Chewing On It

Following a first-time home purchase of a short sale property via a 203k loan. Sharing the fun, the pain, the DIY, the contractor work, and everything in between.
Welcome to Chew Avenue.

Raised Beds- A MY home project

I’ve wanted to do something with my yard for years.  After the first year, I did do something- and it worked out ok.  I divided it in half with a diagonal path- triangle of annuals to the left, three raised beds for vegetables to the right with mulch in all the paths.  But the beds didn’t get enough sun and the yield was low.  Then I didn’t plant for two years.  Then I didn’t water and things died. Then the beds rotted out. 

All that time, my only access to the yard was via the basement, through the Alice-In-Wonderland mini door, stooping under the deck and finally out in the yard.  Not a very inviting experience.  Last fall I finally had a set of stairs built off the deck and this spring I promised myself a real yard with real planting- no more shamefully wasted space in a city where my 14’x14’ yard is a spacious rarity. 

The plan:  raised beds- really raised (the old ones were just 2x4s)- as a border along the fence line and sod in the middle for the dogs to lounge on. 

After lots of internet searching on designs, how-tos, what material to use (cedar and redwood are best) and what to avoid (pressure treated or anything with chemicals), and what I can actually afford (Douglas Fir), I measured the yard and drew up the plans.  And was then reminded that we were just putting together boxes- not too complicated, no need for drawings to scale.  Hmph.  So I made up a shopping list and headed to Lowes with a 10% off coupon in hand.

He was right- the 2x8x12s hung over the bed by about 4 feet.  After promising to pay whatever ticket he might receive we were on our way to my place. 

And after a dozen trips down the alley, the wood is now in the yard awaiting construction. 

After day one, we had one bed built.


And contemplated making a bed into a bench after calculating the amount of soil it will take to fill these bad boys.  Ohren liked the bench idea.

On the second day (evening), we assembled the second bed in less than an hour, including set up and clean up.  And now we’re not sure on the original design plan.  Build the third bed as planned?  Or leave it with two and have a bigger lawn area?

And where should my Japanese Maple go?

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