My raised bed adventure - Hugelkultur inspired

JoshW

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With the arrival of my 2nd child last Tuesday, I've got some time to get some jobs ticked off.

I needed to repair a cracked pipe and put in a retaining wall to stop my yard flooding during the heavy winter rains but my local council won't let me put it close enough to the fence without approval and engineer sign off.

It clicked that's probably why the previous owner hadn't done it although mentioned it would be a good idea. After scouring the legislation, there is nothing preventing me from putting a garden bed in......cue cogs whirring.

Created a design I wanted, signed it off with the wife (who is more important than the council) and started levelling my yard today in preparation for my raised beds (that aren't retaining anything other than veggies - eventually).

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That's where I've gotten to today. The pipe repair will get done tomorrow pending how my back is feeling tomorrow. I'll go shopping for materials for the beds as well in preparation for beginning the bed builds this weekend/next week weather pending.
 
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AndrewB

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That wet ground is much easier to dig than the dry compacted clay:)

I just fixed my flooding yard last weekend by putting in a french drain & sump pump, works great.

What are you planning to build the beds from?
 

JoshW

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That wet ground is much easier to dig than the dry compacted clay:)

I just fixed my flooding yard last weekend by putting in a french drain & sump pump, works great.

What are you planning to build the beds from?
The first layer was nice, the second was the typical Albury clay we love. I'd go deeper but the clay just gets worse .

The beds will be corrugated iron with sleeper capping. Posts will be inside, zincalume angle to make the edges pretty. I'd do wood dressing external as well but too damn cost prohibitive.
 

AndrewB

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Should look nice, I'm always jealous of the cheap timber Americans seem to have access to. Here it seems to be treated pine unless you're prepared to trade a kidney.
 
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JoshW

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Picked up the materials for 2 of the 5 proposed beds from the big green shed today. If they work out I'll go and order the remaining materials from the smaller suppliers (whom I did call but there was a week lead time on mats as they are rolled to order). I also bought a new circular saw and other associated goodies - about $250 over what I had planned to spend and received spending approval for . These beds better be everything I've been promising or I may be part of the bed filling (not really). I did get snow peas seed finally so that $1.68 made it a little better.
 

67HR

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Hi Josh, keep up the good work, it pays off in the end.
I've just completed a pair of raised beds and fenced to keep the roos out. Took me a good 3.5 weeks on & off. All made from materials I had apart from the veggie dirt.
I now have plants in.
Garlic, broccoli & rocket.

20200425_141518.jpg 20200505_085612.jpg
 
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JoshW

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Thanks Trev, yours look great! What are the dimensions on your beds? I'm going 2400x900x850 (LxWxH). I have skips come in from the hills to the vacant blocks next door an had one in the front yard but thankfully not into the back. When I was in WA we would harvest the roos and make delicious chilli roo jerky.
 

JoshW

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Well I got my posts and tin ends cut, as well as assembling one end before it started belting down. Wife has instantly forgiven my spending .

IMG_20200509_123009_resize_22.jpg
 
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AndrewB

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Looking good Josh. It did get rather wet there for a while, then sunny, then wet, then sunny...
 
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JoshW

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Yes it was horrid, luckily the new season of rust valley restorers kept me entertained in the meantime. I wish I had power in my shed, I'd be done by now. Anyway, pulled up stumps at this point.

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67HR

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Thanks Trev, yours look great! What are the dimensions on your beds? I'm going 2400x900x850 (LxWxH). I have skips come in from the hills to the vacant blocks next door an had one in the front yard but thankfully not into the back. When I was in WA we would harvest the roos and make delicious chilli roo jerky.
Hi Josh, here's the link to my first post. Details of the beds are there.
https://www.selfsufficientculture.com/threads/hello-from-albany-wa.2322/
20200330_141955.jpg 20200330_124029.jpg
I used some old shed bottom rail and just tek screwed them together.
 
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Mark Seaton

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They are all looking good, and I love how you are finding a different way around a bureaucratic problem :D
Just a thought, and I take my own advice here, when ever you use tin for your garden beds, make sure you don't use any chemical inorganic type fertiliser, such as super phosphate etc. These will rust out the tin very quickly.
 

JoshW

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They are all looking good, and I love how you are finding a different way around a bureaucratic problem :D
Just a thought, and I take my own advice here, when ever you use tin for your garden beds, make sure you don't use any chemical inorganic type fertiliser, such as super phosphate etc. These will rust out the tin very quickly.
Great advice thanks Mark. I only use blood & bone and seasol currently - these are both organic I believe? Getting further on the beds today. Really looking forward to the finished product
 
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Mark Seaton

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Great advice thanks Mark. I only use blood & bone and season currently - these are both organic I believe? Getting further on the beds today. Really looking forward to the finished product
yeah, I believe that natural and organic is all good. Basically the inorganic has a high concentration of things like ammonium nitrate or potassium sulfate and the like which are basically an oxidising agent. Hence the rust problem.
 
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67HR

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Looking very nice there Josh, well finished and can't wait to see them in place and lots green veggies growing out of them. They will last you a long time.
I'll reserve the option to put a timber edge on mine, something I can add later.
 

JoshW

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Looking very nice there Josh, well finished and can't wait to see them in place and lots green veggies growing out of them. They will last you a long time.
I'll reserve the option to put a timber edge on mine, something I can add later.
To be honest I wasn't initially planning the timber top, that was at the request of the wife. I'm glad I did though, already made a nice seat for a coffee this morning.

Edit - Now they are completed I did a price breakdown. The beds came out to $194.65 each with all new materials from green shed only.
 
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JoshW

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Wrangled the first bed into position. Wasn't fun solo I will say. More dirt to come out tomorrow and I'll drag it's mate down there as well. I'll pick up the wood for the concrete stair forms tomorrow. I'll need to bust up the concrete slab for filler as I'm not buying 0.27m³ of concrete. I have 8 bags of high strength in the shed with some Reo I had put aside for a Weber grill project I never finished. I may grab a few more bags just in case, I'll do some calculations after I get some rubble in there.

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JoshW

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Stairs are formed up. Busting up the slab down the back this arvo now I have a sledgehammer for filler. Grabbed 4 more bags of concrete for peace of mind. And I forgot the bullnose edger when I was at Bunnings yesterday.

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