Once the main construction was complete, we needed to add some braces in the 8 foot sections of each bed to prevent the sides from bowing out under the weight of the compost. I forgot to take a close-up photo of that, so I'll try to just describe it. A 2x4 was cut to almost the height of the taller sides and attached vertically to connect the 2x8 and 2x10. Then a 2x4 cut to fit from side to side was added, turning our 12 foot beds into 3- 4 foot sections.
In the above photo, you can see the 2- 4 foot square beds at the top of the hill
Since the decline in the yard is fairly steep, we needed to prevent the garden beds from "walking" down the hill over time. In hopes of preventing this, we hammered rebar in the ground at the corners of the upper sides of the garden beds. Now the beds are ready for compost!
Rebar holding the beds in place on the hill
After using an online calculator, we decided to order 16 yards of organic compost. One calculation was that we needed 18 yards, but we decided to get 16 and see how far that would go. I wanted to have a mix of a few different composts, but the landscaping place we ordered from only offered 2 different kinds that were certified organic so we ordered 8 yards each of the two different types.
16 yards of certified organic compost
Since actually mixing the compost wasn't an option, the two types of compost were loaded alternately in the truck and "mixed" a bit when dumped onto the driveway. That pile in the photo above was bigger than it actually looks. I was standing a little above it taking the photo since our driveway slopes up towards the road. The two types were "regular" compost (yard debris & kitchen scraps, I'm assuming) and "fish" compost (fish scraps & yard debris).
Filled & ready for planting!
After a full day's work .......my son & I worked from about 9:30am until 8pm, with my husband joining in at about 4pm once he was home from work.......we had all the beds filled and had a couple of yards of compost left. After a good rain settled all the compost down, we topped them off again and still had compost left to top-dress some flower beds.
The lonely little bed at the bottom of the hill
Stay tuned for planting day....or should I say planting days, weeks? It's been slowly coming along,but we're getting there!