Garden Expansion: Part 2

Completed Garden Bed

Materials Used:

6 ea – 1″ x 6″ x 8′ common boards (long sides)

6 ea – 1″ x 6″ x 25 ¼” common boards (short sides)

4 ea – 4″ x 4″ x 2′ posts (legs)

2 ea – 4″ x 4″ x 15 ¾” posts (inner support posts)

4 ea – 3″ heavy duty wheels

100 ea – #8 x 2″ wood screws

16 ea – #12 x 2″ wood screws (for wheels)

1 can of boiled linseed oil

1 old sock (any cotton rag can be used to apply oil)

jigsaw

electric drill

Phillips head screwdriver

tape measure


When I purchased the lumber, I had the stores cut some of the wood for me.  Usually they will do this for free.  I had them cut the plywood in half lengthwise giving me two 2’ x 8’ pieces.  I had them cut the 4” x 4” posts into the two different sizes needed.  And I had the common board cut in half from 16’ to 8’ in length.  To make the smaller pieces of common board, I used my jigsaw at home and cut some of the 8’ boards into the size needed for the short sides.  Garden Box 005I also used the jigsaw to cut the corners of the plywood.  The corners need to be cut out so that the 4” x 4” legs can come through the bottom.

Putting the garden bed together only took me a few hours in total, but I had to build it over the course of three days.  The South Florida heat was a bit much and I had to wait until about 6:30 pm and work until dark so that I wouldn’t suffer heat exhaustion or heat stroke. I plan on expanding even more, however, it will have to wait until the temperature is a little cooler.

Once all of the wood was cut into the appropriate sizes, I started by treating all of the lumber with a coat of boiled linseed oil.  I used an old sock (cut in half) to rub the oil onto the wood.  You should apply the linseed oil going with the grain of the wood, just as you would if you were applying a stain or polyurethane.  Again, please follow all directions on the can of linseed oil for proper handling and disposal.  It is highly combustible and we want to avoid any serious injuries from occurring.  I allowed the wood to dry for about an hour.

Garden Box 006For the construction, I started by nailing the long common boards to the 2’ post pieces (legs) to construct the long sides of the bed.  Next, I attached the bottom of the bed to the long sides.  Then I attached the short sides of the bed.  Before turning the bed right side up, I attached the wheels to the legs of the bed.  Lastly, once the bed was turned over, I attached the 15 ¾” pieces of the 4” x 4” post on the long sides of the bed on the inside to give some extra support.  Garden Box 002If you are making a smaller bed, the extra support probably isn’t necessary, but I would recommend adding support for any size bed 8’ or longer in length.

Once the garden bed was constructed, I filled it with a mixture of organic raised garden bed soil and organic potting soil.  I chose to do a mixture because I’ve had really good luck with the potting soil in the past, but never used the raised garden bed mixture.  It was a bit of an experiment, but I wanted to see how the mix would work.  Garden Box 004Finally, I transplanted some mesclun mix greens, cucumbers, and green beans that I had growing already and also planted some new seeds.  I hope these instructions and tips help you either get a new garden started or expand the garden you already have.  Good luck!

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