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High Yield Gardening: Raised bed - Interlock design

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Forum: High Yield GardeningReplies: 22, Views: 648
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Qinx
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

July 23, 2010
7:03 AM

Post #7990468

Here is how I built my wooden raised beds.

I started with 2"x6"x8' pressure treated lumber.

I cut them into 4 foot lengths.

This message was edited Jul 23, 2010 10:10 AM

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Qinx
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

July 23, 2010
7:04 AM

Post #7990469

I then notched each end on the opposite edge. This is a picture of end to end notch.

The boards are a 2x8 on the bottom and a 2x6 on the top so the bed is 14inches deep.

This message was edited Jul 23, 2010 9:29 AM

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Qinx
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

July 23, 2010
7:05 AM

Post #7990471

Here's a more detailed drawing of the notching.

The notches are made to work on either end to end or corner to corner.

So if I was cutting a 2x6 notch the two measurements are 1.5inch (the width) and 2.75inch (1/2 the height)

THe picture is incorrect. The top text says 1/2 the thickness of the board. It should read "The thickeness of the board".

This message was edited Jul 23, 2010 9:09 AM

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Qinx
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

July 23, 2010
7:10 AM

Post #7990480

Corrected image...

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Qinx
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

July 23, 2010
7:11 AM

Post #7990483

Here is the corner placed together.

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Qinx
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

July 23, 2010
7:14 AM

Post #7990486

The 1/2in or 5/8in hole is bored in the center of the cut out and goes all the way through the notch. This is where the "pin" goes to hold the frame together. I used 18in long 3/8" rebar as the pin. I left the rebar above the edge of the bed so I can place a plastic frame over it for either shade in the summer for small crops or to cover for frost protection in the late fall/early spring time frame.

This message was edited Jul 23, 2010 9:26 AM

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Qinx
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

July 23, 2010
7:14 AM

Post #7990488

I covered the exposed rebar with 1/2" PVC pipe for safety/protection and visibility.

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Qinx
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

July 23, 2010
7:16 AM

Post #7990492

other pics

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Qinx
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

July 23, 2010
7:17 AM

Post #7990496

rebar coverd...

In the fall/spring I plan on making a hoop house over the beds and I can use the exposed rebar to anchor the hoops.

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Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

July 23, 2010
7:34 AM

Post #7990546

QINX,

GREAT PICTORIAL TUTORIAL!

Thanks for taking the time to post this.

Hugs!

Linda ^^_^^
onyxwar
Greeley, CO
(Zone 5b)

July 23, 2010
7:37 AM

Post #7990552

Very nice. Thanks for that. I am building several raised beds right now and I think I will give that a try. It looks very nice and sturdy. Much nicer than just screwing the corners together.
Qinx
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

July 23, 2010
8:15 AM

Post #7990621

I was asked if the overlapping would affect the overall dimensions of the beds. The answer is yes. It will shorten each length by 3" for each seam in the middle and 1.5" on each corner. The fact that the lumber comes in 8 foot lengths which is easy to work with I wasn't really worried about the ~9 inches that it overlapped for my bed. But if you need it to fit in a defined area say around the house you may want more accuracy.
jannz2
Pilot Point, TX
(Zone 7b)

July 23, 2010
11:07 AM

Post #7991076

Thanks Qinx --- for sharing some really good ideas. I like the idea of the rebar and pvc pipe to support a covering for shade or frost...~whatever. I hope I can get some of ideas / projects I have in mind for MY garden done this fall -- and I think I'll add this rebar/pvc idea to my list.

This message was edited Jul 23, 2010 12:11 PM
Pewjumper
Glenwood Springs, CO
(Zone 5b)

February 22, 2011
4:40 PM

Post #8387130

Qinx,

Thanks for the ideas! I am helping to start a half acre community garden and any ideas on raised beds is greatly appreciated.

Sonny

dreaves

dreaves
Hutto, TX
(Zone 8b)

February 23, 2011
2:49 PM

Post #8388771

That is a nicely done tutorial. The overlap and pin makes a strong joint and provides a lot of flexibility. Thanks for the idea and the great photos.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 25, 2011
2:15 PM

Post #8392581

>> >> Then I added braces corner to corner (of fence boards) for the next tier to sit on.

