Author Topic: Raised Bed Gardens  (Read 22240 times)

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Mimi

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Re: Raised Bed Gardens
« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2010, 05:28:58 PM »
I use 1/4 soaker lines for all my large beds. They are the BEST way to go. I turn them on for 20 minutes each morning. Now ... if it would only quit freezing at night. We are to have rain and cold through the weekend. That means more wood! UGH!
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colporteur

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Re: Raised Bed Gardens
« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2010, 05:37:10 PM »
I use 1/4 soaker lines for all my large beds. They are the BEST way to go. I turn them on for 20 minutes each morning. Now ... if it would only quit freezing at night. We are to have rain and cold through the weekend. That means more wood! UGH!

Yes, I'm getting tired of covering things with blankets. When the temp here is only getting 40-50 degrees during the day it puts alot of stress on the plants. It was hard not to put out plants when it was 85 degrees on April 1. Now we are near the middle of May and we are getting winter weather. I need to be about 400 miles further south...but then again...no snakes, no ticks.
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Richard Myers

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Re: Raised Bed Gardens
« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2010, 10:35:52 AM »
Soaker lines put out more water, so you need a larger supply. For more coverage, we can use drip with less output (longer on time), or I am looking at t-tape which is tubing with built in emitters. I think it will cost a little less than individual emitters. And there is 1/4 line with spaced emitters also.

I don't like having redo something, so I am trying to get it right the first time.

Another option when using soaker lines, I think would be to go from the middle of the bed rather than from the end. this will create shorter runs and therefore equalize the pressure better for a system that is fully taxed.
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Richard Myers

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Re: Raised Bed Gardens
« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2010, 09:34:01 AM »
I can't bring myself to put gravel between my raised beds. I don't want to grow grass, so what can I do with the paths between beds? Any good ideas?  Wood chips?
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Ed Sutton

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Re: Raised Bed Gardens
« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2010, 02:15:46 PM »
Try 3-4 sheets of newspaper directly on the ground, covered with weed barrier from a roll trimmed to the desired width - and consider something to hold it down - possibly gravel on top --  even  heavy wire spikes made for that  25 to a pack.
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Mimi

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Re: Raised Bed Gardens
« Reply #25 on: May 27, 2010, 06:29:43 PM »
Richard, cedar wood chips work well, too. Insects hate them! A few years ago I had about 12 truck loads of cedar chips delivered and dumped - well, I delivered and dumped them  :D , and spread them all over my parking and driveway area. Exposed to the elements for 3 years, they are still there. So, they last.
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Ed Sutton

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Re: Raised Bed Gardens
« Reply #26 on: May 27, 2010, 06:47:13 PM »
They probably smelled good too.
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Ed Sutton

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Re: Raised Bed Gardens
« Reply #27 on: September 07, 2010, 03:12:52 PM »
Grateful for Psalms 32 and Titus 2:10 - The divinity of Christ is acknowledged in the unity of the children of God.  {11MR 266.2}

Kelsy

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Re: Raised Bed Gardens
« Reply #28 on: September 07, 2010, 07:01:45 PM »
Green houses use shade cloth, in layers between rows...

Rolled roofing, shredded shingles

Ed Sutton

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Re: Raised Bed Gardens
« Reply #29 on: September 07, 2010, 07:38:12 PM »
I guess it would work as weed barrier, but the common use of shadecloth in a greenhouse is a sunlight barrier when the sun is too hot  too intense  and stresses crops.
Grateful for Psalms 32 and Titus 2:10 - The divinity of Christ is acknowledged in the unity of the children of God.  {11MR 266.2}

JimB

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Re: Raised Bed Gardens
« Reply #30 on: August 19, 2012, 08:39:55 AM »
Immanuel, that seems to be the best way for many to start. It is fast, cheap, and easy. I am using doug fir 2x8s also.  If one needs a deeper bed, they can stack two on top of each other.  For many crops, the 8 inch depth is fine.   The raised beds make gardening much more fun than having to til the ground and fight the existing weeds and gophers. We place poultry netting under the beds to keep out the gophers. Any cheap water based paint will add a few years of life to the wood. I bought mistinted paint for $4 a gallon and it is enough to paint all of my beds.

Richard, I grabbed your post from the arsenate thread and quoted it here because I didn't want to hijack the other topic with my questions. While reading this post and your post about getting a garden ready for the winter a light went off. Why I didn't see it before I don't know but even with my small plot of land I could do raised bed gardening and wouldn't have to dump money into a 40 year old tiller that is in need of repairs.

Not sure I'll be able to get anything ready for winter this year but hopefully with careful planning I can do this early next spring and this will give me time to educate myself. Since I admittedly am not much of a handy man. I have a couple of questions. Do the corners of the beds need to be supported with a piece of angle iron or something? That probably depends on the size I assume. As I think about this, my bigger concern is where I'm going to get the soil.

Now to think about where a good spot will be for them.
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JimB

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Re: Raised Bed Gardens
« Reply #31 on: August 19, 2012, 09:42:32 AM »
Nevermind... I've already done some digging and there are some very good ideas and instructions out on the web when it comes to actually constructing these raised beds.

However, are there some things that will not do well in a raised bed?
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Richard Myers

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Re: Raised Bed Gardens
« Reply #32 on: August 20, 2012, 08:22:35 AM »
Yes, there are some things I would not put in raised beds.  All of my perennials are not in raised beds. Also, corn and potatoes.  I am not sure what else. I have asked, but am not clear on what requires more depth than I have with 8" beds. Not even because my soil is below the top.  I have wire that will let the roots go deeper, but the soil is clay below the bed so I doubt that most of my current crops will penetrate the clay.

