Garden Project 2016 — Part 5

Reader Contribution by Allan Douglas
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I bought another batch of timbers and got some more work done on my garden project.

My first task this time was to level out the inside wall of the plot (next to the barn) and build it up to meet the low timber on the front wall (at the corner of the barn). This also meant going around the back corner and over to the stepped timber on the back wall at that level. From here on, I’ll be laying mostly full timbers and a couple of half timbers along the inside wall and the back.

I laid in two more rows, pulling up and stapling the liner before I screwed down the top timbers. This is as high as I’m going on this end.

That also completes the inside-back corner. I could run the wall up the slope with many small steps to match the slope of the land, but because I’m going to mount fence panels on top of the walls to keep dogs, rabbits, and buffalo out of the garden, I need longer level areas and taller steps: each step will be 3 or 4 timbers high, and I need to lay them out according to the slope. But I’m almost out of timbers again, so I’ll start on the front side. I’ll get more done there with what I have left.

I have my first step established and my gate posts installed. Blondie Bear is not at all happy with my “improvements.” They just get in her way!

The fence panels will be made by re-purposing PVC fence boxes to make single (about 4 feet) and double (about 8 feet) fence panels that will sit inside each step. The fence box parts were not cemented together, so I’ll just remove the mesh and pull the frames apart. I can cut the tubing down if I need to make custom-length panels for certain spots, but I’ll try to keep that to a minimum.

I can work on those while I await my next paycheck and the ability to buy more timbers.

I will say that I am displeased with the timbers from our big-box, home-improvement store because of the lack of uniformity in timber size.

The first few timbers I pulled off of this batch are 1/2” wider and 1/8” taller that the timbers I bought last time. I thought it was a problem of buying from two different batches. But as I worked, I found that some of the timbers in this batch are closer to the size I got last time. So I started paying closer attention and doing my best to minimize the obvious problems this is going to cause. This discovery did make me feel better; I was thinking I should have bought all the timbers I’d need at one time, even if it meant using credit to do it. Then they would all match. But that is not the case.

I miss the hometown lumber yard that got put out of business by “big box.” I never had this trouble with timbers from them.

Next time I’ll finish up this series with a look at completed steps and fence panels.

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