Thanks for that idea. I have been mentally wrestling with ideas for supporting "terraces" in a raised bed that spans a slope. I wnat to make a 16" drop into two 8" drops, and add another 12" drop at the very bottom. I don't want the downhill walls on higher terraces to sit on soil, compressing it or sinking itno it.

My walls have been made from paving stones stood on edge or on end (12x12x1" pavers, or 8x16x3/4" pavers). They may not form a very stable wall, but as long as I don't walk on the bed, they stay in in place. I could glue or motar them if needed, but it seems not to be needed.

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1139478/
Soil and Composting: Crude but effective raised beds
(drainage trail and error)



My biggest need from most of my RBs is to improve drainage in heavy HEAVY clay soil. Most of the yard has rather little slope.

So far, I've only thought of balancing the paving sotnes on top of bricks buried under them, with gaps between the bricks for drainage. But that sounds very precarious!

I'm not allowed to build anything "attached" to the ground, but could drive in rebar or glue paving stones together.

You now have me thinking about making some of the upper walls from boards, and propping them up on some kind of kitty-corner braces.

I have used a cheap, flimsy 6" redwood board to add a 4-5" drop on one bed on a shallow slope. A board that light seems not to compress the soil below it noticably.

Thanks!

Corey

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RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 25, 2011
2:17 PM

Post #8392586

Photo during construction showing trench.

I would like to make the 16" drop and shelf below it into three shallower drops or terraces.
The trench would turn into a narrower sunken walkway, and the shrubs to the left will eventually come out, and another stair-stepped rasued bed will go in on that side also.

Corey

Thumbnail by RickCorey_WA
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RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 25, 2011
2:18 PM

Post #8392589

A "satellite view"

Corey

This message was edited Feb 25, 2011 3:18 PM

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 25, 2011
2:19 PM

Post #8392591

Sorry, here's the blurry aerial shot:

Corey

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 25, 2011
2:19 PM

Post #8392594

OK, it worked this time.

Corey

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tommyr2006
Poughkeepsie, NY

March 2, 2011
5:45 PM

Post #8403264

That design is used by a company that makes raised beds for purchase.

http://www.naturalyards.com/raisedbeds/

dreaves

dreaves
Hutto, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 2, 2011
10:22 PM

Post #8403740

Yeah, but the prices they are asking are unbelievable! A 4' x 4' by 11" bed for $170? That is 32 feet of 2" x 6", with a few cuts and some holes, with four metal pins. Lowes Top Choice 2" x6" untreated pine lumber is $3.82 for each 8' board. That's less than $16 lumber cost for a 4' x4' bed. If you use cedar, then the price is quite a bit higher, about $60 for the lumber. Of course, that's at retail price.

The end overlaps (lap joints have been around a very long time...) can be cut with a handsaw. The only thing that would be any problem is the holes in the joints. Given that the width of the joint is less than three inches, a power drill and a long bit would work nicely. I'm thinking that there could be as much as $20 worth of work time in a properly equipped wood shop (jig saw and drill press) IF you are using union labor.
gardenpops
Seattle, WA

August 26, 2011
1:07 PM

Post #8778308

Yes, naturalyards uses incense cedar, not Lowe's pinewood. They also treat with a non-toxic coating that protects it from the elements. Their beds and planters have a 20-year warranty, which is something that you won't get at Lowe's or if you mess up the project yourself.

So you are spending a little bit of money on some cheap wood and a fair amount of labor (if you have a bandsaw, then you're in good shape).

Or you can spend a fair amount of money up front and have beds that won't corrode in 5-6 years and will be replaced if they do. I am very happy with my purchase. You also get the advantage of trimming and stuff, if you like it to look a bit nicer.
I have a big U-bed (I have a disability) that's four boards high so I don't have to reach down. It cost a bit, but it will last until I die and beyond.




This message was edited Aug 26, 2011 1:08 PM

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