Pit Garden Footing -- A sturdy building starts with a good footing.

Pit Garden Footing

This Article was originally posted on A Prepping Homestead:

The last time we left you on our Pit Greenhouse project was after the digging of the pit. Following the digging with the tractor, the first thing we had to do was create a temporary roof over our heads since some cold and rainy weather was headed our way.

Circus Tent

First we built a circus tent like frame out of some 2×4’s, and then we covered it with some tarps we pieced together.

Tarp Covering

Once we didn’t have to worry about what rain would do to our work, we started hand digging to smooth out the outside of the pit at the correct depths for building the forms.   Since our Southern wall is going to be taller due to the cold sink at the entrance, we dug out that part of the footing to be 16″ (two courses of 8″ tall block) deeper than the back wall.   The sides started at the lower depth, and then transitioned to the shallower depth after the width of a standard outdoor pre-hung door.


After lots of work with a pick axe, rake, shovel, and hoe, the rotary laser level and custom made depth stick (notice the two different depths for the different walls, let us know that we were close to where we needed to be.

Depth Guage

It was now time to start building the forms.  Remember that the forms are going to be the width of the lumber you’re using wider than the external dimensions of the footings you want to pour.  Keep checking your outer dimensions, and ensure the corners are square.


We built the outside first, and then added the inner side of the form 12″ in as that was the width in our design.   We planned to pour 4″ deep, so ripped down 2×6’s to the perfect 4″ so that the concrete could be smoothed over the top.   Cordless tools are essential for projects like this.   After finishing the forms, we added two courses of rebar throughout.

Rebar Footing

Bending the rebar was much easier with the right tool  and much faster than using a pipe.  Well worth it!  Finally the forms and rebar were ready and it was time to pour.

Cement Mixer

Remember to make sure you have all the big tools, like our cement mixer, inside the forms in order to make pouring easier.

Tractor Delivery

We used the tractor to move the heavy bags of concrete mix, and mixed up many small batches in the mixer.  We moved it around in the wheelbarrow,  I mixed, and Alanah smoothed and added the vertical rebar every 48″.

Smoothing Concrete

All in we spent about 4 hours mixing around 100 bags.   Very excited to have the footings poured and cured.  Next up is block work creating the walls.


It took three weeks from these footing curing, but the block walls are built!

Got something to say?  Please post in our forums!

Andrew Blessing

Pit Garden Walls -- You have to keep the dirt out somehow!

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