After roto-tilling the entire garden in the spring, we measure and mark the borders of the individual plots.

Supplies and Tools Needed
  • steel fence posts, white-tipped:

    • 5-foot (above ground; 6 feet total)

    • 3-foot (above ground; 4 feet total)

  • hammer

  • mason twine, brightly colored for visibility

  • 300-foot tape measure

  • spirit level

  1. Establish centerline for top and bottom borders (½ of total actual border dimension). For example, if border is 50 feet, the centerline is at 25 feet from either corner post, but if border dimension is only 49 feet 8 inches, the centerline is at 24 feet 10 inches from each corner post, and so forth.

  2. Install one 5-foot steel fence post at centerline of upper and lower Garden borders. Install at random two additional 5-foot posts at the upper and lower borders to support fence sections.

  3. Stretch a length of mason twine very tightly between upper and lower corner posts about 1 foot above the ground at the east (left), the center, and the west (right) long boundaries (the nominal 187½-foot borders).

  4. Using the 300-foot tape measure on the ground and in close contact with the ground surface, anchor the tape to the ground at one of the upper corner posts using a long screwdriver or other metal pin at the loop attached at the “0” end of the tape measure.

    Tip If the actual measurement is less than the nominal 187½ foot length of the Garden, move the upper tape anchor by half the shortfall, thereby sharing the shortage between the top and bottom plots.
  5. Proceed to locate, plumb with the spirit level, and drive posts into the soil at the dimensions given on this year’s plot plan

    Important Don’t assume the plot layout is the same as last year’s.

    for each of the three lengths of Mason Twine. Move the 300 foot tape for each set of measurements.

  6. Stretch the approximately 50-foot-long lengths of Mason Twine very tightly about 1 foot above the ground at every Garden plot where a continuous 50-foot length is indicated by this year’s plot plan.

  7. Where shorter, approximately 25-foot lengths of mason twine are indicated (where there are half plots on one side or the other of the Garden), install the shorter lengths very tightly at about 1 foot above the surface.

  8. Fold the closure end of the Zip-Loc baggies containing the Gardeners' last-name labels over the twine at the outside of the appropriate Garden plots and fasten with a wooden clothespin.

  9. Create a shallow trench at north and south ends of Garden using any combination of our Mantis tiller’s trenching tines and shovels or hoes. This only needs to be a couple of inches deep between the upper and lower corner posts and outside the total of five posts that are now in place at each of the 50-foot borders (see Step 2, above.) Drop the 50-foot lengths of welded wire fencing into the trenches and attach the fencing to the five posts at each end of the Garden.

  10. Install the central water line, attaching the “Y” fittings at the appropriate posts about 1 foot above the ground and using 2 plastic Ty-Raps at each fitting. (See Irrigation System Spring Installation instructions).

  11. The Garden is ready for planting. Call and/or e-mail all Gardeners with announcement.