After two years of service, several walls of our raised beds have tilted out of alignment. Repairs are relatively easy if performed surgically—don’t let the packing sand fall out of the blocks when moving them, and don’t disturb the compost:
1. Start repairs after a good rain (helps to stabilize the sand in the blocks). Shovel the compost away from the wall to be repaired.
2. Cover the compost with a tarp. Move the top row of blocks out of the way—tilt the blocks during removal so the sand doesn’t fall out!
3. Tilt out 1 or 2 (at a time) of the bottom blocks to make room to work. Pack the sand (in the block track), and then sprinkle a half-inch bedding layer of dry cement into the block track, and then tilt each bottom block back into its original position. Use a 1′ section of 4×4″ post to carefully tamp each block into level alignment. Then move the top row of blocks back into place.
With a bit of practice, a 15′ wall can be repaired in about 90 minutes—if the sand doesn’t fall out of the cells of the blocks!
Read more on the 2016 Chronicles page. Scroll down to the entry entitled Raised Bed Wall Correction 120616.
(This article was originally published on 031017 in Issue 4 of the EBG Newsletter.)