This was a labor of love and need: the need for easier weeding, the need for fencing to keep out critters and the love of a pretty (and neat!) garden space.
A month of rain made this a challenge to accomplish given the need for electrified tools. But during the final “push” my husband was fed up with waiting for the rain to stop so he set up a canopy under which he could use the saw to build the final piece of the puzzle, the gate.
We dug the post holes using a two man auger (it alone weighs 75 pounds) and (thankfully!) had the help of some family that were in for the weekend. The amount of effort involved in managing one of these machines cannot be understated–the weight of the auger coupled with the weight of the soil you are pulling up is just so, so, SO much. And you have to do this several times per hole, ugh. The holes that were not obstructed by rocks were drilled very quickly, but when we hit rocks (which was half the holes!) we had to dig them out by hand. The holes took 2-3 hrs to dig out and the vast majority of the time was dedicated to rock excavation.
******There are lots of pictures, click to make larger.
Once the posts were set, they were braced to keep them level and concrete was poured into the holes.
Then the rails went up, hardware cloth was mounted and the bases were attached:
The raised beds were made deeper than our previous ones–these are 10″ and made of 2″ pine, untreated. The beds are 2 foot wide to make weeding easier. The strawberry beds are in front of the garden. The grass has been dug out and weed fabric is next. The middle will have small beds and a hexagonal concrete form on which we would place a bird bath. The garden orients with the slope of the yard, everything slopes away from the house.
Good quality (I hope so given its price) weed fabric is laid down, mulch is loaded on top of the weed fabric and LeafGro is hauled into the beds. We ordered 4 yards each of mulch and LeafGro–about 5 tons each and we hauled it wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow. It was purely exhausting work, I need a nap just thinking about it.
In the home stretch! The wood will eventually gray and appear less stark.
Final push: the gate was made, the birdbath went onto the hexagonal form, the strawberries were planted. To keep out birds, chipmunks and squirrels but allow bees, he built strawberry bed covers using the left over hardware cloth. Added copper caps to the posts, did some finishing and voila!
So dang worth it. I love it.