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How to Build a Raised Garden Bed

How to Build a Raised Garden Bed

Build a Raised Garden Bed

    Though the snowdrifts outside are still waist-high and the sun is still setting before 6 pm, it’s at this time of year that many avid gardeners start thinking about the green spaces they’ll be tending in the not-so-distant future. Months spent away from gardens have made many of us tetchy and anxious, prompting us to spend hours going through seed catalogues and gardening websites, adding to ever-growing Pinterest boards in preparation for the lushness we’ll be planting soon.

    Raised beds look amazing in any garden space—be that a front yard herb garden or a sprawling backyard tomato plot—and they’re remarkably easy to build. Additionally, if the soil in your region is fairly poor, creating a raised bed full of compost-rich soil will undoubtedly help you grow abundant, healthy vegetables and herbs that may not have thrived if planted in the ground. Having a raised bed is also beneficial for jump-starting your garden, as the soil within will be warmer than the earth below ground level.

    Basic materials needed:

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    • Measuring tape
    • Garden spade and trowel
    • Lumber (pre-cut, or else have a table saw handy)
    • Wood glue
    • Screws that are long enough to hold the wood sturdily in place
    • Steel corner docks (optional)
    • Garden bed layers (newspaper, lawn clippings, leaves, compost, and bedding soil)

    Wooden Beds

    Wooden Beds

      Many people choose to make their raised planter beds out of wood, which is really the cheapest and easiest resource to work with. To create a raised wooden bed, begin by measuring out the area that you’ll be working with. The bed shouldn’t be more than 4 feet wide, as you’ll need to be able to reach the center of it to pull weeds and the like, and as for height, I’d make it at least 8-10 inches high. Some people prefer theirs to be 1-2 feet in height, but that’s an individual choice.

      Cedar is the best type of wood to use, but you can also use pine for this project. I like to use 4″ x 4″ lumber for beds, as they’re fairly sturdy and have more surface area for wood glue to adhere to.

      Once you’ve measured out the garden space, dig a slight trench around the perimeter for the timbers to nestle into. Lay the wood down into the trenches, ensuring that they butt up against each other quite firmly, and screw them into place. Slather those timbers with wood glue and then lay down the next layer, ensuring that you’ve alternated the orientation of the wood to create lapped corners, and allow this to dry for 6-8 hours before screwing them into the lower layer of wood. Repeat this process until the bed is as high as you’d like it—just be sure to stagger the screws around the edges so you don’t drill one into the other.

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      Once you’re happy with the height, you can reinforce the edges with steel corner docks if you feel that extra stability is needed.

      Brick or Fieldstone Beds

      Stone Garden Bed

        Materials needed:

        • Measuring tape
        • Bricks, cinder blocks, or stones
        • Garden spade or trowel
        • Mortar paste
        • Mason’s trowel
        • Garden bed layers (newspaper, lawn clippings, leaves, compost, and bedding soil)

        The method of creating beds of stone is really quite basic. Do you remember stacking bricks or logs when you were a child? Remember how you needed to stagger/alternate them so they didn’t just fall over? This is the same deal, only on a larger scale.

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        The dimensions for a block-bordered raised bed should be the same as with wood, but instead of wood glue and screws, you’ll use mortar to keep the bricks/stones in place. In order to figure out how many bricks you’ll need, go to a building center and ask for an estimate—just give the supplier the measurements of the length and height of the planter you’re planning, and they can let you know how many blocks are needed. You can either buy new materials, or re-use masonry from buildings that have been torn down. Wherever you source your blocks from, always have 10 or so extra lying around just in case they’re needed.

        Fieldstone

          As with the wood, dig a slight trench around the perimeter of the bed for the bricks to nestle into. Bricks are great to work with as they can be adjusted to create any shape; if you don’t want a rectangular bed, you can create a round, oblong, or free-form organic structure instead. Lay down the first layer of blocks into the trench, and then lay the second layer atop them, ensuring that they’re staggered. Once you have them all in place, you’ll lift them one by one, slap some mortar paste on the bottoms of them, and set them back into place to secure them. You’ll let this cure for a day or two before filling in the bed.

          If you’re using fieldstones instead of bricks or blocks, ensure that they’re mostly flat and will sit together firmly and securely. You’re also more likely to have gaps between these stones than with bricks or cinder blocks, but you can fill those in with smaller rocks and a bit of mortar.

          Layered Filling

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          Lasagna

            Now that you’ve created the planter, it’s time to fill it with a “lasagna” of organic layers that will create a rich soil. Put down about 4 layers of newspaper (black and white print only: no colour or glossy adverts), then 1 inch of aged animal manure or vegetable compost.

            Note: be sure to wet your newspaper before layering it, so it’ll stick together and won’t fly off into your neighbour’s yard with the slightest breeze.

            After the paper comes a few inches of “green mulch” made from mixed leaves, grass (lawn clippings, straw), and peat moss, followed by a thick layer of compost-rich bedding soil. That’s all watered and left to settle for a few days, and after that, you’re ready to plunk in your seedlings.

