Fill with Dirt

The previous post in this series is:

Add Vertical Pipe Segments

The home page in this series on building raised bed gardens is Raised Beds Jim’s Way.

By now you have the whole bed built. However, the pipes are sticking up, not down. We need to make room for those underground.

If you didn’t build it in place, at this point move it to the already-tilled spot where it is going into your garden. Line up the corners, being careful to measure to the yard object which you are using to align your beds. We do NOT want to have to move it later, so best to measure twice now, to be safe.

With a spade or garden shovel, dig a hole about 6″ deep under each of the pairs of pipes. Make sure it’s deep enough. While the pipes can be rammed into the dirt, doing that will fill up the pipe segments with dirt, leaving less room for your trellis, tunnel, or fence constructs later.

Once the holes are dug, use a rubber mallet or hammer to drive the pipes down into the holes until they are flush at the top of the bed. If the strapping is too tight, loosen it up a bit to make room.

Finally, fill in the hole with the dirt you just removed. There will be some excess; just toss it into the garden bed itself. Never waste good dirt, I always say!

Finally, fill the garden bed with dirt. You don’t want it completely full, so fill it to about 1-2″ from the tops of the planks. This will keep the tiller from spraying too much dirt out of the garden.

NOTE: Every year the plants in the garden will “use up” some dirt, causing the dirt to go down by about an inch each year. This is OK, because it also used nutrients. Just add some bags of compost or topsoil from your garden supply store to replace that inch. This is also a good time to add some blood meal, bone meal, and potash or greensand as well. You put all this work into the garden; you don’t want to use harsh fertilizers. I’m not an “organic gardener”, but organic fertilizers just make more sense to me. They don’t kill off the biome of helpful critters that live in your soil.

This is the most recent post in this series. Stay tuned for more!

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