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How to level the boxes on uneven ground??

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How to level the boxes on uneven ground??

Post  jymarino on 4/1/2011, 9:37 pm

I was just out there trying to get my boxes level and don't seem to be doing it right. I was leveling each side, but then sometimes one side of the box was higher than the opposite end, even though all sides seemed to be "level". I know it sounds strange but of course it is dark now and if I go back out my dh is going to think I am even more crazy than he already thinks I am. I know I don't want a serious tilt to the garden, but how level does it have to be? The kids had a grand time this past fall digging up the old garden so I have all kinds of potholes every where. It took a whole trunk load of free mulch to do what we did today (which is part of why dh thinks I'm nuts b/c who puts mulch into a perfectly good vehicle trunk?). It will likely take at least one or two more to sort of even out the rest of the garden and walkway, although I'm not too worried about the walkway. Thanks in advance for any help!

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Re: How to level the boxes on uneven ground??

Post  camprn on 4/1/2011, 9:51 pm

I am not a builder but last season when I was leveling my box that is situated on a slope, I built a foundation on the lower side, leveled as best I could, but then I made sure the slopeside was plumb. That seemed to work out pretty well. We'll see what happens when the ground thaws, if I did a good job of it.
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Re: How to level the boxes on uneven ground??

Post  ashort on 4/1/2011, 10:01 pm

Describe your area... Is it high on one corner or two corners? I used partial frames to get the box to level. Check out this link...

http://friscosfg.blogspot.com/2011/03/next-day-february-13th.html

and

http://friscosfg.blogspot.com/2011/03/new-planting-bed-coming-soon.html

In the first one, where the ground at the back drops by about 8 - 9 inches to the front. The second drops away on from the top right corner to all the other corners by about 8-9 inches as well, but it required leaving out the back corner and using partial boards (about a foot to 18 inches) on the back and right sides of the base. You may have to excavate a bit to get to level, but it is the only way to level up over a big difference.

Next challenge for me is a series of six 2'x 1' boxes down the side of my driveway next to the neighbors' fence 12 ft with a 18 inch drop... I am thinking of a series of square A boxes to sit on top of each other.

BTW: If you go with the frame idea, you should back fill with compost filler or regular dirt to get to your desired depth (usually 6 inches or so). don't use Mels' mix to fill the whole thing up - that gets expensive and is waste of good "dirt"...
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Re: How to level the boxes on uneven ground??

Post  jymarino on 4/2/2011, 8:42 am

Mine is probably only 1/2" - 2" low on one side. I was just curious how one side can be so high, or need to be for it to get level. I may go back later and have the kids help excavate and back fill some of those craters they made. Otherwise I'll just get some more mulch and fill in that way.

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Re: How to level the boxes on uneven ground??

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4/2/2011, 10:13 am

Do you have a "bubble level?"

If you do, I would tell you to make sure the bubble never fully leaves the "level" lines. If half the bubble is outside one of the lines, I wouldn't worry about it....it's close enough.

That would upset my engineer of a grandfather, who had to have everything exactly perfect or he couldn't sleep at night, but it's close enough for me.

As for leveling with mulch, per your other thread too, I think it's a fine short term solution. But, mulch breaks down into dirt. And, dirt compacts better than mulch. My guess is over the course of 5+ years, you will fall out of level. I would rather fill the low sides with straight dirt and pack it down myself. If you don't have any fill dirt available, don't go buy any. Just skim some from the higher side of the beds and put it in the low spots.

It takes time to level things. That's just the way it is. However, when you get it right (or close to right in this case), the rest pretty much flies by.
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Re: How to level the boxes on uneven ground??

Post  jymarino on 4/2/2011, 8:05 pm

Thanks, I'll do that. I think since the kids helped to make the holes, they are going to help in fixing the holes and making the area level. I had a great big dirt pile last year, too bad I don't still have it.

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