Planter Bed Construction

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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Looks like a really good idea. I want to do something similar for blueberry bushes. Luckily I have a tractor with a bucket so it will be easy to dig out for the planters.


This afternoon I finished the trench work. Tomorrow I can start placing blocks. :smile:

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I don’t mean to be a skeptic, but being an Indiana farmer, I just have to ask WHY?

I Like raised beds and concrete borders but would have put blocks on the ground and filled them with dirt.

You have more space taken up by the blocks than you do to grow.

Edit: and what is that white pipe sticking up for?

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I was raised by the 3rd little pig. :wink:

The blocks will direct the irrigation water downwards. The divisions make the plants easier to tend.

That’s the irrigation line for the planter. The height is due to the length of pipe I had at the time. It will be cut down to whatever is needed.

Ahh… So you live in an area that does not get sufficient rainfall so that water is a Premium?

Cool. Good luck, and be sure to post pictures of your result!

Sorry, I did not take the time to look and see that you are in California. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to grow stuff in that climate. Like I said, in Indiana we don’t have to try so hard.

Heck, My grass has grown so fast and tall that I have to mow and weed whack around my trees already.

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It’s much easier to grow fruit in southern CA than in IN. Ask Patty. She couldn’t wait to get out of IN and back to very near Richard.

Hah, was wondering if anyone who knew me might have picked up on that. Yup - not that Indiana isn’t a lovely place, and yes - when spring really gets going in Indiana, I swear you can actually stand and watch the grass grow. But, as far as ease of gardening, nothing beats where Richard and I live, truly. I believe Vista has more commercial nurseries than any other city in the USA with very little pest pressure. We can grow just about anything here if we have enough water :wink: And, we can do that 12 months out of the year. It’s pretty darn nice living here, and being a gardener. NO complaints. And, what RIchard is doing is very smart on many counts - permanency, no attracting termites, ease of use, ease of managing and picking. Build it once right, and it’s there forever.