Once a month, inspect the top of the raised bed for an accumulation of mud, dirt, and other debris. Because the bed is so low to the ground, it is common for them to accumulate unwanted materials. This can create unnecessary friction for the gantry when moving across the bed, ultimately leading to increased friction and potential stalling if not cleaned.
Use a brush, broom, sponge, compressed air, and/or hose to clean the top surfaces of your bed.
Sand down knots and splinters
With time, the top edges of the bed boards may become splintered or have knots that stick up. Use a sander to smooth out these areas to prevent bumps that the gantry must push past.
The raised bed boards that FarmBot rides along need to be very straight and parallel with each other in order for the gantry to move smoothly across them. With time, the bed may move and twist due to a variety of factors such as:
- Thermal expansion and contraction due to large temperature swings
- Soil expansion and contraction
- Falling branches, earthquakes, or other cataclysmic events
Misaligned raised bed boards can cause the system to creak and ultimately bind as the gantry attempts to move across the bed. This can prevent FarmBot from working and even cause damage to other components. If you notice your bed has become misaligned, work to fix it as soon as possible with the following suggestions.
If the bed boards have started to bow outwards, you can add tensioning cables underneath the soil to pull the boards back towards each other. See the fixed raised bed build instructions for additional details.
If the bed boards have started to twist or are otherwise unable to be straightened with tensioning cables, it is recommended to replace them with thicker boards. We recommend using weather resistant wood such as Redwood.