Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ready for Installation

The twin garden boxes are fully assembled and ready to install!

That will wait for another day, however.  While I believe it would be possible for me and Kate to install it ourselves, it definitely wouldn't be the smartest thing to do. They have a little heft to them so I'll see about rounding up some help for Friday afternoon or Saturday. I had thought about assembling them in the yard, but it was easier to square them up on the flat surface.

So far I'm pleased.  There will be some digging and filling I'm sure, but I hope they set down right where they should sit very easily.  Then all that's left (for the construction part) is maybe break up sod a bit more and fill the damn things with alot of dirt!  Hopefully less than 20 bags, probably more.

Each box is 5' x 8', outside dimensions, so each is a bit less than 40 square feet.  There will be a space between them of about 2 feet.  I've had this as a general plan for a while now but mostly I built and revised it in my head as I progressed.  I had felt hurried before this weekend, but I think we're about on track to have it ready in plenty of time for whenever people usually start planting.  My wife has her plan for that, I have focused on the building so we'll see what she does next...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Starting The Assembly

Sometime around noon today my wife started doing a thorough vacuuming of the house, prompting me to get out of the house and get started on building the twin gardens.  I proceeded to make big pieces of wood into smaller pieces of wood then putting them together again.  I almost bought sawhorses but I thought I could make do with the old box shelves I had instead.  Turns out the trash bins were even better for my back because of the height. 

Below is a mock-up of one of the boxes. Only the sides are assembled, the 2x6's ,2 at the top and 1 at the bottom, are not attached yet.  The one at the bottom of the pic will actually be attached at the top of the sides.  This is the high side that will be next to the garage.  The bottom 2x6's on each side on this end may be trimmed to fit the landscape more or else go underground.  That will be determined in the backyard.

That's as far as I went today.  Tomorrow morning I need to run back to the lumberyard for some studs to use as bracing, more screws, and 1-10' treated 2x6 that I somehow shorted myself on my lumber list.  If you look to the left you'll see the new wheelbarrow, still unassembled, that will help us fill the boxes with dirt. 

It's finally starting to take shape!

Sod Off!*

My plan has been to till up the areas where the twin gardens will go, even though the sod will be several inches below the final surface of the garden. That turned out to be rather unfeasable. The large rear-tined tiller that will go through sod required a trailer or open truck to transport, of which I have neither. So I decided to try a smaller front-tined tiller and break up the top layer of sod with a shovel first. Since I reserved one for this morning, I had to go out last night and do a little work. The soil was actually not as hard as I had feared and I soon realized that just digs with the shovel should be fine after all. First thing this morning I cancelled the tiller and saved some money.

Above is what the area looks like today. I pretty much mapped it out (with my wife's help) with a shovel and a tape measure. This morning I finished the edges and turned alot of the sod near the garage, the area that will have the least dirt added above it.  All in small bits and at an easy pace to avoid the usual back issues.  As a happy coincidence, the timber edging the garage aroud the corner is a perfect length- no cutting or removing it!  I may break up more sod if it seems necessary later, but I want to have the wooden box out there to see what it looks like.

That was last night and this morning, this afternoon I started building the boxes.  More on that to come...

*Apologies to readers across the pond if the title is offensive.  If you say that to someone here they would probably be mostly amused at the odd saying.  I thought it was a clever title for this post, is all.