By Steve Bennett, CAD Manager

I was looking at the HMC Ontario raised garden bed the other day and thought that it looks simple enough, but there has to be a few tricks that went into building it. After asking around a bit, I found who built it. I took a couple minutes to interview the builder, Jack Kay, Director of Construction Administration, to get some insight into how he approached it.

Did you have any drawings or details that you followed when starting off building it?
Nope. I just built it from scratch! I used the existing screen wall at the entry of the Ontario building as a guide for the spacing in between the horizontal Trex pieces, their length, the spacing of the support posts and the attachment of the Trex to the posts.

Where did HMC get the materials for the garden bed?
The one special item was the Trex boards that  Eera Babtiwale, Environmental Analyst III,  was able to get donated to HMC from our rep. Otherwise, the rest of the materials are things you can pick up at Home Depot or Lowes.

* The posts are 4×4, treated.

* Wood lag bolts for Trex attachment

* At each middle post, all thread rod (double nutted) and bolted thru mid-section, set in location matching other bolts for Trex. This was done to prevent the middle of the box from bulging out when filled with dirt.

* ½” welded wire screen to contain soil (it is simply man-made compost) which was stapled into place

* Total construction time was about half a day

Any lessons learned that should be taken to heart?
Yup! Wear a respirator when cutting the Trex—it’s got some unpleasant side affects if you inhale it. Also, if you don’t build it in place and you are shipping it, watch out as it is really heavy. I built it at home, so I constructed it on my trailer that I used to bring it to the office. It took 10 guys to off load it once it was here.

So there you have it. I knew there were a couple tricks in building it!