Make Your Bed: Summer Garden, Part 3

My little seedling babies are grow, grow, growing so it’s time to work on their home! I really didn’t want to dig up the yard and worry about the soil not being so great or drainage or anything like that so a raised bed was just what the doctor gardener ordered. The one I had at my old house, way back when worked great, but…

I wanted something just a bit prettier this time. The basic layout of my old garden really worked and if it’s not broke… you get the picture, so I got 8 landscaping timbers (on sale for under $2 each- thanks, Lowes!) and decided to paint them white to up my pretty quotient.

We started with a quick coat of spray primer, just to help it all coverand then I just used a foam roller to apply the paint. I chose a Stain, Sealant and Base in one (also from Lowe’s)Keep in mind here that landscaping timbers are beyond rough- like so rough, my foam roller was pretty much shredded after this process. I knew this was not going to be a glossy smooth finish and it’s not going to hold up perfectly out in the yard for all eternity but I think they look way better white. And the paint adds an extra layer of protection- both for the weathering of the timbers and also for my veggies. I don’t know how true it is, but I have read that sometimes some of this pressure treated stuff can have not so good chemicals in it and there is a small chance that it could seep into your plants. I don’t know if it’s true, but paint makes it prettier and decreases even the slim chance of the nasty stuff in my food, so I’m thinking it’s well worth the $15 can of paint.

We’ll fast forward through the drying part, but I left them outside for several days to be sure they were dry. The good thing about this paint is that it’s for outside stuff like for decks so as long as you keep it out of the rain for 24 hours you are safe.

Next step, it’s time to find the perfect spot!

(please pay no attention to the nice neighbors HUGE intimidating garden to the right)

We moved around the timbers a few times until we found the spot it looked the most at home, and then we measured between the trees to be sure our wonderful lawn mower man (aka my daddy) had enough clearance to get through easily as this is a pretty permanent fixture.

We were all clear so we laid out the bottom layer of the timbers to make sure it was just right. Now comes the understuff. We added a layer of “galvanized hardware cloth” to keep out critters that dig underneath.

Just roll it out and walk on it a bit to flatten it out. Then just measure and cut with wire cutters. (How do you like my new gloves the Easter Bunny brought?:)) We then just layed it all out. Please don’t tell the moles there is a hole in the middle. We underestimated the wire stuff a bit. Oops.

Now the critters can’t get in from underneath (the hole is still our secret, right?) so we used some black landscaping fabric to block out the weeds. Just trim and lay it out.

Almost. I didn’t count on it being so windy and I forgot to get those handy little staples that hold down the fabric so I improvised. After I made Robb chase down the blown away fabric, we learned that nails work just fine to hold that stuff down.

The bed is almost made! Now it’s time to place the timbers back together and pile on layer two. I staggered the ends to make it extra sturdy

But to make it extra, extra study we added some huge screws for support. I drilled the pilot hole and Robb worked them in with a socket wrench.

You may have noticed there is dirt in there. We added too many bags of top soil to count and then mixed in four big bags of garden soil to give the veggie babies lots of good stuff to grow in. Think of it as high thread count egyptian cotton, for plants. 

Now we’ve made our bed and we just need some plants to come lay in it! The last frost should be over here in Middle Tennessee so it’s time to plant, but what about you? Are your beds ready for yummy plants? My little bed is ready and says bring on the plant babies! 

Psst… If you missed part 1 and 2 of my garden adventures, you can find those here and here.

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5 thoughts on “Make Your Bed: Summer Garden, Part 3

  1. Pingback: 2012- How you doin’? | Home Sweet Here

  2. Pingback: Look What I Planted: Summer Garden, Part 4 | Home Sweet Here

  3. Pingback: Making the Grade {2012 Goal Review} | Home Sweet Here

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