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Raised Bed Gardens (setup/design)

Old 11-28-2016, 07:00 AM
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Default Raised Bed Gardens (setup/design)

I'm planning to put in 3 4x8 raised beds over the winter in my back yard. Pretty much sun all day long where they will be going. My back yard is nothing but weeds/fill dirt that I will be seeding (or sodding if seeding doesn't work) in the Spring so I can pretty much do whatever I want as far as ripping up the ground.

I might bring the tractor home with the tiller, but may end up borrowing buddy's walk behind tiller for the garden job.

I'm thinking I will scrape a few inches of fill dirt out in the area, put landscape fabric or whatever down and cover with a few inches of mulch (I can get 57 or 789 granite for free from work, but think it may be tough on me/the gf if we have to kneel...raised beds are about 11" high or so). I'd also probably make it about 3' between gardens. As of now, I'd do 2 gardens one way and the 3rd the opposite way to keep the garden area more of a square shape for now. May add some other stuff, too, in the future depending on how this goes...I have plenty of room in back yard and the more I can take up with this stuff, the less grass I'll have to plant/maintain.

Soooooo, anyone here have something similar or want to tell me that my plan is all wrong and what I should really do? May end up having to fence the area in a bit, too, to try and keep critters (coons, opossum, and squirrels for the most part) out as much as possible.

These are the gardens I've bought/ordered. First was the real cedar (I will coat with mineral oil since I have a good bit at the house). The composite ones are the 2nd batch ordered (2 of those) and I wish I would have gotten all composite.

https://www.amazon.com/Greenes-Fence.../dp/B007CUXVJI

https://www.groupon.com/deals/gg-fra...whLBoCKN7w_wcB
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Old 11-28-2016, 07:53 AM
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I just bought 1x6 and 2x2 from HD. Use the 2x2 in the corners and angle cut the bottom so they stuck in the ground. I did 3-4 layers of 1x6 stacked because I wanted deeper beds for the lasagna garden method and to reduce bending. This has worked the best for me. No need to even put anything down or scrape, just fill the box per the lasagna method.

Of you could put down a heavy layer of newspaper before filling. That can help kill the stuff you're going over. The best way to kill is black plastic and leave it on a long time into when it is warm so it can really cook the seeds in the ground.

Kind of like this - not mine just an example.



I'd suggest narrower beds. Reaching 2-3ft in while bending and kneeling is no fun. You can sit on a bucket or one of those garden stools instead with a taller bed. You also get to control the soil better for 2-3ft depending how tall you make them.

Like this for example but again I like taller.



I've seen some built with corrugated metal sides and a wood cap that looked nice. Or hay bales or pallets if you wanna go really backyard prepped style.

Use straw on the ground around the beds instead of the rock and it's nicer on your knees just kill the existing grass really well first
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Old 11-28-2016, 07:59 AM
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Good thread. Have redoing ours on the honey do list for next year.

No to pressure treated wood against the growing soil though.
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Old 11-28-2016, 08:09 AM
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I'm hoping the 4' wide won't be too much of an issue...I've read that you shouldn't go wider due to being able to reach.

No PT lumber for me...reason I started with cedar then figured I'd go the "no maintenance" route with composite. Hope it lasts. May look into straw (cheaper than mulch, I'm sure).
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Old 11-28-2016, 09:03 AM
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http://www.familyhandyman.com/landsc...anter/view-all

I ran across this when I was trying to decide what I wanted to do about raised beds.
I'm going to attempt to make one of these this winter.
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Old 11-28-2016, 09:23 AM
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Mom did a Hydroponic system years ago seemed to do really well but it didn't look like the systems I see when googling.

Ahh found her source which was always mother earth news, thought I remembered seeing the containers filled with gravel

http://www.motherearthnews.com/organ...ems-zmaz77zbon

Last edited by Mine Now; 11-28-2016 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 11-28-2016, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by jcbcpa View Post
http://www.familyhandyman.com/landsc...anter/view-all

I ran across this when I was trying to decide what I wanted to do about raised beds.
I'm going to attempt to make one of these this winter.
I'm planning to have these beds on drip irrigation. Have a ton of the parts up at the farm I can get. Hope the squirrels and raccoons don't gnaw holes in the lines that will be exposed like they do at the farm.
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Old 11-28-2016, 09:52 AM
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May be a bit different to what you are thinking but we have had very good luck with square foot gardening

http://www.squarefootgardening.com





And this thing has been awesome keep the critters away. Bought in 2009

https://www.amazon.com/ScareCrow-Mot.../dp/B000071NUS

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Old 11-28-2016, 09:54 AM
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You've received some good advice. Just go for all new dirt in the raised bed--high quality, screened dirt.

