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doak
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« on: June 17, 2009, 09:28:45 PM »

People like reinbeau, who have the beds?
I just wanted to know do you leave the original top soil on and till in additives or a soil mix?
Or do you remove it and use all bedding mix?
OR, do you put the bedding soil in on top of the existing top soil with out tilling the original?

Now, being raised on a farm and have had a garden nearly every year from the time I could carry a garden tool, you would think that I should not have to ask such a tough question.

I have several square foot and gardening by the yard tapes.
I never did under stand the part where they just scraped the weeds off then just added soil mix with out doing something else. Like tilling before and/or tilling it into the existing  soil.

reinbeau, If I made beds with sides no higher than yours, I would prefer to till 8 to 12 inches deep before adding the soil mix, then mix it in with the existing soil.
Yours is picture book perfect.
I also like your compost bins.

Another point I would like to bring up.
I let my back garden spot grow over and it is going to take me a year or two to get it going again.
That leaves me with my front spot. Which is near my "bored" well. it is only 57 ft deep but has "even during these few years of drought" has maintained 18 to 20 ft of water. I can pump it to with in 5 ft of the bottom and it will recover over night.
I cannot use just any kind of material for my borders or just any kind of fertilizer on this spot.
This means I cannot use treated boards and will have to use untreated boards or cement blocks.






If you look in the top left of this pic. you will see the fence post around my garden. My well is just out of the picture to the left. :)doak
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reinbeau
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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2009, 08:49:57 AM »

That's a lovely picture, Doak, but I don't think it's the right one for the post!

I used a good loam to fill the beds, 3/4 of the way up or so, then I added compost or whatever I had at hand, hopefully well rotted manure.  I've never used a soil mix like potting soil, that would cost too much!  If there was grass below I covered it with 10 sheets of newspaper and wet it down.  In one season it'll help kill the sod and rot it away to nice compost!  But I think your idea of tilling first is a good one, the only problem is the sides will settle if you till the whole area, the ground will be very soft.  Are you talking about tilling just within the perimeter?  I use a Mantis tiller inside the beds, it would be possible to do the same thing before you add your soil. 

If I were to do it again and had the money I'd definitely use concrete blocks, untreated boards will rot way too fast, unless you spend mucho bucks on something like redwood.

I envy you your well, I'd love to have one.  Someday.....
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doak
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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2009, 05:17:42 PM »

This could be better.






A little bit of fence and the last row of tomatoes can be seen in the upper left.
My well is only 10 to 15 ft from that fence.
doak Smiley
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reinbeau
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« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2009, 07:14:28 PM »

Ah, yes, now I see it.   So is this the area you want to build the raised beds in?
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- Ann, A Gardening Beek -  ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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doak
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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2009, 07:26:24 PM »

I think you are looking at my neighbors house.
My well is to the left and out of the picture.

Yes, this is the area I want to put beds.

I think I have another pic with the well in it, I'll try to find it.doak
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doak
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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2009, 07:35:06 PM »

Hope this works, from last year.





I hope. doak

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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2009, 11:11:40 PM »

If it helps, I'm developing my raised beds the slow way.  I begin by tilling the soil and building the 1st stage of the raised beds using 2X6s.  I then plant the vegetables in the raised bed even though the ground isn't raised.  I then fill the beds by composting in place (mulching) and adding mixed soil and manures as fertilizer.  Over the course of a few years I can add a 2nd round of 2X6s and continue the say way. 
It might be the slow way to do it but it keeps the soild lose and deep. 
One way of raising potatoes is to start with an empty raised bed, plant your potatoes on the surface and cover with a thin layer of mulch.  Then as the potatoes begin to grow add anothe couple of inches of soil, mulch, or manure, until the raised bed is full.  In the fall you can harvest potatoes the size of the raised bed and a foot or more deep.  You can get several hundred pounds of potatoes out of a 4X10 foot raised bed that way.
On a different note, when it comes to potatoes you can raise them in what I call a Spuducket.  You place an inch of soil in the bottom of a plastice 5 gallon bucket and then cover it with dirt.  As the plant grows you keep adding dirt until it is level with the top of the bucket.  When the plant dies off after bloom you up end the bucket and you'll have about 15-20 lbs of potatoes.
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Cindi
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« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2009, 02:28:43 PM »

Whah, off topic slightly, but something I have to say.  I have wild vegetable gardens, a couple of really big ones, no sides, no raised beds, just always growing wildly about.  I feel like crying because this is the first year in decades that I haven't planted any veggies because of the possibility of a move.  It is killing me, whah.  I long for those fresh veggies.   Now to get back on topic.  When we do move.  I will have nothing but raised beds, so I am listening deeply to what is being said.  I have never gardened in raised beds, but I can see so many, many benefits to it, many, oh did I say that?  Smiling that big smile.  I long for that day when I can put my seeds to the soil, watch them grow.  By the way.  We cannot grow tomatoes outside here, we are too damp, the night air is moist and it always brings on that hideous late season blight.  On the plus side, the climate where our anticipated move will be has no moist night air.  It is pretty much a dry climate.  I can grow tomatoes!!!  Yay!!!  Can't wait, gonna grow all heirloom varieties, no more hybrids for this gal.  BEautiful days, to love and live, health.  Cindi
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doak
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« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2009, 11:49:27 PM »

Dry climate is even more reason to have raised beds. With plenty of humus to help hold the moisture.
I am going to get mine changed over by next year. :)doak
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Natalie
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« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2009, 12:23:59 AM »

I have to say I absolutely love gardening in my raised beds.
I have around 25 raised beds from 2x4 to 4 x8 and grow just about anything I want in them.
I didn't use treated boards either, you can get cedar and they will last forever but even if you could et some cheap local pine or something else that hasn't been treated they will still last a long time.
Its not the same as if you were using it for something, like you wouldn't build a house out of plain untreated wood but just for using as frames in a garden I think it will be fine.
You may be able to get scrap wood that you can cut to size.
Check your local fence company for free wood, alot of them just throw it in a pile for the taking.
We tilled the ground underneath and then I had a mix of loam and compost brought in from our local supplier to fill them.
Every year I just rotate the beds for planting, I just move over one unless it had a similar crop in it the year before.
I also do the square foot gardening method in them and have had great success with it.
For potatoes I started out with one wood frame about 8-10 inches deep and when it needed more soil piled on I added another frame on top and filled it with soil, I am up to my 4th frame now and will let them go at that.
But I love the convenience of it and they look nice too, I also get all the frames already assembled and they are free. You can't beat that.
I like the beds for several reasons, less weeding, the soil warms up sooner in the spring, everything looks nice and tidy in their own beds, no as much crawling around on your knees and you can organize them to suit your needs, or make a landscape design out of them.
I think you will really enjoy having the raised beds.
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doak
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« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2009, 12:28:23 PM »

I can get the stuff you see I staked my plants with for free.
That is pallet reject boards. They range from 4 inches to 6 or 7 inches. 3 to 6 feet in length.
So in a seance they are pre cut for me. all I have to do is load and haul home, 80 mile round trip.
My little Mazda catches he--. But it has been like that peter bunny you see on tv beating that drum rolleyes keeps on going and going and going. Smiley Smiley rolleyes rolleyes
Those you see were table saw ripped. Most of it is oak of difference species, a piece of cypress now and then. No treated stuff. :)doak
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Natalie
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« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2009, 01:05:57 PM »

That is great that you have a free source for them, you will be all set.
You will have to post some pictures for us when you get them done.
I actually need to go take pictures of mine but the rain hasn't let up.
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