Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Starting the Garden Wall

Elaina surveys the trench.
Today was dedicated to working on the new garden.  My plan is to build a short retaining wall along the lower slope of the current garden so that I can level the ground before building new garden boxes.  After dropping Kid 2 off at school, I stretched a line between two posts that I had previously measured out, and began trenching.  Digging with the spade went fairly quickly.  Elaina and I dug down between 4 to 6 inches for 30', marking the lower edge of the garden.  Once this was done, I used a 4x4 timber to tamp down the loose dirt.  I then leveled the bottom, digging and filling as needed, and tamped again.

With the trench dug, we took a little break and headed to Home Depot to buy some stone.  The stone ended up being a dollar cheaper than I saw online, so we saved a bit of cash there.  Once home, we added the stone to the trench for drainage, and started the process of tamping, leveling, digging and filling again.

Adding stones.

Once the stone was level, I began laying the base of the retaining wall.  This consisted of putting down a 4x4, leveling it, filling next to and under it, then leveling it again.

Basically our day contained several hours of leveling and tamping.

At first I began laying 4x4s along the entire length that we had dug in the morning.  I decided, however, that I should get at least one corner started so that I could start building up.  The corner waited till after Gabriella was picked up from school.  Once home again the girls helped me align the corner, dig, tamp, level, etc., until we had a nice corner started.

Aligning the corner.
With the corner aligned and leveled, I fixed it in place by drilling through the 4x4s, then pinning them in place with a short length of pipe.   With this done, we move on to finishing the base of the wall along the lower slope.

The final bit for today was to start the second tier.  The 4x4s that I'm using, though, are a bit warped and twisted, being scrap that I found stashed in the sheds and barns around the property.  It looks like I'm going to need some spikes to help hold them in place.

The day's work.

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