a raised-bed garden in front of the makeshift patio, but the land isn’t level. We decided we could mimic raised beds by digging channels for the lumber and mixing compost in the planting area. Here are the boards for the beds:

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You should have seen me trying to drive with these 2x10x12s on top of my car.

We laid out the area with string and spray paint. There will be a brick walkway between the two beds. The idea is to build the garden this year, and then build a pergola over the concrete slab next year, and finally encircle the whole area with a loosely-spaced picket fence complete with an arbor entrance.

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I had to swing the pickax all day just to get the channels dug out, while my wife went behind me and widened the trench with a shovel. The area is in the corner of my lot next to my neighbor’s trees, so there are are roots everywhere that made digging very difficult. But after the first day, we got the two beds in place. On the second day, I had to break up all the soil and excavate all the roots from inside the beds. After that, I leveled the ground between them and my wife laid the brick walkway and filled the gaps with aggregate:

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I sprayed some water seal mixed with a little stain on the lumber, and we planted our crops for the season:

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We put in grape, roma and heirloom tomatoes, red, yellow and green bell peppers, squash, zucchini, banana peppers, cabbage, basil, thyme, parsley, sage and oregano.

UPDATE: 6/08

We definitely did something right:

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Building a Garden
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