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Benefit of Raised Beds - Veg Gardens

Post in 'The Green Room' started by katwillny, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. katwillny

    katwillny Guest

    Hey all,

    My 10 year old son has really taken an interest in doing more outdoor things with me. It all started when I gave him my Fiskars x15 axe. We have a small property, just under half an acre, but he insists that we make a vegetable patch in the back yard. Well being the softie that I a am when it comes to my little guy, I cleared up a patch of the lawn adjacent to the shed. I see a lot of the gardens with raised beds, what are the benefits, if any, of having them elevated? Also due to space limitations I plan to use the side of the shed to put up cans to plant herbs which should give me an additional 8 to 16 feet of "planting" area. Im sure he will get a kick out of the "Elevated - Suspended Garden"
    Franklin

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  2. jackatc1

    jackatc1 Burning Hunk

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    Port Crane ny
    Easy to care for, might need a little more water than ground level.

    Please do not use treated wood!
  3. katwillny

    katwillny Guest

    Thank you. Treated wood is all I had but after I finished I realized, hum, it defeats the purpose of using all organic plants if I am going to use pressure treated wood. i am going to remove the wood tomorrow and use some stones that are in the back that I have been gathering in the side of the road. Thats my DUH moment of the week. My wife allows me one of those a week, hope you'all will allow me this one. ;em
  4. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

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    We have raised beds because we have clay soil that doesn't absorb water well, basically the water sits on top of it. We made the raised beds and filled them with "imported" soil. Raised beds stay warmer which will germinate your seeds faster and the plant will also grow faster.
  5. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    If you are totaly new to gardening check out "the Square Foot Gardener". Saves a ton of beginer mistakes and works excellent with raised beds.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    We put in a full raised bed system on commercial nursery landscape fabric. It is made of concrete for zero rot. Watering has been great, much less than our regular beds and almost zero weeding. It's also easier on the back.

    IMG_0334web.jpg
    smokinj likes this.
  7. davmor

    davmor Member

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    Loc:
    Northern Michigan
    I am making raised beds this year. I bought rough 2x6x8 cedar lumber to make my beds. In ther area I live there are several Amish Saw Mills close by that sell lumber at a very reasonable price. Don't think you want to use Treated Lumber.
  8. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    How do the raised beds foster less weeds?
  9. mikeyny

    mikeyny Feeling the Heat

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    upstate ny
    I may have to do raised beds because some of the earth here is almost always very wet, not standing water but just plain wet. The grass grows great, the soil looks good when I till it, so there must be poor drainage below. I would really like to plant some vege's that like wet soil, any suggestions?
  10. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like a lot of clay, not enough sand. Good garden soil is about half sand, for drainage. Raised beds would be a good idea for you.
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Weeds migrate using various clever methods. Some do this by runners (quack grass, buttercup), some by tossing their seeds (shotweed), some by air (dandelions), some by bird droppings, etc. By having a generous barrier from the adjacent areas, and being raised 16", these beds have cut down what is a monumental and regular chore in our regular beds, to almost nothing. They make gardening a pleasure. With built in drip irrigation they are very low maintenance.
    Dune likes this.
  12. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Every time you post a photo of your garden I get inspired.
    I hope the weather is good this weekend!
  13. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Plants in raised beds are typically planted by the square instead of in rows. This method is based, in part, on the "French Intensive" method where plants reside so close together that competing weeds growing between them can't get enough sunlight.

    The Square Foot Gardening book that Dune mentions is a great reference.
  14. katwillny

    katwillny Guest

    Went with more traditional rows-style garden due to the limited space and added shelves to the side of the shed to maximize space. I have since replaced the pressure treated wood with stones that I had picked up in my travels. This was for the boy so its one of those toy projects where you spend more than what you gain, but nothing can be more fulfilling than seeing the smile on his face when we were done for the day. Hes a good kid.

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  15. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    I used that "plastic" recycled lumber. Don't know if it is organic and all, but it has been there for 5 years, no signs of wear except a little sun bleaching.
  16. muncybob

    muncybob Minister of Fire

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    His smile is priceless. Good luck with the garden.

    My garden is comprised of 8 raised beds and each with a walkway between them. I never walk on the beds and this allows for a great growing environment. Very easy to use a shovel in. Now you need a compost pile!
  17. katwillny

    katwillny Guest

    [quote="muncybob, post: 1112088, member: 4855".
    Now you need a compost pile![/quote]
    Thanks. Already working on that. I have some pallets that I plan to put together and sit in the woods behind my house and start the process.
  18. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Katwillny - fostering a young kids interest in something like gardening is never money lost. So what if it is a $2.00 carrot, its worth every penny. Those are lifes little lessons that the young lad will carry into adulthood. You should be very proud with what you are doing for him (and he is doing for you). Carry on, you can always make more money.;)
  19. katwillny

    katwillny Guest

    Thanks Jags, yes completely agree with you on that one. He worked so hard this Saturday that by 7 pm he was ready for bed. He also had a soccer game and a practice earlier that day. I love spending time with that kid, he is always asking questions lately about all sorts of things. There is nothing better to me than teaching him and his sister stuff that I know. He has taken an interest on putting computers together so being that that is one of my forte I will sure to teach him everything from soup to nuts computer wise
  20. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    Good for you!! Bet that child will NEVER say, "I'm bored".
    Once I asked a farmer at the market if his young boy could have a large lollypop, knowing that some folks did not want their kids eating a lot of sweets. The dad's reply was, "Sure. You keep them busy enough, they can eat anything." Some food for thought, so to speak
  21. osagebow

    osagebow Minister of Fire

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    I also have heavy clay and did a kinda raised bed on a slope with local sandstone blocks. I think the thermal mass works against me in the spring, but I heat things up with clear plastic over early untill the nights mellow out. I also wait until putting my maters and peppers out. I suggest growing garlic -easy to plant in fall, and he can watch it poke up thru the snow in spring, my kids like that.
    Great pics, good luck!
  22. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    I have 13 raised beds and used pressure treated on all of them but lined them plastic so no direct contact between soil and wood. I would have gone with a composite decking material had it not been cost prohibitive.
  23. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    that's away from the house, right ?

    near an old house foundation can be a poor place to grow some vegetables or let little kids play due to lead paint.
  24. katwillny

    katwillny Guest

    @Billb3, its butting up to the house and a shed actually. The house is 24 years old and the shed i built 3 years ago. No lead paint or lead products used on the house or shed. Good point though. thanks.
  25. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    As said above- gets it off of clay soil, may be a back saver, warms up faster in the spring...

    Look up lasagna gardening- easy way to start a garden. My beds are slightly raised (12"?) and I didn't need sides for that- just need to reshape a bit in the spring.

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