The wall has turned out beautifully. After construction was finished,I went through and stained both sides of the untreated wood, hoping to provide a little added protection from weathering.
Next, Chis drilled an upward-angled hole in the bottom slat every five feet and inserted a small length of copper tubing to promote drainage. Inside, we filled the bottom foot all the way across with gravel for the same purpose. Finally, we added a lining of landscape fabric to keep too much dirt from filling in that gravel, while still allowing the water through.
The last step has been the most difficult: filling the 2×20 foot bed with dirt. I’ve been taking a couple wheelbarrow loads here and there from our compost pile in the front, but have emptied about as much as I can without disturbing what has suddenly turned into an unexpected pumpkin patch (my favorite type of surprise).
I’m aiming to finish the bed up shortly so that I can transplant my remaining sweet potato vines, letting them drift beautifully over the edges of the wall, as well as a host of trailing herbs ready to go wild.