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By moving the beds a few feet closer to the house, we had an area that would be in full sun a few hours earlier.
We could simply cut the 6x6's to the length we wanted and stack them on top of each other, but that would require screwing or bolting them together with corner brackets of some kind. Keeping in mind the tools and skills we had to work with, we decided to notch the ends a bit like Lincoln Logs then put rods through the corners. When working with 6x6 lumber, there is a big difference between the inside and outside measurements. Notching the ends of the 6x6 lumber was more work than we thought and generated a lot of 6x6x3 blocks. The one big mistake came when we had to piece together two of the long sides on one of the beds. Although we did get a good price on the lumber, next time we would spend the extra for better materials. Unless you have a dump truck available, having the soil delivered is worth every penny compared to hauling it yourself in a regular pickup or trailer. By the time you read this, it will be too late for this year's sale, but be sure to mark your calendar for next year. According to Bill McCaleb, Halifax Master Gardener Coordinator (who gave us a good-natured ribbing about showing up so late) the sale was in full swing by about 7 AM. So we settled for 3 rows with the outer rows about six inches from the inside edge of the boxes. We know we are over-crowding the plants, but figure we will get away with it with good soil and proper watering.
Also in the next issue, we will install our Drip Kit for Raised Beds from Berry Hill Irrigation.
Raised bed gardening has many benefits – the soil stays loose and well-drained since it doesn’t get continuously stepped on, and the beds are simply easier to plant and maintain since they are off the ground. Raised beds can be made from all kinds of materials, but using building blocks has many advantages. Here are 12 awesome examples of the types of raised beds that can be built with building blocks (blocks can be bought from Cape Brick). 1. This building block bed has a variety of vegetables in the center and onions in the perimeter holes.
2. Beautiful isn’t really a descriptor that comes to mind when talking about building blocks, but they really can be made into very appealing planting spaces. 3. These raised beds are built with a combination of building blocks and pressure treated logs.

4. One of the great things about using building blocks is that you can easily make your planting beds as high as you want would definitely be an easy garden to maintain.
6. Non-traditional raised beds can make functional, artistic planting bed additions to any yard using very little space.
7. Simple single-layer building block beds with herbs on one side, veggies on the other, and mulched pathways. 12. And lastly, using building blocks in a setup like this is a cheap and easy way to add a modern touch to any garden. This entry was posted in Cape Brick, cement, Concrete Industry, DIY Project, Greenlock, Retaining, sustainability, Uncategorized and tagged Blocks and Bricks, Cape Brick, DIY Project. This entry was posted in 40 acre woods, Homesteading, Permaculture, Skills, Sustainability, Wild Animals and tagged garden, greens, landscape, Permaculture, rabbits, raised bed. Thank’s Lisa, I am planning to do some Sepp Holzer style larger beds without edging away from the house, but these little ones are easy to manage.
Most of the wood I have available is Sand Pine, soft and only used for the paper industry.
In part 2 we will take you along with us as we create some raised beds, get them filled with soil and plants and try to become gardeners.
This area was the most level and already had a nice patch of exposed soil from having parked a trailer there for a season. Fortunately we didn't have a lot of time invested in preparing this area, so moving the bed area wasn't a great loss. If we wanted true four-foot by eight-foot inside, the beds would have to be five-foot by nine-foot outside.
This wasn't a major problem, but it did make for some interesting measuring and cutting to get everything to match.
Well, by the time we man-handled, measured, marked, cut to length and cut notches, it was more like five or ten minutes per notch total time in our real world. We would still get rough-cut culls from the sawmill, but would hold out for a better selection. Don showed us some bush cucumbers which are a smaller plant yielding 4"-6" cucumbers, and you can stake them up more like a tomato plant which should give some extra room to work with.
This is a great sale with lots of home grown plants, and good advice from the Master Gardeners. Due to some other commitments, we went over later in the morning and found a lot of the plants sold out. That layout might be fine on open ground where there is no boundary, but in a box the math doesn't work.

We will spare you some of the gory details, but will share our bumps and bruises so you can learn from our mistakes. For cosmetics, we opted to make the timbers flush on the outside so some of the notches had to be different sizes to get the offset right. Lumber in matching sizes and lengths long enough to keep from having to piece them together would have been very nice. Dana did the homework and created a nice soil mix of topsoil, compost and a little sand for drainage. When Dwayne from Dana's delivered the soil he was able to dump the soil in two neat piles right next to the beds. As we said in the introduction, we like Reese's because most of their plants are either their own starts or from a trusted local source. This looks great and doesn't rely on bolts or screws, but we knew our woodworking skills weren't up to the task.
We knew the seven-foot lengths would be a problem for the eight-foot beds we wanted, but thought for the price we could deal with the short lengths as long as we had a few extras. So we fudged a little and made our beds four-foot by eight-foot on the centerline of the lumber.
At the time saving somewhere between $30 - $50 sounded great, but we think we might have been better off paying more and saving a lot of work and aggravation.
This is some pretty soil and we didn't have to figure out how much of each to get and mix it ourselves.
He told us if the beds had been ready he could have dumped right into them, as he had done on several other jobs recently. If we had been working with standard size lumber in eight-foot lengths we could not have done this and would have had to live with the beds being three-foot by seven-foot inside. Our fix was to slide them apart in the middle and only overlap a couple inches instead of the full six inches we had planned. Putting the short timbers on the bottom, the combination of the weight of the top timbers and the lumber settling into the soil should hold them alright, plus we have some nice drainage holes in the sides.

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