This morning skies were hazy, our day was moving slow, and we needed a project.
Step 1: Go to the hardware store and ask what is needed to build a raised bed with a cold frame. Builder Bob gave us some great ideas and then had to run to catch the supply boat. We went home and watched a few youtube videos on how it’s done. This one is my favourite. Materials needed: Four 8×2 boards (ours are spruce, which is inexpensive and was not pressure treated), a sack of 3″ nails (though some shorter ones would have been good too), 1″x1″ sticks, about 8 or 10′ (I don’t know the building term for these), 24′ of 1/2″ PVC piping, 6 pipe clamps, a hammer, a pencil, a tape measure and a saw. And some plastic (though we didn’t finish that part today).
Step 2: Get supplies, spread them out. We decided on a 4’x4′ box. Boards come in 8′ pieces and 4′ is a great size since you can reach across it fairly easily. So we got four 8′ boards. This picture only shows three because Dave is in the process of cutting the fourth one in half. We cut all of them in half, to prepare for the next part.
Step 3: Make the sides of the raised bed. We used some 1″x1″ as a cleat first to secure the two halves of a board together (this makes the raised bed two board widths deep). Later, we used this cleat to help hold the corners of the raised bed together.
We only did this for two sides of the bed. The other two sides we used the 1″x1″ to secure the boards together in one place: the centre. I didn’t take any pictures of this part.
Step 4: Attach the pipe clamps. We decided that the pipes would be fitted to the inside of the raised bed, even though we had seen others attach them to the outside. Dave nailed them in using some shorter 2″ nails we found in the basement.
We only did this on two sides. The PVC pipe will be anchored to them, and bent over to the other side to form the structure for the frame.
Step 5: Assemble the raised bed. We nailed the corners together to make the square bed. I also added some nails to anchor the sides without the cleats to the cleats.
Step 6: Final assembly! Dave cut the PVC pipe into 8′ lengths, and then we installed them into the clamps in the frame. Oh, but first: we put down cardboard to kill the grass and any weeds that might make their way into the soil.
Step 7: The final step. We attached a PVC pipe to the top of the hoops to just make them a bit more secure. We used some nylon string to just tie it on.
The sun did peak through while we were working and we had a great afternoon.
Tomorrow: fill with soil. We’ll use a mix of some “wild” soil from a recently dug up area on our property (not dug up by us, for the record) and some sea soil and peat moss. And maybe also put the plastic up. We bought a 10’x16′ feet piece, because they come in 16′ lengths. We’ll probably have lots left over.