Side-Yard Update, Pt. 2

A couple weeks ago I cleared out a lot of junk from the side yard and prepared the ground for a series of raised beds. Yesterday, after attempting to build one such bed from scrap lumber, I gave up and went to Lowe’s for white pine boards. The stuff I had around was either too short, too warped, treated or splintered in the wrong places. Most of it was wood from old palettes, but I really had to admit defeat on that stuff.

$22 bought a 16-foot 2×12 which translated to a bed that was supposed to be 38 inches deep (the depth of the area they’ll go on the side yard) by 61.5 inches. However, I made a bad impromptu calculation at Lowe’s and had them cut the board in the wrong place. I had them make one cut at 73 inches so I could get a 16 foot board in my truck. That 73 inches was supposed to be the two sides when cut in half. The sides, however, needed to be 35 inches each to accommodate the total 3 inch width of the front and back boards combined. The net effect is that I now have a 39.5 inch box in a 38 inch space. Not disastrous, but it’s messing with my sense of aesthetics and knowledge I could have done better. Grr. Can’t decide if I’ll tear it out and cut the sides to the right length or not.

Probably not since I already leveled it, put down brown paper to help suppress the bermuda grass that was there, and put shredded live oak leaves on top of that, and freshly-cut grass over that.

Using white pine isn’t the best option since it’ll rot in a few years and isn’t a very recycled product. Nor is it as pretty or durable as the raised beds Austin Urban Gardens creates. And while concrete or limestone blocks are very reusable and durable, they’re also expensive and a little too bulky for that space. So for $22 and twelve 3-inch deck screws, it was the least-expensive option I could come up with.

Oh, and the best part… this one goes to Jenna for her to dip in and try her hand at growing some vegetables. On Friday she texted me and said she wants to collaborate on gardening now. Hopefully she can use this to get something growing and find some success.


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