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Cost of SFG on a slope

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Cost of SFG on a slope

Post  ETNRedClay on 5/29/2013, 5:52 pm

I started my SFG on a slope that was ALSO compacted gravel and poor, less than-topsoil red clay mixed with churt. I can't get weeds to grow consistently on that slope. Seems the perfect place for a raised bed.

Cost of STACKED SFG beds.

This hill also slopes in two directions. If I were putting the beds on good flat ground -- something that was already growing at least grass, I might not go as deep, but a 1-layer bed on good soil is a LOT different than on what amounts to rock. So my beds are 2 boards high on the uphill side and 3 boards high on the downhill side. I rip one of the side boards corner to corner so the sides of the beds are 3 boards high on the downhill side and 2-boards high on the uphill side.

I buy screws in 5" lots so they were here already and I haven't figured them in -- but you should count on 80+ screws for each stacked bed, 3/board/joint, a 2"x4" in each corner and another in the middle of each side to stabilize the middle of the boards, etc. And since mine are stacked 2 & 3 boards high, the middle stabilizers are critical.

I didn't figure tax, because everyone's is different.

I use pre-treat, or pressure treated, or PT lumber anytime it's going to be outside. Here in the muggy sweltering south, untreated lumber lasts months, not years. NONE of these boards are rated for below-ground use, but we use them anyway.

PT 2"x6"x8' - $7ea
PT deckboards 5/4"x6"x8' - $4
PT pine fence pickets 5/8"x6"x6'- $1.25

Each sloped bed requires 7 and a half boards plus one PT 2"x4"x8'($3.) because the sides are stacked. The 8' boards build a 4'x8' and the 6' boards build a 3'x8'. For 4'x8' beds, or 32sf:
PT 2"x6" ($7x7.5=$52.50) +$3=$55.50 or $1.74/sf
PT deckboards, ($4x7.5=$30) +$3=$33 or $1.01/sf

For 3'x6' bed, or 18 sf:
PT fence pickets, (1.25x7.5=$9.38) +$3 or $12.38 or .67c/sf

In light of the math, and a Memorial Day sale that put the fence pickets even cheaper, I built 7 new SFG beds 3'x6'for $50 since I had 2x4s and screws and a coupon!

To translate this into single-level beds without 2"x4"s in corners or using scrap 2"x4":
PT 2"x6" - ($7x3=$21)/32sf=66c/sf
PT deckboards - ($4x3=$12)/32sf=38c/sf
PT fence pickets - ($1.25x3=$3.75)+$3.75/18sf=21c/sf


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ETNRedClay

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Pictures of today's project using the above math

Post  ETNRedClay on 5/29/2013, 5:58 pm

This is the sloped bed using deckboards.


This is the sloped bed project for the front of the house.


and


The sloped side of the bed


The inside corner level with the top of the bed... no reason, just is in this picture:


The middle stabilizer:





And the dpogears instead of cutting them off and shortening the bed.
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Cost of 7 new beds - $50

Post  ETNRedClay on 5/29/2013, 6:00 pm

Kid you not. Had a coupon, Lowe's put the fence pickets 15% off, already had screws and 2"x4" scrap. And I added 18sfx7=126sf to my veggie gardens.

Yes, I have to FILL the durned things. But the boards are sitting there waiting to be filled.
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Re: Cost of SFG on a slope

Post  ArkansasSFGardener on 5/29/2013, 6:02 pm

Wow that looks great! Can't wait to see them full of beautiful plants!
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Re: Cost of SFG on a slope

Post  gwennifer on 5/29/2013, 6:40 pm

Wow those really look great and congratulations on your efficient use of materials. What a great price for so many square feet and you didn't sacrifice on quality or style!
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Great Layout!

Post  WriterCPA on 5/29/2013, 6:50 pm

That is a super solution for your sloped sit!

Congratulations on your creativity and good luck when you get them filled with Mel Mix and wonderful plants.
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Re: Cost of SFG on a slope

Post  No_Such_Reality on 5/29/2013, 6:54 pm

So how have you anchored them to the slope?

They look really good, hate to think of them sliding down slope with a load of wet MM in them.

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Re: Cost of SFG on a slope

Post  ETNRedClay on 5/29/2013, 7:14 pm

LOL, No Such, you're right. I used rebar I had here already, drove them in the ground downhill of the uphill corner braces.

I'm picturing a good long rain and the SFG beds easing down the hill like drunken slow-motion bumper cars...

(Apparently I was in the sun too long today! )
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Re: Cost of SFG on a slope

Post  No_Such_Reality on 5/30/2013, 12:32 pm

LOL, that's pretty much what I was picturing come a long soaking rain when the grass is wet and the MM is saturated.

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Re: Cost of SFG on a slope

Post  Triciasgarden on 5/30/2013, 3:04 pm

Wow, beautiful job and it sure looks like it will be pleasant to sit next to the beds while you work in them. You sure planned well and everything looks so professional! I think there will be lots of us that will sure enjoy looking at your beds.
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Re: Cost of SFG on a slope

Post  jazzycat on 5/30/2013, 3:38 pm

Nice job! My beds are also on a slope, but nothing like that! Just a small slope, and they sit next to each other. It looks like they were designed very similar though. The stabilizers are on the outside of my beds, and we made them into stakes to help secure the beds into the ground, and we made corner posts on the outside, also as stakes.

You are going to have one beautiful garden when that's full of lush, green, growing things. Cheers!

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Re: Cost of SFG on a slope

Post  sassykat&joe on 8/6/2013, 7:31 pm

@No_Such_Reality wrote:So how have you anchored them to the slope?

They look really good, hate to think of them sliding down slope with a load of wet MM in them.

 hmmmm... I have a pretty steep slope, but never anchored my raised beds.  They haven't slid anywhere in over a year, and we've had quite a bit of rain this year.  I did put hardware cloth on the bottoms to keep any little critters out.  That might have helped.  If I can figure out how to post pics I will!
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Re: Cost of SFG on a slope

Post  sanderson on 8/6/2013, 11:59 pm

ENT, Did you get any beds filled and planted? Have you posted pics? I'm sorry if you did and I just missed it.
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