Planter Bed Construction

Today I installed guide lines for the construction of 4 vegetable & herb planter beds.

In the photograph:

  1. Guide lines are lime colored strings attached to green-blue U-posts.
  2. White shaded area (image edit) shows approximate location of 1st planter.

The remaining beds will be implemented in parallel 36" apart to the right.


Very nice, Richard. NOT wood, which means zero termites. And, you won’t need to replace them in, say, 5-10 years. Tell me you’re not the only one lugging all of those very heavy concrete cinder blocks to build these beds? What are the bed dimensions?

Patty S.

Have tools, will garden. I’ve built them before and I’ll build them again. The larger blocks are 28 Lbs and the smaller 23 Lbs. I have both rebar and 120 90 Lb bags of cement on hand - plus a cement mixer of course. The internal dimensions are 57" x 135", each containing 8 irrigated partitions using the 3.5" wide blocks. I’ll post more pictures as I build them. :slight_smile:


Oh, lordy! You must have one incredibly strong back! Can’t wait to see them done. Veggie beds done right. Awesome.


This afternoon I excavated two footing trenches with a laser I bought from Lawrence Livermore Labs :wink:


Richard, are you secretly Dr. Evil?


Is the footing necessary when you are just growing veggies?

The first course of blocks is subterranean so that all irrigation water is focused down and that roots from one sector do not interfere with the next.

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Do you have cloth or something under to prevent tunneling up? Or are voles and moles less of a problem for you? I can’t figure out how to keep rodents out of mine. I even mixed in a bunch of that vole block rock into the top layer. I was wondering if I emptied it and dug in a foundation how much depth I’d need to make a difference without a bottom.

Ryan, we don’t have moles here (that I have ever seen). We do have voles, but what we have that’s worse are pocket gophers. S. California is like the “gopher capital” of the world :frowning: As well as ground squirrels. To prevent tunneling under the wall and up into a bed, most of us will put down hardware cloth on the bottom of beds. Not everyone has gopher issues, though (rare, but there are some folks in S. California that don’t have a lot of gopher activity). Richard, do you need to take gopher measures for your beds, or are you one of the lucky few that do not have gopher activity?

I need to get one of those new lasers. Who knew that they could dig a trench for you. Just kidding your work looks great as always. I enjoy seeing your updates. Bill

Upon buying this property I installed deeply footed masonry walls around the perimeter. I also keep my shrubs pruned up so there is no place to hide. There are plenty of gophers and a few voles living on all three sides and across the street but any varmits that venture in my yard are quickly picked off by ever-present raptors or killed by my dogs. So far I know of only 3 in the last 3 years.


Only because inhabitants have killed off their 4-legged predators - primarily the beautiful silver foxes.

We have a fox or two in our area, but I don’t think it’s a silver fox. I think it’s grey fox. Every once in a while, in the evening or at night, we can hear it calling/barking. I think many predators, including our little native Long Tailed weasel, have been reduced due to habitat encroachment. About the only predator that hasn’t had a significant dent in their populations are the coyotes. Although, I’m sure their numbers are also down, compared to what they were before all the building in N. County. I haven’t seen any weasels for about a year, which is too bad.

As the baby boomer generation ages, the population of “silver foxes” is set to increase markedly. Not sure how interested they will be in eating gophers though .


Today I finished the initial excavation of the perimeter. The next step is to dig the trench in the foreground 9 inches deeper so it is at level with the rear trench.

Hasn’t it been in the 90s there? At least here it is. I hope you are working early or late!

The prior two days were in the mid-90’s but today’s high was only 82.

Over the weekend I dug the perimeter trench down to level depth :smile:


This is very impressive, Richard! Can’t wait to see the finished product.

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