Expanding the Garden

If you read my last post, you will know that one of my New Year's resolutions was to expand my garden, what you didn't know was that it had already begun.
Last year I planted a small garden bed that continues to provide my family with bell peppers.
  This year I plan on planting a much wider variety of vegetables, and enough tomatoes that a
 few can make it to our dinner table before my kid's devour them.  The first step was creating a raised garden bed that our dogs won't be able to run right through and trample our vegetables.
Here is what we did.  Keep in mind that we learned a few lessons along the way, and I point out what those lessons taught us below.
We created a 4' by 8' box, about 1' tall.  Mr. Incredible used 1" by 4" untreated pine (cull lumber).  He attached them with common sinker nails using overlap corners.
Next time we will use nails with a spiral or ring shank or wood screws because the sinker nails pulled out of the corners far too easily.

We then situated this box in a prepared bed (the soil had been turned to break up the heavy clay that lies just below the surface, and the soil had been leveled as much as possible).
We increased the height of the bed by installing 2" by 2" corner supports, and nailing the next level of pine boards to the supports.  He also installed 2" by 4" supports in the middle of the 8' spans to keep the wood from flexing or bowing under the pressure of the dirt.  In hindsight we probably should have made the entire structure before trying to stick it in the dirt.  Preassambly would have kept the joints from shifting and requireing clean up/trimming after assembly.  We may also use all 2" by 4" supports in the future.

He then trimmed off all the pieces of the supports that were above the top of the box using a sawsall.

He also ground off the ends of protruding screws to keeps hand from comming in contact with them while digging, as they could casue injury.

Then I layed landscape cloth in the bottom of the box, putting dirt in the corners to keep the cloth from blowing away.  The landscape cloth should help keep weeds at bay, slow water runnoff and erosion, and is deep enough that it shouldn't interfer with veggie growth.
After filling the rest of the box with dirt I layered on some compost (that was not quite as ready as I would have liked), then more dirt.  

Now I need to finish filling the box with more dirt, compost, and organic fertilizer.  Then all that is left is actually growing the plants.