Saturday Tweets: Lyme Disease, Unuselessness and a Plum Mystery

J’ai supprimé mon compte Facebook

Root Simple reader Helene Jutras translated my blog post, “I Deleted My Facebook Account,” into Québec French on her blog Les Campagnonades. Helene, a.k.a. La Campagnarde (the countrywoman) is a novelist and translator who also nuked her Facebook account. Please check out her blog and thank you Helene!

Garden Fork on Raised Beds

Keeping with the raised bed theme this week, Eric of GardenFork just did a video about redoing some basic raised beds. In the video he covers the different types of angle brackets you can use to reinforce the sides as well as touching on the treated vs. untreated lumber debate. Plus there’s lots of labrador action (and non-action).

How to Make a Hexagonal Raised Bed

Bloggers such as myself sometimes have the tendency to put up a post with the promise of “detailed instructions to follow” and then, lacking the oversight of an editor, somehow never get around to delivering the goods. Over the weekend I got a request for detailed instructions on how to build the hexagonal raised beds we posted about back in 2014. So here you go.

Materials
You will need six 6-foot pieces of 2×6 lumber. I would suggest pressure treated lumber. I chose the dimensions for these beds to make them as big as they could be and still be able to comfortably reach into the middle of the bed. These dimensions will also minimize waste (since we’ll be using 6′ lumber).

Tools
This project requires a compound miter saw, a tool on my list of recommended homestead accessories. Mine has gotten a lot of use over the years for everything from gardening projects to building furniture.

The angle at the corners of a hexagon are 60º. Therefore, you will need to set your saw to 30º (90º-60º=30º).

With the saw set, you just need to cut 12 sections, each 2’6″ long, with that 30º angle at each end. Secure the pieces together with screws at the corners.

Although I did not do this I would recommend reinforcing the bed by screwing a 2×4 in the center as above.

If you have a table saw (which I did not have when I built my beds) you could reinforce the corners with another 2×4 ripped at an angle. My beds did fine without this step. You could also make these beds taller if you need to by adding more courses of lumber. And if you’re the welding type, these beds would be very handsome (though expensive) if done in metal.

Pros and Cons
While I was pleased with aesthetics of my hexagonal beds they no longer grace our backyard. The area in which they resided became too shady to grow vegetables in and also became the strip mine that supplied the clay for our adobe oven. Our landscaper has proposed making this part of our yard a rain garden. More on that project later in the year.

One disadvantage of beds with this odd shape is that they are harder to critter-proof. I don’t consider this a deal killer, but it’s something to think about if you have the hoards of marauding mammals that nightly assault our backyard even in this very urban part of Los Angeles. You can see in the first picture that I ended up creating a sort of bamboo teepee to provide support for beans and tomatoes and on which to attach bird netting (which the marauding mammals easily breeched).

I’ve posted about the pros and cons of raised beds in the past. Unless you have a compelling reason to build raised beds I think it’s always better to grow in the ground. That said, these hexagonal beds look really nice and I would make them again if I lived somewhere with less mammalian interference.

Saturday Tweets: Tanning Fish, Trees and Dealing with Medieval Mansplainers