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Got wood today for the raised bed

Well, I found some wood today for the raised bed. It should end up about 9m long, 1m wide and 30cm high. I think I am going to bite the bullet and get a bobcat to dig the clay out of the whole yard, and I'll get some fruit trees in as well. So much work to do.

Around my sole garden bed, I'll leave a 1 metre gap and then put up a chicken wire fence to keep out the beagle and the rottie. I'll use star pickets as the posts, and thread some heavy gauge wire between them to hold up the chicken wire. On the fence behind the bed, I'm going to hand a 5m length of PVC pipe for strawberries and maybe some herbs. I've already drilled drainage holes in it, and will cut a strip off the top of the pipe into which the dirt and plants will go.

Now I just need to buy chicken wire, star pickets, rebar or stakes (to support the timber walls of the raised bed), and the soil to fill it with (about 2.5 cubic metres).

Any tips on where to get that stuff cheaply, and even a cheap bobcat/dingo place?



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Comment by Lissa on July 25, 2010 at 7:44
You're such a font of info and you always give me a good laugh :)
I suppose what I have is a sledge hammer then - heavy chunk-o metal. I think I know what you're talking about with the other tool now. I'll stick with the sh as it's not going to cost me an extra $90 :O

What to use no doubt depends on how hard your ground is also. I've been working this soil for almost 10 years now and while it's basically clay down the bottom the top bits are now quite good. Daniel may need the heavy duty gizmo.
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on July 24, 2010 at 17:42
Uh, I meant to add that the tube has a very solid end and it's this end which ultimately does the bashing. Think a very elongated U with handles.
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on July 24, 2010 at 17:39
The star picket putter-inner (doncha luv that tech jargon ;-)?) is a manufactured item you can buy for around $90 at a hardware store. It weighs a bit - made from heavy gauge steel. The very weight of it helps to drive the star picket in, there's little effort on your part. So it's a hollow tube about 2ft long, diameter larger than the star picket. It has two handles on each side. With these handles (they are long things, think grab rails in a shower recess) you lift the doova up and let it drop on the star picket. And repeat as necessary. You can mess up your mallet with the ends of the star pickets and if you have a beautiful old wood mallet like I've inherited, you won't want to mess it up. You can use a small sledge hammer if you want but there's more effort needed to scare the picket into the ground and you stand the chance of bending the top of the picket. There's yellow plastic caps available at $1+ each which reduce the risk of injuring yourself on the tops of the pickets. They have a limited life, though and rather over-priced.
Comment by Lissa on July 24, 2010 at 15:35
What sort of sp putter-innererer Elaine? I use a mallet. Does the correct tool do the job better and what does it look like please?
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on July 23, 2010 at 13:23
They ate whatever I gave them - at the time I was a BOG member and we had commercial growers from Park Ridge coming to meetings with a truckload of veges. So I bought anything I could from them, cooked them up and froze them in daily packets. They got a mixed bag of whatever, without salt or seasonings and vacuumed it all up as dogs do, especially more than one dog they are in competition with each other! At the time I had a chest freezer and sometimes it was laden with dog-veges - variously I had 2 to 4 dogs Labradors and one Border Collie (who was a fussy eater until she met the Labradors who ate their share and hers too if she being picky) so they got through a heap of veges in a month. As well there was a butcher shop over the road so I got lots of cheapish trimmings and fresh bones. It was a dogs' life alright ;-)
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on July 23, 2010 at 9:47
Those bamboo expandable trellises are flimsy - barely suitable for tomatoes and peas and not up to any breed of dog! Speaking as the retired owner of many dogs over 30+ years, unless you catch 'em young and train 'em on what not to do with your garden, you will forever be doing what you're doing - being one fence behind. Nothing short of star pickets and weldmesh or similar will keep them out. Especially when what you are growing is possibly what they are needing in their diet! It's not entirely boredom which encourages them to bash down fences, they need the nutrients. One of my Labradors even ate raw potato and she did have some digestive problems which I eventually solved with Homoeopatic medicine. Growing some of the crop for the dogs to augment their diet - especially if you feed them on dried or canned food - might resolve the fence issue. I switched back to fresh meat, bones and cooked veges and found the dogs health much improved from being on dried food.
Comment by Donna on July 18, 2010 at 8:34
I recently bought chicken wire & star pickets from a company called MetalCorp, it was a lot cheaper than Bunnings.

With the experience of others diggingest dogs above, maybe a chicken wire fence but plant something quick growing and very thorny on the side of the dogs... with the recent posts and information about the native raspberry it might be an answer - although apparently it can be invasive so you might have to build another surround for it too... my hubby found concrete edges to be the easiest/ cheapest to contain things (like grass in our case) and these are also great to use for toy trains and cars as roads :)
Comment by Susan on July 17, 2010 at 20:32
Hi Daniel,

I also have a beagle and notice the fence on the front of my garden. It was orinally chicken wire and wooden stakes. She jumped over it and dug under it. Next I put in a lattice fence (lattice panels from bunnings). That looked absolutely beautiful for about 6 months until her constant pawing against it loosened the wood and then it was time to start again. 3rd time I bought 1.8m high fencing wire and ran wire along the top and bottom. Obviously I am not very handy as it was fairly loose and she could lift it up and dig under. So next, I took the chicken wire from the first attempt cut a 40cm wide strip and lay it the entire length of the fence along the ground. One edge was pinned down with tent pegs, the othe was wound around the wire base of the fence. Then, just to make doubly sure she couldn't dig through, I got my thorny rose clippings and wove them through the chicken wire on the ground. Bloody Beagles!!! :)

Moral of the story is do something right the first time and you won't have to do it again. YOu sound far more handier and organised than me so I'm sure it will be fine. Can't wait to see the pics of your garden when its done.

BTW my garden was built on heavy clay soil as well. I broke it all up to start with, put tonnes of clay breaker on it and then got really good quality vege soil from a landscaping place delivered and put over the top. Never had a problem with my garden and I think the clay helps to keep nutrients and moisture in the summer.
Comment by Daniel on July 17, 2010 at 18:34
You've given me a lot to think about. I've also toyed with the idea of a waist-height wooden fence, and I may have just found the place to get some recycled fencing :-)
Comment by Elaine de Saxe on July 17, 2010 at 17:24
Put the star pickets in with a star-picket tool ... a s.p. putter-inner ;-) ... whatever it is called, at todaze prices of around $90, you'll be well in front if you have more than a couple of s.p's. Originally I hired one, 6 years ago for $20 and worked out that at the then-price of $60, I only had to put in a few more to have a 'free' tool. The thingy (you'll appreciate the technical language ;-) is found near the s.p's themselves at a hardware store.

Chicken wire ... well it's a tad flimsy for a big dog like a Rottie. Dogs are tremendously strong for their size and even the Beagle, given an enthusiasm for getting where she is not wanted, could work her way through chicken wire without raising a sweat. They just claw at the wire and ignore little things like bloodied pads and damaged toenails. They work away until there's a hole big enough to walk through. My just-spayed bitch had all day to do just that and met me at the front gate ... so much for keeping her quiet. Go for a heavier gauge wire if you can find some. Dogs have nothing else to do with their time and something made out of bounds to them is automatically of more interest than whatever they are able to do. And they find it entertaining, too.

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