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Old October 29, 2015   #1
AlittleSalt
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Default Raised Bed Idea

This is the idea I have been thinking about since seeing what areas get sun and shade at the right times. This raised bed will not need any shading during the hottest parts of the day because of the trees near it.

Construction is 2 x 10 on the high end and 2 x 12 on the lower end. We live on a hill, but I want the bed to be level. Also, this bed is the first thing you see as you go out the front door.

Dimensions are 15' wide x 12' deep. The keyhole in the center is 4' wide and each side bed is 5.5' (66 inches) wide. The side beds will have peppers and/or other attractive looking vegetables growing in them. The back part of the bed is 3' x 15' and is where we will grow cherry tomatoes. There is full access on every side.

The camera used is for taking close-up pictures. Hopefully they will show what I can see.
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Old October 29, 2015   #2
Worth1
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The construction site seems eerily void of slave labor.
They must be working 8's and got off at three thirty.

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Old October 29, 2015   #3
Ricky Shaw
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A sizable project and worthy undertaking.
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Old November 24, 2015   #4
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Now that the peppers have been harvested, I can finally start working on the raised beds. Getting the ground ready is something I can do by myself, and besides, the foundation is where you start.

First thing is to find out just how out of level the ground is. I chose the starting corner and ran a line level. As I've written here before, we live on a hill and have since 1992. I guess you get used to it being out of level because the drop is much more than I thought. The width of the bed is 12'. On the low end I measured and hung the line 11.5" (A 2x12) On the high end - to make the bed level it's 5.5" (A 2x6).

Hmm, I wanted to use 2x10s on the high end and 2x12s on the low end. A quandary. Our 45' x 45' main garden which is <100' away is not level. The fence around the garden is not level except the gates. The gates look odd being level out here. The lumber we have most of are 2x6s and 2x10s, so my thoughts right now are to use 2x10s on the low end and 2x6s on the high end. That would mean it is 2 inches out of level over 12'.

Here are pictures of the layout being level. Opinions are much appreciated. I will run the line using a 2x10 on the low end and post pictures.
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Old November 24, 2015   #5
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Default 2" out of level

While I know it isn't level, it looks better than level did.
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Old November 24, 2015   #6
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If it were mine, I would stack a 2x6 on a 2X10 on the low end and use 2x10 on the high end.
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Old November 24, 2015   #7
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That is definitely another idea. I'll put in longer stakes and see how it looks.
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Old November 24, 2015   #8
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You measured diagonals to square it up, right?
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Old November 24, 2015   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
You measured diagonals to square it up, right?
I won $10 from a guy in a cabinet shop on that one.
Sides ends and diagonals have to come out even.

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Old November 24, 2015   #10
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Yes.

I'm finding out the ground that looks right visually - is actually very far off. One corner, the soil is 4" too high. I'm pretty sure I can correct it all and be able to use only 2x10s all around it. The circle of dirt on the top of the pictures is where it's too high.
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Old November 24, 2015   #11
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Good. It's a common mistake to measure only around the perimeter and assume the corners are square.

I wouldn't worry about the ground not being perfectly level. I would just make the bed follow the ground, like a fence, instead of trying to make your top board perfectly level.
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Old November 24, 2015   #12
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To be sure and exact use a clear plastic 1/2 '' tube at 10/15 ft,fill with water(red dye will make it easier to read).Use one stake as a bench mark(reference target)and go from there.Two people makes it easier to read the ends where/when the water settles after moving.Can be done with one person though,a lot of walking and wiring the target end at stake.
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Old November 24, 2015   #13
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I built an A Frame out of 2X4's and a plumb bob to get the lay of the land at my place.

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Old November 24, 2015   #14
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In the pictures above, between the second and forth stakes used to be a dry-wash creek. All of what you see and most of the rest of our front yard has been filled in with sandy loam. There's a flood ditch cut with a tractor and bucket that diverts the water. It is about 5' from the upper end in these pictures. The ditch is red clay.
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Old November 25, 2015   #15
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I was getting the Turkey brine ready today when I looked at the lines I had put in for the raised bed. It still looked wrong. I got my brother, son, and wife to look and they agreed. It turns out that my old line level is no longer accurate. I used a new line level, adjusted the string accordingly and ... It looks right now.

It actually feels good to know it was tool that was off and not all of us.
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