8.05.2017

A Raised Herb Box

After thinking about this for what seems like forever, I finally built a raised box for a little herb and lettuce garden.



Earlier in the summer I replaced some of the boards of the fence on my east wall. This allowed me to reuse the old boards for a wooden walkway that leads from the concrete pad out to the shed. I had some six footers left from this project which I knew would be perfect to make a raised bed. 

This was a very easy and straightforward project because all of my fencing was of the same dimension and that is the key bit of information here. What I've learned about stock fencing is that with fence boards, the dimensions (width and thickness) can be all over the map. This is for the most part due to the fact that redwood fencing is usually green. What I mean by that is that it has not been dried or seasoned prior to being milled.  That means that there can be a variable amount of water in it which in turn, affects how much it shrinks as it dries over time. Slight variation in board width wouldn't really matter when building a fence, but would when trying to build a box with straight and level dimensions. I bought all my wood at once and I'm sure it was all from the same lot. 

I used the full length of the 6 footers and simply crosscut the boards for the sides. The inside posts were recycled from the hot tub delivery crate. I built it upside down on my picnic table so that I knew the top boards would be level and flat. No need for a bottom. Obviously this type of construction is very forgiving. 

Two screws per end of board. Be sure to offset screws as to avoid running into each other in the other dimension. Self driving screws -no need to pre-drill, although I did clamp my boards to the post while driving to prevent movement.

Nice little coffin, I mean, raised box, aye? I used a level when I placed it on the ground.

For longevity, I lined the box with an old tarp that ripped recently. I was glad not to have to go out and buy some new plastic liner for this project, which seemed a somewhat stupid proposition.

Turns out, the really great thing about using the tarp was the nice clean edge that I didn't need to fuss with. 

The tarp wasn't quite long enough to make it around half way so I cut two additional pieces for the ends onto which the longer pieces overlapped.


I attached using a staple gun. Of course there will be a little bit of rot where the box sits on the ground but I think that's going to be ok. I briefly considered using a little weatherstripping tape there but that felt like overkill.


 I bought a whole array of herbs and a few lettuces.


For a slug barrier, I lined the exterior top edge of the box with Corry's copper tape.
  
I water every other day and things have taken off nicely. At this time of year the box gets sun from early morning until early afternoon.


I used a small little side bucket for the mint because that shit spreads like crazy. 

And, btw, take a look at that crop of apples on the espalier! No rat poaching so far this year because my cat is a killing machine. It's gruesome but very effective. 

Peace and love and happy gardening!

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