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how to make box level on an unlevel site help please

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how to make box level on an unlevel site help please

Post  newstart on 2/18/2012, 11:11 am

I have an area tha I will be putting in a 3 by 10 ft raised baed in. I cleared out the two mulberry trees that were there. dug down got as much of the root system I could. I turned it a little just to make sure . Now that I have started to put the soil back in place and it just rained I notice that this area has a small slope to it. How do I make my bed level. I worry that if it is not that the rain will flood my bed.. Any thoughts or ideas on how to keep bed level and not lose any soil out of the bottom
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Re: how to make box level on an unlevel site help please

Post  llama momma on 2/18/2012, 11:39 am

From what I've read you attach a plywood bottom to your box with appropriate drainage holes. Raise the "low" side of the box with bricks or something till it is level. This way you don't have to dig out anything.
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Re: how to make box level on an unlevel site help please

Post  Ha-v-v on 2/18/2012, 11:56 am

I use wood to lift up a low end and put a cardboard lining, keeps the soil in for me. I do have a level app on my phone Shocked It comes on handy for pics too :-)
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Re: how to make box level on an unlevel site help please

Post  newstart on 2/18/2012, 11:59 am

O k along the lines of what I was thinking. I have a yard level I can use and extra boards or bricks I can use. Its not a huge difference but just want it to be right
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Re: how to make box level on an unlevel site help please

Post  Ha-v-v on 2/18/2012, 12:02 pm

@newstart wrote:O k along the lines of what I was thinking. I have a yard level I can use and extra boards or bricks I can use. Its not a huge difference but just want it to be right
. Oh I understand. Cardboard is free and the furniture stores lets me take what I want anytime. Huge pieces for the whole garden floor.
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Re: how to make box level on an unlevel site help please

Post  1airdoc on 2/18/2012, 12:55 pm

There are NO flat areas on our property, especially in the property near the house. The best location I have for a SFG is on a hillside that is fairly steep; it drops about 10 inches over the 4 foot width of the SFG.
To accomodate this, I built a garden container out of 2x12 boards. I dug in a squared U-shaped trench in the hill, with the flat 4-foot base of the U on the uphill side, and the two arms extending down the hillside. The opposite side was not dug in at all. I placed one side of the container into this, and used a spirit (bubble) level to adjust the depths until the entire frame was level on all 4 sides.I did not dig out all the soil to the full 12" depth of the uphill side - I just made sure it was all at least 6" deep everywhere.
As soon as I can figure it out, I'll post a photo showing a new 4x4 SFG I am in the process of building for strawberries. It shows how the process worked for me.
I build my first SFG last year, 4x12, on the same hillside, and it has done well.
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Re: how to make box level on an unlevel site help please

Post  CindiLou on 2/18/2012, 1:33 pm

@1airdoc wrote:There are NO flat areas on our property, especially in the property near the house. The best location I have for a SFG is on a hillside that is fairly steep; it drops about 10 inches over the 4 foot width of the SFG.
To accomodate this, I built a garden container out of 2x12 boards. I dug in a squared U-shaped trench in the hill, with the flat 4-foot base of the U on the uphill side, and the two arms extending down the hillside. The opposite side was not dug in at all. I placed one side of the container into this, and used a spirit (bubble) level to adjust the depths until the entire frame was level on all 4 sides.I did not dig out all the soil to the full 12" depth of the uphill side - I just made sure it was all at least 6" deep everywhere.
As soon as I can figure it out, I'll post a photo showing a new 4x4 SFG I am in the process of building for strawberries. It shows how the process worked for me.
I build my first SFG last year, 4x12, on the same hillside, and it has done well.

Exactly how I do it but I use hubby's 3' level...I have my salad (spring) beds on the south slope of my lawn. A little bit of manual labor but I think it looks nice. First I laid the boxes were I wanted them and painted the outline on the ground. Made it easy to tell were the box would be.


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Re: how to make box level on an unlevel site help please

Post  AvaDGardner on 2/18/2012, 3:51 pm

Landscapers use sand (available at box stores in the back, by the tree mulch) to level areas before paving.

How much of a slope?

You could also use rocks (all sizes also available to purchase if needed).

A big bad slope? Make some sort of retainer (treated wood or bricks or cinder blocks. Back fill with sand or rocks (cinder blocks have an advantage of holes that can be filled for extra weight). The retainer will keep it in place, and the water will drain.

Put your box on top of that...with a bottom or cloth to keep your dirt from settling in.
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Re: how to make box level on an unlevel site help please

Post  1airdoc on 2/18/2012, 7:03 pm

Here's the picture of my latest hillside SFG I referenced above. Although it looks slanted into the ground, it is actually level - the ground is what is not level.

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Re: how to make box level on an unlevel site help please

Post  floyd1440 on 2/18/2012, 7:40 pm

I also had the same issue with no level area. To compound my situation my yard is constantly being travelled through by deer.

First I marked out the area to build a fence, then I marked the corners of my SFG boxes. After building the boxes I borrowed a neighbor's tiller and levelled were the raised gardens would go.

I considered blocking up one side but I wanted to put mulch around so I decide to level those areas with the tiller and by hand.

My two sense worth.......
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Re: how to make box level on an unlevel site help please

Post  camprn on 2/18/2012, 8:09 pm

@1airdoc wrote:Here's the picture of my latest hillside SFG I referenced above. Although it looks slanted into the ground, it is actually level - the ground is what is not level.

I did similar, dug out a bit of the uphill and built a small stone foundation on the downhill. On one of my boxes I ran out of stone and just put cut 2x4s and shim stock underneath that edge of the box.

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Re: how to make box level on an unlevel site help please

Post  newstart on 2/19/2012, 5:52 pm

thanks everyone for the pictures. It is a very small slope compared to what everyone else. But I have a better understanding on how to make it straight now.. thanks for your help
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