Friday, April 17, 2009

Don't fence me in...

Okay, I'm back. I told you all that I would post something soon. Such none believers. 

So this weeks installment of my insane quest to make my backyard green while maintaining my sanity in the process is/was raised gardens. 

We had a raised bed:

old raised bed

This sucker was 4 X 4 and 3 feet deep. since we were so completely clueless at the time (3 years ago) we went along with the recommendations of a local nursery. Yeah, how to buy 1 1/2 cubic yards of dirt and give them our money. I was a tool. :( But no more!!

After going to the same nursery to check out their latest stuff (this was sometime in october), I had noticed that their test raised beds were only 6" high. WTF?? So I grab the nearest sales person by the throat, pin then down on the ground and forced him to divulge all his raised gardening secrets. Well, not really, but it sounded exciting, right? I asked him politely, WTF???? He was mystified as to why anyone at his nursery would give us such colossally wrong info. Fine, just spit it out.  

All I needed was 6" of something to corral the dirt and dirt.  Well, hell, we had plenty of dirt. 1 1/2 cubic freaking yards! 

So our back fence was in a advanced state of decay and between our fence and the neighbors chain-link grew several now dead trash trees (china berry and hack berry) So with crowbar and hammer in hand I went to town. 

empty fense

for the moment I just ripped down what I needed.

uncut boards

cut them to 4 foot lengths

cut boards

and set to work getting them read for the raised bed. 

u strap

The little U brackets will act as guilds for the rebar. However, dumb me forgot to take a pick of the L brackets for the corners. (I'll include a follow up post with a photo)

I began laying out my raised bed

squared off

You can see a little bit of the L bracket in this photo. 

I then began connecting the pieces. 

side brace

Yes,  I know the photo looks upside down, that's because it is. I took it that way, okay? get off my back. 

Here is the rebar (the most expensive part of this crazy thing)


These are 2 feet x 1/4" rebar. Each costs 1.25 a piece. Since this time I have improved my cutting torch skills, I will next time get a longer piece (save booku money) and cut it myself. 

assembled ubolt and rebar

I drove the rebar down till the top edge was even with the top edge of the wood. Thus placing the rebar 1 foot 6 inches in the ground. It's not going anywhere. 

Here is the completed layout. 

assembled 2

Note the garden ghost. 

Here's what it looks like today:


I constructed the PVC/chicken wire enclosures to keep out the &%@*!! squirrels. The hoops on the long bed will support 60% cloth to cut down on the intense summer sun. 

So there it is, our garden.  We are currently growing: Kale, lettuce, peppers, turnips, beets, onions, garlic, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumber and squash. 

This doesn't include our herbs, fruit trees and berry bushes. That's for another time

Remember: Green is Good!


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

And just where have you been??

okay okay, I have been very lax in my blogging. WHAT-ever. Life gets in the way. 

So this is just a brief update, I will be doing another more extensive update later in the week. 

This update deals with my rain barrels. 

So the deal is this, my super creative idea for the crazy ass spigots, sucked. I ripped those leaking bad boys out and put in brass fittings. then smothered them in caulk.  

IMG_0001.jpg image by Javaman8263

Then the link between barrels that transfers overflow to the second barrel was originally PVC and proved to be quite ridged. If I had to adjust the barrels, I was dead. 
Sooooo, I got this little handy dandy connector and life was better.

IMG_0002.jpg image by Javaman8263

So now, if I need to move or repair any leaks or other issues, it's just a matter of unscrewing the connector, instead of swearing a blue streak at my stupidity. Which didn't happen...really. 

next up, raised gardens from old an old fence and after that, my home made composter which replaces my original fred flintstone versions. (yes, plural)

Remember, Green is Good!