            *Note: Be sure to adjust the layer thicknesses to correspond with the height of your raised bed: an 8-inch planter will only need 2 inches of green mulch, while a 1.5-foot-tall bed will require 8-10 inches of it, etc.

             

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            Last Updated on October 30, 2018

            How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People

            How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People

            What is success to you? How to be successful in life?

            To some, when they think of success, they imagine wealth; others want power; some just want to make a positive impact on the world.

            All of these are perfectly valid, indeed success is a concept that means different things to different people. Though no matter what success is to you, it almost certainly isn’t something will come easily.

            There are countless guides and books to being successful, however, as success is personal and unique to each individual. The advice contained in these books can often not be relevant. Therefore following the advice of a single individual can often be unhelpful.

            With this in mind, considering the advice of a great many people, people whose ideas of success were different both to each other, and quite possibly, to you can be a good alternative.

            What follows is a list of thirteen of the best pieces of advice from some of the most successful people who have ever lived. If you want to learn how to be successful, these 13 tips are essential:

            1.Think big.

              From Michelangelo Buonarroti, Great Renaissance Artist:

              “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”

              There are few artists as influential as Michaelangelo. Today centuries after his death, his work still inspires and connects to people. His work is world famous, just think of his statue of David, or the Mural in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.

              Imagine then, if he decided not to work as an artist.

              Being a successful artist has always been extremely difficult, imagine if he decided to give up this ambition in favour of something easier?

              Oftentimes, people often decided to put their dreams aside for something more “realistic”. To give up their dream for something easier. This quote teaches us the danger of such a point of view.
              Instead be ambitious.

              2.Find what you love to do and do it.

                From Oprah Winfrey, Media Mogul:

                “You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.”

                This is a good quote to remember and think about when you’re at work.

                Imagine being as successful as possible in your current job. Ultimately you’ll probably find yourself working extremely hard and this it will take up much of your time.

                If it’s a job you hate, then being successful at it might only mean filling your life with something you hate to do. What’s the sense in this?

                Instead, why not focus on doing something you love? When you’ve found what you’re passionate about, you get the motivation to keep you moving. Success at this means the fulfilment of your dreams.

                Not sure what your passion is yet? You should learn about this Motivation Engine first.

                Even if you’re not successful, you still filled your time with something you love to do. Many successful musicians spent years of their lives doing unpaid performances, the only reason they kept playing was because they loved to perform.

                3. Learn how to balance life.

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                  From Phil Knight, CEO of Nike Inc.:

                  “There is an immutable conflict at work in life and in business, a constant battle between peace and chaos. Neither can be mastered, but both can be influenced. How you go about that is the key to success.”

                  All too often, people think that to be successful, they need to make the object of their success their life.

                  If a person thinks their job will lead them to success, then they may spend countless hours per day, and well into the evening working hard.

                  However this comes at the cost of rest, your health and having an enjoyable life. Ultimately they may burn out and cease to be successful at their job anyway.

                  If success comes from having a strong social life and a good group of friends, their job may suffer; meaning that they may lose their job, and then be unable to afford going out with friends.

                  In these ways, success, as Phil Knight says above, is helped by balance. Think of it as a balance between rest and work, or work and play.

                  To achieve that balance, this Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life can help you.

                  4. Do not be afraid of failure.

                    From Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motors:

                    “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

                    There is a story, it’s unconfirmed whether it actually happened, yet the message within is none the less true:

                    Thomas Edison inventing the lightbulb was the result of several hundred failed attempts. In an interview, he was asked “How do you feel after all of your failed attempts?”

                    His response was great, “I didn’t fail, I learned hundreds of ways not to invent the lightbulb”

                    He saw each “failure” as a lesson. From that lesson he learned what won’t work, and also might work instead.

                    Each failed attempt, each rejection, were key steps on his path to success. It is easy to feel like you should give up after a failure. But perhaps in that failure is a lesson.

                    Pay attention to your failures, study them. Perhaps then you’ll learn how to succeed.

                    5. Have an unwavering resolution to succeed.

                      From Colonel Sanders, Founder of KFC:

                      “I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours, nor amount of labor, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me. And I have done that ever since, and I win by it. I know.”

                      This, in many ways relates to the above quote about learning from your failures.

                      It’s the easiest thing in the world to give up from a failure. The only way to push on is if you have the true burning desire to succeed, to not be moved or dissuaded from your goals.

                      If you are not truly dedicated towards success, then each failure will hurt more, each set back will slow you down.

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                      Success is hard; without the unwavering desire to succeed, this difficulty may seem insurmountable. With the desire, it is merely an obstacle to go through.

                      6. Be a person of action.

                        From Leonardo da Vinci, Renaissance Genius:

                        “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”

                        Though it was said hundreds of years ago, it works just as much today as it ever had. It applies to literally any successful person.

                        Think about it, picture someone like William Shakespeare:

                        When we think of the time he lived in, we think of the time in a way shaped by him. When we think of Renissance era Italy, we think of Michaelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci.

