Raised Bed #6
A few weeks ago I was eyeing up the yard and admiring the Hugelkultur beds. I thought about last seasons crops that were in the “Air Pruning Pots” that were along the side of the fence and was figuring out how to set it up for next season.
After much thought weighing the "pros" and "cons", I decided to build another Hugelkultur bed along the side of the fence. This will be my 6th bed but 8th box, 9 if you count Moms Hugel Bed.
The plants did good in the Air Pruning Pots, but not as good as the raised bed plants. One of the "pros" to the “Air Pots” was they were mobile and at the end of the season I could move them up onto the hill and open the yard up a bit. But this was also a "Con", because the bags could be pretty heavy when wet and storing on the hill looks a little unsightly. So after one year of the Air Pruning Pots, I decided that I didn't want to be bothered putting the “Air Pots” away each season and wanted something more permanent. I will continue to use a few on the side patio.
This bed will be 24” deep by 20' long, I will loose some of the yard but another "pro" is that I can use the beds to straighten and support the fence, however, the cost of building the bed is another "con".
My biggest "con" is that the box turtles hibernate in this corner, so I will have to dig out the corner in front of the corner of the bed and add leaf mulch and wood mulch so they can still hibernate there.
Here is what I did to straighten out the fence using the Hugel Bed.
This is my shopping list;
- (10) 2”X10”X10' - $148.00
(3) 2”X4”X12' - $22.80
(2) 2”X6”X10' - $17.53
(2) 4”X4”X10' - $25.38
(1) #8 x 1-5/8 in. Star Flat-Head Wood Deck Screws (1 lb.-Pack)
(1)#10 x 3 in. Star Flat-Head Wood Deck Screws (5 lb.-Pack) $31.78
(8) ZMAX Galvanized 16-Gauge 2X Rigid Tie Connector $16.80
(8) ZMAX 7 in. 16-Gauge Galvanized Reinforcing L-Angle $19.25
(8) ZMAX 5 in. 16-Gauge Galvanized Reinforcing L-Angle $15.86
(6) 1/2"x5" lags $7.82
(2) 1/2"x12" Eyebolt $6.80
(1) 1/8"x50' Cable $17.91
(2) 3/32"x1/8" wire clamp set $4.20
(2) Vista Red stone $9.69
4 bags mulch
January 18, 2017
Earlier this week I checked the weather forecast and Saturday calls for sunny and 58°, after seeing the forecast I decided to knock out the bed this weekend. The day after I purchased the wood, I checked the weather again and the forecast is still 58° but cloudy, no matter, it will be dry, It's been wet the last few weeks and looks like more rain the beginning of next week.
I Picked up most of the wood at Home depot, still need to pick up the cap and side pieces.
These are freaking heavy when wet. I stacked them in the back yard and picked out the cleanest 4 pieces that will be for the front of the bed.
January 20, 2017
I dropped my son off at school and stopped in my usual spot to pick up some Hugel Wood.
January 21, 2017
The weather was mild but very wet so I figured on getting muddy today. After I double checked the best pieces for the facade I carefully dug out the one corner checking for turtles, yep found one. I dug a new hole a few feet away, filled with loose soil and mulch then dug out a slot and placed the turtle back in and covered with some light dirt and mulch. I dug out the raspberry bush and will put that in the Hugelkultur bed. I had to move the underground hoses so they wouldn't get pinched.
This spot is 20' wide exactly so I will be fitting this as tight as possible. The irrigation line will need to be reworked. The hoses to the left of the picture were adjusted also to avoid pinching off.
I had Air Pruning Pots here for 2016.
This is the hardware I will be using. It may seem like overkill but it makes building the beds so much easier especially considering I can't get on the back side to drive the screws.
After the bottom half is done I try leveling and straightening the beds the best I can.
After all the boxes were completed I readjusted the beds one more time then called it a day, I was muddy, sore and tired. I slipped into some sweat pants popped four Advil, made a cup of coffee and watched an episode of Dexter and I was feeling much better. Now for some venting, what really pisses me off is that I am busting my stones trying to get every piece cut and to fit almost perfectly but when I start putting the boxes together, the width varies 1/4" from one end to the next on the 2x10's, 9-1/4" on one side and 9" on the other side, this should be illegal. Whats next, a nominal 2"x 10" actual will be a 1"x 8"?
January 22, 2017
The next day the weather was poor, it was misting all day and the yard was mostly mud but I wanted to get this done so I could get the wood, leaves, compost and other materials in the bed, we are supposed to be getting a lot of rain and figured it would benefit the bed. I stopped at Home depot to get some more wood. I decided on a permanent support system for the plants so I will be adding two 4"x4"x10' supports, they will be dug in and the finished height from the top of the bed to the top of the posts will be 7'.
Three 5" lags are installed and the corners of the box are beefed up
Tops of the bed are capped
Filling with wood.
Had the kids rake the leaves from the front yard and toss in the beds.
I still have to replant the Raspberry bush, add the upright supports and tweak the watering system. I will be removing the end top piece on the finished bed and install a wider piece for a neater transition between the new bed and the finished bed, also I need to remove the 6" upright in the front of the finished bed and move over the seam of the new bed and finished bed.
I still need to dig out a little of the soil in the front of the bed, this soil will be tossed on top of the leaves.
Over the next several months I will be adding compost from my compost pile and 6 bags of manure, some potting soil, soil from the Air Pots and perlite.
I also need to dig out the finished bed to the far left and install another 4"x4"x10' upright for the permanent support system. This is gonna be a chore because of the wood in the bed, my only other option is to put the upright on the outside which I do not want to do unless I have no other choice.