You can put a bed in quickly. Don't make a major project out of  it. Do one bed and you will see how to do it.  If you use 2x wood, you will not need to brace it.  Use wood screws, I used deck screws, three at each corner.  You will need a level to get the bed set level.  If you have critters that will attack from below, then you need to put poultry wire in the bottom. 

When sizing the bed keep in mind you want to get to the center easily without climbing into the bed. You don't want to compress the soil.  4 foot wide seems to be the limit. The length is up to you, but I would make a small one to begin with.  Maybe 4x3.  Easy.  I think most poultry netting is in 3ft rolls.  I had to lay down two three foot sections.  I am doing the compost the way Dorine suggested. It is working. So, by next fall I will have a supply to add to my beds. The worms are helping.
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Mimi

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Re: Raised Bed Gardens
« Reply #33 on: August 20, 2012, 08:26:32 AM »
Good instruction! I am gearing up to begin. The greenhouse will come later, but for a little while, I can easily construct the beds. Compost bin? Can't have one because of these pesky bears, so I'll have to buy it.  :(
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Immanuel

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Re: Raised Bed Gardens
« Reply #34 on: August 20, 2012, 10:07:58 AM »
My first rows of raised beds were 6" deep, but we have expanded and now have 8" deep beds. We have had good success with all vegetables in our 8" beds. Carrots and radishes grow well, we just get the varieties of carrot that are shorter. Onions and garlic have done well, but we have not tried potatoes. We plant smaller/shorter plants (peppers, okra, cabbage) in the 6" beds and larger plants that need a larger root system in the 8".

colporteur

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Re: Raised Bed Gardens
« Reply #35 on: August 20, 2012, 11:20:36 AM »
The lighter or more sandy the soil the less benefical a raised bed as you will have to water far more often, accept if you have alot of organic matter in the soil. When I raised garlic and strawberries in raised beds it took watering almost every day when it did not rain. The plants like the ease of spreading their roots but light soils    looses water too easily in a raised bed. I found that many plants while they will do well in a 6-8" deep bed will do better in a 10-12" deep bed. While the beds do not have to be braced they hold their shape better when corner braced. When hand digging up the bed they can shift without bracing and since the weakest part of teh bed is the corners they will hold together better is braced especially after they get some age on them. Corner bracing is very easy to do, just decided what length you want to use as a brace and cut 45 degrees of the ends and screw  them in with 2 1/2 inch deck screws. The only draw back is you have to work around them as they take a little space out of the inside your corners.

2 x 6's work well and then go two high to give you a 11 inch high bed. ( 2x6's are 5 1/2" wide) This way you can have an inch drop in the soil from the top of the bed and still have a 10" deep bed. Two 2x6's are a fair bit cheaper than a 2 x 12 and almost the same height. Then in the outside center on all 4 sides just screw a scrap piece of 2 x 6  about 11" long vertically onto the outside so the two beds so they will stay lined up and the top bed not shift but stay flush.

If you want to go deeper still use a 2x8" on the bottom and a 2x6" on the top. This gives you with an inch drop down or settling of the soil  a 12" bed. Asparsgus goes bonkers in that and the stems will be huge. Asparagus likes well drained soil so they like a raised bed although you may not consider them worthy of taking up a bed all summer since they produce such a short length of time.

If you want to get serious with beds and there is good soil naturally in the area a good way to go is to buy 5-10 yards of black dirt. You can have a whole slew of beds and you can always use black dirt somewhere in the yard. 10 yards of black dirt (screened) usually averages around $200 or so, maybe more in some areas but that will fill many raised. I was happiest with making my beds 4x8 feet. It just depends how serious you want to get but trust me the average gardener will never have two many raised beds. If you have beds you will have something in them. If you get old and weary and do not want to keep up with alot of beds just plant healthy pereniels and mulch them and you will not have to do much work with them.
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Richard Myers

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Re: Raised Bed Gardens
« Reply #36 on: August 20, 2012, 02:26:49 PM »
Yes, the less soil we use the more nutrients are needed and the more water. Raised beds dry out faster and the less soil the faster it dries out besides being porous. When water and nutrients get more expensive, we will benefit from planting in the ground over a much larger area. In climates where there is rain in the summer this will be a factor. So, keep the tiller for the future.  Yes, I know it will take gas.  :)

I guess what I am pointing out is that there are disadvantages to raised beds. More water and more nutrients have to go into the soil for the intense garden.
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Dorine

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Re: Raised Bed Gardens
« Reply #37 on: August 22, 2012, 10:44:07 AM »
This is the first year I have tried wood chips in my raised bed gardens. If only I had known about it sooner. I'm super happy with the results. Much less watering and hardly any weeding. When I pull the chips away from the plants the soil is nice and moist and soft. I will go out now and take a picture of one of the wood chip beds and one that didn't get any and show you the difference. When I run out of chips I'm going to use old hay. Photoshop won't work for me so I will send the pictures to Richard or Sybil to post for me.
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Dorine

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Re: Raised Bed Gardens
« Reply #38 on: August 22, 2012, 04:19:09 PM »
This is a raised bed of bell peppers, sweet basil and yellow eyed beans. Not one weed all summer.


Note the difference in a bed of sage with no wood chips. Could not keep up to the weeds.


My tomato patch was the same. Not a weed.


Some fall seeds planted between rows of wood chips.

But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

JimB

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Re: Raised Bed Gardens
« Reply #39 on: August 22, 2012, 04:23:21 PM »
Dorine, are these any special kind of wood chips or are they just something from a local sawmill? When do you put them on and you pull them off ever?
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}