And have the dirt analyzed by your state ag extension service to see if it's suitable for what you're wanting to grow. If you need to add nutrients or lime to get the soil right, you have time to get it ready for Spring planting season.
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Old 11-28-2016, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by David B. View Post
May be a bit different to what you are thinking but we have had very good luck with square foot gardening

http://www.squarefootgardening.com





And this thing has been awesome keep the critters away. Bought in 2009

https://www.amazon.com/ScareCrow-Mot.../dp/B000071NUS

Planning to do sq ft gardening in 2, at least...I like your rock and that's kind of what I'm thinking except have it all the way around the gardens. Basically, a square of rock (or mulch/straw) with beds inside this area.
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Old 11-28-2016, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by schoolsout1 View Post
Planning to do sq
Then I highly recommend the book. Having the right soil mixture is important and you would use much less water. We also never had a bottom on ours.
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Old 11-28-2016, 10:38 AM
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I have a pretty extensive setup of raised beds/trenches. Here is a tip for your soil.

The most amazing no bullshit soil builder/amendment is bio-char.

Get some from a garden center or make your own and use it.

Your soil and plants will thank you.
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Old 11-28-2016, 11:30 AM
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Were in the process of putting in raised beds now. I had alot of 5/4 decking we had replaced with composite so i built them out of this. one is 16' by 3' two boards high the rest will be 11' by 3' .
We also have 3 hydroponic grow towers . We built an aquaponic out of pvc fence posts to experiment with a koi pond we already had. Wife is a 4th generation farm girl lol
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Old 11-28-2016, 01:52 PM
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I have three 4' by 8' beds and one 12' by 2' raised beds. Love the raised beds. I have a bunch of collard's kale and broccoli going now. You can grow a ton of vegetables in a few raised beds. Definitely don't go wider than four feet.
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Old 11-28-2016, 03:25 PM
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I built these last year, all cedar. Side walls are built to prevent bowing from wet soil inside. I build the removable cage when the squirrels show up to destroy our tomatoes just as they start to ripen. It was a fun project, took an entire weekend but I had it all planned out in advance.
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Old 11-28-2016, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by PapaG399 View Post
I built these last year, all cedar. Side walls are built to prevent bowing from wet soil inside. I build the removable cage when the squirrels show up to destroy our tomatoes just as they start to ripen. It was a fun project, took an entire weekend but I had it all planned out in advance.
Those are really nice!

I didn't take the time to try and source cedar here locally, but hoping what I've got on the way will do the job.
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Old 11-28-2016, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Bamaman View Post
You've received some good advice. Just go for all new dirt in the raised bed--high quality, screened dirt.

And have the dirt analyzed by your state ag extension service to see if it's suitable for what you're wanting to grow. If you need to add nutrients or lime to get the soil right, you have time to get it ready for Spring planting season.
Def call local AG Agent. UF has them everywhere
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Old 11-28-2016, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Badbagger View Post
Def call local AG Agent. UF has them everywhere
Clemson is the authority around here...not sure on the route I will take with soil, but it will be all "new and fresh."
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Old 11-28-2016, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by PapaG399 View Post
I built these last year, all cedar. Side walls are built to prevent bowing from wet soil inside. I build the removable cage when the squirrels show up to destroy our tomatoes just as they start to ripen. It was a fun project, took an entire weekend but I had it all planned out in advance.
That's nice cedar and tall enough that you do not half to lay down to work great job
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Old 11-28-2016, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by schoolsout1 View Post
Clemson is the authority around here...not sure on the route I will take with soil, but it will be all "new and fresh."
PM me your county and I can probably get you the direct email address for the agent in your county that handles such. College roommate handles row crops for o-burg
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