They start off as plain pine boards, in this case, 2x8s. The Music Man cut them into six foot lengths and three foot lengths.
He drilled pilot holes and used 3" deck screws to hold them together. I helped by holding them steady and keeping the angle straight, more or less.
After they became more or less square boxes, we stained them with latex stain. I don't know if it helps keep the bugs out our not. The stuff didn't smell very good, though so if we poison ourselves from it that's our own fault.
Once they were put together and in the right spot in the backyard I had to level them. Here are some of the tools I used. The little mattock in the center was my grandfather's. The level belongs to my dad, I think. If he sees this he'll probably want it back.
This is as good as it's gonna get. Our yard slopes in about ten different directions and leveling three of these more or less square boxes was a week long challenge.
According to the book Lasagna Gardening, by Patricia Lanza, you don't have to dig the sod out if you put paper or cardboard down first. The New York Times has never been so useful. On top of the paper is some composted chicken litter, next, peat moss, then composted leaves. I topped it all off with more peat and some Jungle Growth soil from Lowes. We'll see how well this works.
A raised bed, half full and more or less square and level.
Of course no backyard project would be complete with out my trusty helper, Daisy. Here she is, ready to lend a paw.
Okay we're done for the time being. All that stuff is piled on the first bed because my trusty helper, Ms. Muddypaws decided it would be fun to wander around in there for a while. I have no idea where the seeds are now but will wait a few days to see if they are going to come up before I replant anything. I might also try to put some kind of fence around them or put chicken wire over the top until the plants get a little bigger.