                        Or think about the present day:

                        Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Our current way of life would simply be incomparably different if they didn’t accomplish what they did.

                        You’re probably reading this article on a device by a company that they either founded or companies influenced by them.

                        All these figures were proactive, they saw ways to do things differently and did them. If they let the world shape them, then they’d simply fit into the background. Instead they shaped the world.

                        Applying this to you?

                        Don’t be afraid of going outside the norm. If you can think of a better way to do something, do it that way. If you fail, try again.

                        7. Avoid conflicts.

                          From Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of America: “

                          The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”

                          The best leaders and some of the most influential people (and Theodore Roosevelt is one of the best leaders and one of the most influential people to have lived) were not those who caused commotions, who fought with people or disregarded people; but were people who were friendly to those around them.

                          People liked them. They wanted them to do well.

                          This is key to good leadership.

                          It’s logical. If someone likes you, they want to help you; if you give them a suggestion, they’ll gladly follow through with it.

                          But if someone doesn’t like you, they may either refuse to help or actively get in your way.

                          What’s more, it’s always a good idea to cultivate good relationships. You can never tell who will prove to become someone who’ll be able to help you in a big way, or even be a good and supportive friend.

                          As such, help people and they may help you; and be good to people, and they my be good to you.

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                          8. Don’t be afraid of introducing new ideas.

                            From Mark Twain, Famed Author:

                            “A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”

                            It is an unfortunate truth that those with the boldest ideas are often disregarded.

                            Most of us are taught from an early age to think and do things similarly to everyone else. This can be great to fill an existing role. But to truly do things differently (and all successful people did things differently), you need to think differently.

                            If you have a new idea, don’t throw it away because it’s new and different; instead, celebrate it. Your strange new idea might one day be the one that leads you to success.

                            9. Believe in your capacity to succeed.

                              From Walter Disney, Founder of Walt Disney Company:

                              “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

                              Success has to be something you can imagine yourself achieving.

                              It is possible that you will come across those who doubt you and your ability to succeed. You must not become one of these people because the moment you cease believing and dreaming is the moment these dreams fall away.

                              Keep dreaming!

                              10. Always maintain a positive mental attitude.

                                From Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of America:

                                “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

                                Like the above quote says, you need to trust in your ability to succeed. This is the only way to cultivate the right mindset.

                                Replace negative thoughts with the positive ones. You need to approach problems, not as obstacles stopping you, but merely tasks that need to be completed for you to keep going.

                                If you stay positive and think like this, setbacks won’t affect you so much, people’s doubts won’t impact you and even the biggest obstacles will seem like minor problems.

                                However with the wrong mindset of doubt, you’ll be much easier to stop.

                                11. Don’t let discouragement stop you from pressing on.

                                  From Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of America:

                                  “Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.”

                                  It is an unfortunate fact of human nature — all of us in some way, doubt ourselves. This can be made far worse if others doubt us too.

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                                  When surrounded by doubts, giving up can actually seem like a good idea.

                                  Don’t pay attention to the doubts. If you are discouraged, ignore it.

                                  If this discouragement moves into your mind and you begin to doubt yourself. It is important to ignore this too.

                                  Take a look at these 5 Ways to Stop Self Doubt in its Tracks.

                                  12. Be willing to work hard.

                                    From JC Penny, Founder of JC Penney Inc.:

                                    “Unless you are willing to drench yourself in your work beyond the capacity of the average man, you are just not cut out for positions at the top.”

                                    You might have heard the quote that “success is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration” or you may have heard about the 10,000 hours idea.

                                    Whichever way you frame it, they say one thing:

                                    True success comes from work.

                                    You’ll never become successful if you don’t work towards your goal in life and keep working towards it.

                                    Check out this article and you’ll understand Why Hard Work Beats Talent.

                                    13. Be brave enough to follow your intuition.

                                      From Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple Inc.:

                                      “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

                                      In ancient Greece, there was a group of Oracles who lived in Delphi. Everyone who needed advice or to know their future visited them, from the poorest of society to kings. Above the doorway of the temple were the words “know thyself”.

                                      If you strongly believe and desire something, the chances are that you already have an idea how to get there. If not, you may naturally know what things will help you and what things will slow you down.

                                      It’s like how your body can detect danger even when things seem safe.

                                      Ultimately then, you need to trust your own instincts.

                                      Final thoughts

                                      What you might have noticed is that many of the above lessons are similar — most are about developing the right state of mind. This clearly suggests that the key to achieving success, in whatever you wish, comes down to the way you approach it mentally.

                                      Moreover, no matter what stage of life you’re at now, you can still make a difference and pursue success. You can make resetting your life possible when you do this:

                                      How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                                      More Recommended Lifehack Experts in Success

                                      • Mandie Holgate — Successful life coach in the UK, helping businesses and individuals achieve greatness
                                      • David Carpenter — Lifelong entrepreneur and business owner helping others to realize the American Dream of business ownership
                                      • Ray Zinn — An inventor, entrepreneur, bestselling author and the longest serving CEO in Silicon Valley

                                      Featured photo credit: Ryan Wong via unsplash.com

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