The initial objective of the garden work this summer was to build four raised beds that would be of a height that one could sit on a stool and garden comfortably.  

Part of the planning discussion took place in the presence of my good friend Terrill Samura (Samura and Associates Landscape Architecture).  These discussions focussed on the importance of organic methods and strategies and ergonomics.  The ergonomics piece had to do with the width of the beds so the full bed could be reached when accessing from both sides.  We determined the maximum width of a bed to be 4' which allowed a 2' reach from either side.  My arm - when fully extended - has a 29-30" reach.  My wife has about a 27" reach.  

Other considerations in the planning included:

  • The development of a possible future chicken coop and making sure we have room for it if we do that
  • Good sun
  • Vertical gardening (trellises)
  • Ability to get a garden cart between the beds
  • Irrigating each bed

The initial structural work was to set 24 posts.  Six of the posts were set to a height of approximately 7.5 feet (trellis structure).  The balance were set to receive the bed sides.  

The treated posts were set in the ground with dirt compaction.  Each post had dirt set in the holes with water to fully compact the dirt in approximately 6" lifts.  The dirt was compacted until it was real hard - then the next lift was done.  Compaction was done with a 2 x 4 and a 1 x 2 for narrow openings until each post was vertical (verified with a level) and solid.

It took a couple of weekends to get all this done.  Once the posts were in we could construct the beds and irrigation systems.