Monday, April 8, 2019

Rebuilding garden beds without nails/screws & wintry mix coming?

Well... Time to get to work! I have four garden beds.  I rebuilt them all about 3 years ago with pine wood, but they are reaching their life limit.  The strawberry bed, back right, was replaced last fall.  I figured I would share how I am rebuilding them, in case some of you would like to try building your own.
I am NOT building them like I did before.  Check out the corners.  They are splitting and the screws are barely held into the wood now. This is risky with the kids and myself in the backyard barefoot so often.  So let's go shopping to rebuild two of the garden beds. My beds are 12 feet by 4 feet.  
I had a coupon to Lowe's, so picked up enough to rebuild two of the beds.  For one bed you will need 16 8' landscaping timbers, 20' of 1/2" rebar, and a sheet of plastic. Thanks to Kurt Ludlow for letting me borrow his trailer for all the lumber.
Then you have to cut half of those timbers halfway.  So for one bed you will need 8 8' timbers and 16 4' timbers.
Time to get stacking...
Interlace the ends and stack them 4 high with the 4' seconds on the ends and then one 8' and one 4' timber for each side.
Then you will need a LONG 1/2" wood spade chuck drill bit.  Mine is 16" long and you have to drill down through all four boards for the rebar to be pounded in.  I do all three of the top boards then halfway through the bottom board.  Once all the holes are done then I remove the top three boards and elevate the bottom board so I can drill straight through and not ruin the bit by hitting the ground.  For all the seams, you will want to drill holes all the way down to hold the boards together with the rebar that need to be in 1' pieces.
Be very careful not to shift the boards too much when you are drilling because you want all 20 holes to be lined up perfectly when you are done.  If the boards move then the first drilled holes will not line up later. You can use thinner dowel rods or other long thin rods to help hold them together temporarily, but be sure you can remove the rods after you finish drilling.
Now to the beds.  I shoveled around the inside of the older beds to make sure I had room to put in the newest boards.  Summer and Evan were watching the whole time and making sure I was doing a good job. I took all the screws out of the boards and put them into coffee can and into the trash.
Since I am now using treated lumber I wanted a barrier between the chemicals in the treated lumber and soil, so I put plastic around the entire bed and placed the first boards on top of that.
Stack them up and make sure you are putting the same boards in the same places.  You can mark the insides with a crayon so you don't get them out of order.  I stake them three high then staple the plastic to the top of the third board and trim off the excess plastic.  
Then I put the rebar in the top board and hammer that in BEFORE I put the top board on the bed.  Might as well do some of the hammering before they move once you put them on the boards because the vibrations may slightly alter the stacking.
Hammer away!
Done! Be sure to check that it is going into the next board properly.  Again, the vibrations of hammering may shift the lower boards.
I put the kids to bed for a nap and I was able to get the second bed done, start to finish, in about 3 hours.  I wanted to get it all done before the rain came because I didn't want to boards to warp. Getting straight lumber is also a good tip.  That back bed is in good enough shape to last another season... hopefully. I may also get sealer to put on the boards to hopefully get a little more life out of them.  I don't want to paint them because paint will eventually peel and I want something to soak in and protect it longer.  
Dawn and I went to Katie McKee's wedding on Saturday.  Gorgeous wedding!
Katie was gorgeous!  They asked for no photos during the ceremony, but we did snap a morning show group shot with the bride.
It was so nice to get a night out with Dawn.  We don't often get a lot of time with just the two of us.  Love her so much.
Yesterday I took the kids on a run while Dawn got a nap.  Evan was able to ride in the stroller like normal instead of the car seat. I think he really enjoyed seeing everything passing by instead of stuck looking at the sky.
Ugh!  What a Monday morning!  When I pulled out of the garage and started heading to work this morning I could hear something a little weird with the wheels.  I could hear a tick, tick, tick, tick... So I pulled over and checked the tires.  They all looked fine so maybe it was just a rock in between the tread.  It is my wife's car and I drive it to work in the mornings.  It has air pressure sensors for the tires and I could see they were all properly inflated inside too.  So I got back on the road and a mile later the ticking stopped, but then one of the tires started dropping in PSI.  I only had 6 miles to go and I told myself that if the pressure got too low then I had to pull over.  I was able to get into the packing lot and the tire was low, but still going with 6 PSI.  I could hear it hissing.  I went inside to get some work done and then back outside to change the tire.  No screw or nail was visible, but I will check to see where the hole is and then patch it after the morning show today.  Fun times!
You might want to have the rain gear handy for today. A cold front is moving through Indiana now and will trigger some scattered morning showers and a few rumbles of thunder. Clouds will remain around the area a lot of today with a few peaks of sun. Once we warm up in the afternoon and evening then we will see a few more spotty showers popping up. Highs today in the lower 70s. Clouds continue clearing this evening and patchy fog possible by Tuesday morning. Early clouds and fog clear Tuesday with more sun by the afternoon and highs in the upper 60s. Another day with more sun on Wednesday with increasing clouds later in the day and likely staying dry and cooler with highs in the mid-upper 50s. More clouds Thursday and a low chance of some scattered rain later in the day, mainly north. Highs near 70 with brisk winds Friday morning we will see a strong cold front that will likely trigger scattered showers and storms for the morning with gusty winds. Drying out by later Friday and Saturday with partly cloudy skies with highs in the 60s. Cooler on Sunday with highs in the mid 50s and then scattered showers likely later in the day. A couple of the models are going cold enough for rain and a little wintry mix.  We will keep an eye on it... Have a good one!

Andrew Buck Michael

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