Monday, August 19, 2013


This post is very specific to our unique situation, and won't do much to help anyone as a tutorial. I just had to include here it because it's one of those things that I am going to look at year's down the line and laugh about. I am consistently amazed at my husband's ingenuity and physical strength, and I will look back at this moment as one of his more creative displays of both of those traits.

One of the many challenges we faced when deciding to create the new patio was the current position of our raised planter beds. We have two beds that we built to grow veggies in our yard. The one next to the fence we sunk into the ground with posts, so it isn't going anywhere, but the bed against the house we just built this spring and Ryan decided that it could be moved.

And once Ryan gets a thought into his head, it's never impossible.

Seriously, the guy is like McGuyver.

How on earth would we move this planter bed, that weighs probably 1500 pounds, over 15 feet?

The answer was simple: Lift one side up, then the other using a high lift jack. Place 2x8x10' planks underneath, secured by cinder blocks. Then drag it using a tow strap, a come along winch and brute force. Obviously.

This was one of those ideas Ryan saw clearly in his head, but I couldn't envision until it was in process, and I'm still in awe that he was able to accomplish it.

We got the planks ready to slide under the bed once it had been lifted, then Ryan used his high lift jack (which he usually keeps tethered to the front of his 1974 LandCruiser, an off road vehicle that is one of his most prized possessions) to lift the left side of the bed about a foot in the air. When we created the bed we placed gopher wire along the bottom of it, which luckily held the dirt in place as I slid the 2x8 board into the space below the bed.

We repeated the process on the right side and soon the bed was sitting on planks instead of the ground.

The next step was to slide it from one side of the yard to the other. So Ryan hooked a nylon braided tow strap around the bed and to his come along winch (another accessory for his off roader) and sat on the heavy compactor for leverage as he slowly pulled the bed toward him.

What you can't see in the picture above was that I sat behind Ryan on the compactor motorcycle-style to provide extra weight as he slowly but surely yanked the planter bed toward us. It must have been quite the sight.

The bed is now sitting on the future lawn site, and our tomatoes are ripening nicely. We were thinking we may have to transplant them later in the season into the permanent planter beds we created, but at the rate we're moving with the patio it will be long past tomato season before we get around to putting in a lawn.


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