Installing raised beds on a hillside is challenging especially when there is tenured grass involved. The raised beds are built out of locust wood acquired from a local specialty lumberyard. Locust wood is nearly indestructible by weather and time. They were sized 4 feet wide by 6 feet long and 6 inches high. This sizing allows for a cover of heavy wire mesh that will create an arced roof that can be used for a variety of covers depending on the season and the weather. Shadecloth, Remay, or plastic can be added quickly as needed. Light strings can even be added in colder weather under a plastic cover to increase the temperature inside. It looks kind of cool at night too.
To set the beds, we had to level the designated area on the hillside by creating several terraces. The soil removed to level the terraces was reused to provide the planting soil for the raised beds. By doing this, we avoided having to bring in soil from off site and had the benefit of using the good local soil available. We will add to this some very aged horse manure made available to us to create some rich planting beds. The soil will be sifted to sort out the rocks and then broadforked to loosen it to a depth of about 18 inches.
These beds are designed to be easy to work and maintain. They will also make year round gardening much easier with the ability to create small hoop houses out of each one.