After 6 years, it is now time to do some repairs on the garden beds. As I first mentioned in this post, this last winter must have been the final straw for a few of the posts. What this seems to be is my poor planning and short cuts during construction catching up with me.
First off, I’ll cover the problems. This isn’t something that had just suddenly occurred overnight. Take a look back at many of the other blog posts to see examples. Rain Rain is a good one as well as Patiently waiting. In both of these you can see the center posts being pushed out of alignment from the weight of the soil. As you can see, these beds have been on this road for a while. Below are a few pictures of the damage.
My plan is to now do what I should have done when building the beds and use come quickcrete to better support the posts. Because the notches for side boards are not always enough to hold them in place, I also plan to pound in a 2×2 on each side of the posts to added extra support.
So, how are the repairs going? To date (3/31/2012), one post repair is completed with the next one started. Here are some pictures and notes about the upgrades.
Step 1: Dig out soil from along the edge of the inside of the bed and also dig a hole around existing post.
As can be seen in the picture above, the cedar has held up pretty well above ground, but below or on the inside where it is always in contact with the soil it has not done as well.
Step 2: Add 2×2 supports to either side of the post. The goal for these supports is to not only add some additional vertical stability to the post, but to also provide additional area for the side boards to stay in place if/when they slide out from their notches in the post. The 2×2 supports were driven into the ground about 10 inches further than the bottom of the dug hole.
Step 3: Dump in some fast setting Quickcrete, add water and wait.
Step 4: Before replacing the soil on against the inside, I wanted to add some garden fabric to the inside of the side boards. The hope is that this will both help keep the soil from eroding out the cracks as well as keeping the weeds and grass from finding its way in.