Almost anyone who has had a large garden has had a few main problems. One of these problems is planting your fruits and vegetables in a straight line. Whether you're artistic or not, it is tough to make a straight ditch to put your seeds in. And when the seeds sprout, you see you problem clearly. Another problem is the fact that if your rows in your garden aren't marked, you don't know where you can and can't step. But fear these problems no longer. Even in you already have a row marking system in place, we guarentee that this system will work 100 times better.
Step 1: Review and Gather the Materials
To start off the instructable, I will be giving you a parts list. You don't have to get the parts right away as there aren't many and you can find them as you build.
•2 - 1 Foot Long 2 by 2
•1 - Spool of String*
•5 to 10 - Elastic Bands (the type you buy at Staples)
•3 - Small Screws (just about any size will work, just keep it shorter than 1/2")
•Band Saw (or other wood-cutting saw)
*The whole spool of string won't be used, but a good part of it will be. The project works best if you use the strong, orange stuff that farmers use for hay bales, but most kinds of strings will also work. There will be more info about this later.
Step 2: Attach the Rubber Bands
This is a very easy step. All you need to do is attach the elastic bands together. You can just fold them into each other (it's just common sense on how to do this) or you can tie them together. In the pictures section are pictures of both the whole "band" that was created and the individual knots that hold all together. The band is about 3 feet long (just to give you some perspective). Here is a link to how to attach the rubber bands together (only if you need it): Click Here.
Step 3: Cut the Posts
For this step, you will need a saw. I used a band saw, because it cuts quickly and safely, but you could also use a table saw, scroll saw, or even a hand saw if you have nothing else.
First, you need to cut your 2x2s into 1-foot-long sticks of wood. This is really easy: measure, measure twice, then cut. The length isn't super important, so if you're off by an inch, don't worry.
Next, you need to cut the end to form a point. Measure about an inch and a half up the stick from one end, then cut from the middle (bottom of the stick) up to that mark. This is a little bit hard to explain, but just look at the pictures.
Then, just repeat the previous step to get a four-sided pyramid point at the top (or bottom, depending on how you look at it) of the stick. See the pictures for more information.
Step 4: Add the Screws
This is a super easy step. Take your wonderfully tapered posts and measure about 5" down from the non-tapered side. Mine are a little bit more than 5", but it doesn't really matter. "Live and learn." Do this for both posts.
On one of the posts, screw the two screws in (one on each side) right across from the mark you made. See the pictures for a bit more detail.
On the other post, only screw in one screw. This will mean that you have used all 3 screws. Good for you!
Step 5: Pound the Posts
I assembled the rest of this project in the garden so that there wouldn't be any moving around. It worked very well and kept the string from getting tangled.
The first part of this step is pounding the posts. You pound them into the ground so that if you were to attach a string between them, the string is right where the row of seeds goes. Pound them in deep enough so that the screws are just above the ground. You can use a hammer to do the pounding, as a hand won't do a whole lot.
Step 6: Assemble the String and Rubber Bands (Part 1)
First, take the large rubber band that you made in step 2. This the end of the string to one end of the rubber band (see pictures). Just note that the string should still be on the spool at this point in time.
Next, slip the rubber band dirrectly opposite to the string onto the post with only one screw in it. When you pull on the string, you are ultimately pulling on the post that is stuck in the ground. Easy as that. However, the post shouldn't move because you pounded it into the ground. :)
Step 7: Assemble the String and Rubber Bands (Part 2)
Next, spool the string out all the way to the other stick. This is the approximate width of your garden (for me, it's a long way). Once there, bend over and cut it. Tie a loop at the end (it can be a very small loop) (see the first picture). Then, wrap the string around the post. When wrapping it, make sure there is some pull with the rubber band. Then, use one of the screws (you can choose which one; that why there are two of them) to hook the loop in. This keeps the string tight.
Step 8: You're Done!!!!
You are pretty much done. The next step is digging your plants (or creating a little trench to drop the seeds). If you are digging potatoes (or other large plants), then this is perfect because the string will snap back into place if you accidentally move it with the shovel. This is the whole purpose of the rubber bands. An improvement that could be made to the design is using the farmer string (the orangy-red stuff; see pictures). This makes the whole design more durable. Enjoy and HAPPY GARDENING!
Note: We are currently changing our garden from the traditional string method to this new and improved system. ;We found that when digging certain plants, the string moved too much and we couldn't get a straight row.