Making It Pretty with Timbers

Published in June of 2013 by Grit Magazine

Actually, what I’ve been building is much more than just eye candy.  The thick bed of wood chips over landscape fabric bordered by landscape timbers that now surrounds all the boxes in my “Lower 10” also serve some good purposes:

  1. It keeps grass and weeds away from my garden beds.
  2. I no longer have to weed-whack between the boxes: always a chore and it sprayed plant bits and weed seeds into my boxes.
  3. It makes a cushy surface to kneel on while I’m working the beds.
  4. The landscape timber borders help divert rushing rain water around my garden so it doesn’t flood the boxes or wash away the mulch.
  5. I’m planting flowers around the perimeter timbers that will draw beneficial bugs (bugs that eat the bugs that eat my garden) and add a splash of color.
  6. This should help maintain the moisture levels in the entire area.

My berry house is also done.  It encloses a blueberry bed, strawberry bed, red and purple grape vines.  Bird netting over the PVC frame keeps the birds away from the berries.

The door is the curved section with all the slats between the strawberry and blue berry boxes.  It’s a flap of bird netting that lifts up to allow me in and out, yet keep the avian fiends away from our berries.  I stabilized the edges by trapping them between two layers of duct tape (sticky sides together) and stapled the slats on to lay across the door frame to prevent the netting flap from falling through the opening.  A piece of PVC at the bottom holds the flap down and keeps it from blowing open in winds.

We just bought some marigolds to plant around the high perimeter to brighten it up a bit and help repel rabbits.  They can chew right through the bird netting.

The Middle 10 was completed just days ago.  This section required shoring up the lower ends of the paths between the boxes (the slope is steeper here), which meant some extra digging to level the timbers.

For the most part, this work is very simply done; no hoopla.  Well, almost no hoopla.

I did angle the cuts when I made the timber pieces that went between the boxes so the ends of the timbers sit flat against the boxes despite the slope, and I could not resist showing off just a little by coping the ends of the timbers where they meet the curved face of another timber.

Otherwise, it’s all pretty much plain-Jane work: timbers, pinned to the ground with rebar, on top of landscape fabric to keep the weeds out and filled with wood chips I make myself by chipping up tree branches from the spring trimming.  But it should ease my maintenance chores, make my knees happy, and it looks pretty nice too.

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