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#74906 October 29th, 2006 at 07:54 AM
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Just plotting out my garden for next spring. I have an area of about 125ft x 125 ft. Lots of different seeds ordered.
Can someone explain the theory behind raised beds, what you should put in them as far as soil types, what fruits and veggies really need them and benefit the most?
The more I read the more it seems like everything needs a raised bed.
I'm determined to make this garden work, god help the chickens , horses, rabbits or ducks if they get loose and I catch them in it.
Any help appreciated! Would like to buddy up with a fellow not so experienced gardener to be who may also be embarking on this journey.
I'm also trying to stay fairly organic and sticking to heiloom plants. Working the soil with horse drawn implements and a five year old son. Stay tuned for pictures and expletives!

#74907 October 30th, 2006 at 02:39 AM
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Julie, you sound like a hoot ! Funny !
I hope someone comes along and educates both of us-I intend to have raised beds next year when I have a house. (Condo now-ugh).
I love the look of raised beds, and I'm going to have one each for herbs, tomatoes, squash, corn, flowers, strawberries, etc.

#74908 October 30th, 2006 at 04:57 AM
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Here's my raised beds..
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

The object for me with my raised beds is,
the area we put the garden *well, the previous
owners of the house had a wee~garden there and it flooded constantly..* and we wanted to keep the garden here because it gave up the optimal sun light from sun up to sun down, so we kept it in the same spot...

And just raised the beds...
I initially made the beds for my aging mother,
she loves to garden, but can't get up as well as she used to.. and we put boards on the sides, so she could sit and dig and garden...
and planting and picking was right at waist high level...
And for that it works out really good...

We filled it with sifted topsoil and I ammended some with homemade compost and a load of composted manure brought in...

Hind sight of reading some info 3 years later,
that I probably should have filled it straight with the compost and manure and left only a wee~bit of soil for it..
*but I of course didn't read that until it was too late..*
~~~~>I'll reference to that in a bit...
Raised beds are warmer to warm up in the spring time, faster to dry out when there's heavy or continual rains...
And they stay warmer when it's chilly out in spring or a colder summer....

But in reference to above they are also veryyyy hot in the summer, and any compost or manure you put in either gets "eaten up" by the plants you plant or the hot "cooking temps" *which is not a bad thing, just that you have to treat a raised bed as if it's a pot/or container and water accordingly or shade as nessessary...
*like tomatoes, although they love the warmth and sunshine can also get sunscald and heat up too much where their leaves curl up for protection from the full sun and too much heat in their soil...*

But fill with alot of compost/aged manures you can, because you'll end up having to replace it..
as it's used up...

I put down landscaped fabric under my first two beds... (my first picture of the first 2 beds)
but I wasn't there for when they put down the wood for the second set of 3 beds, and didn't get any down... and I have a terrible problem with that runner root type grass now because of it.. I don't in the first bed... but thats' what happens when you leave to men alone that don't garden to do the work... :rolleyes: eek
but they did make an AWESOME job on building them, and I am not complaining... kissies

#74909 October 30th, 2006 at 05:17 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by juliezr:

I'm determined to make this garden work, god help the chickens , horses, rabbits or ducks if they get loose and I catch them in it.
Juliezr,
Right there you've got a GOLD MINE~~~~>MANURE!!!
What I wouldn't do to have all of those animals... ( teech Although horse manure contains ALOTTTTTTT of weed seeds in it as the digestion track of those animals, don't kill the seeds and you end up with alot of grass seed in it... suggestion, let it sit out in the elements for several seasons, mix with some sawdust off on the side and then use later..
teech Chicken poop is really good, but VERYYY HOT, so don't put it straight on to bed or plant.. it can burn the tender plants...
also let that cook off to the side too...
teech Rabbit poop is goooooooood stuff, just let that age a bit too.. but when it's mixed with the straw bedding it composts' quickly and ages wonderfully.)

#74910 October 30th, 2006 at 05:21 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by juliezr:

I'm also trying to stay fairly organic and sticking to heiloom plants.
If you want to talk heirloom tomatoes,
talk with Julianna/Sorellina and John/Johnct
They are both veryyyyy big into growing heirlooms here.. and love to talk tomato....

#74911 October 30th, 2006 at 05:37 AM
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Here's some other ideas...
*****THEY ARE NOT MINE.. I'VE SEEN THEM ALONG MY
HUNTING FOR INFO ON THE INTERNET AND PICTURES' I'VE SAVED ALONG THE WAY, SO I CAN'T GIVE CREDIT TO THEM, BUT THEY DID AN AWESOME JOB AND THEY'RE GREAT IDEAS'*****
But they are good ideas for a raised bed of some sorts, and some for if you're in a condo or limited space to garden...
[Linked Image]

#74912 October 30th, 2006 at 05:38 AM
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[Linked Image]

#74913 October 30th, 2006 at 05:39 AM
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[Linked Image]

#74914 October 30th, 2006 at 05:39 AM
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[Linked Image]

#74915 October 30th, 2006 at 06:49 AM
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Hey Weezie-- would you happen to know what's planted in the 3rd pic? Duh
*****~~~~~*****~~~~~*****

i only have a very small area for my veggie garden... maybe 12ft by 12ft( i never really measured it-that's a wild guess)..... I have about 75% of it a few inches lower then the rest of yard, and the other 25% a few inches higher then the rest of the yard... It's all in one area, so I have a bit of a drop-off.... I purposly made it that way though... I think eventually i'll be filling that soil in...I also have it to keep everything out... to kinda confine the garden area....

#74916 October 30th, 2006 at 06:58 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by badplanter:
Hey Weezie-- would you happen to know what's planted in the 3rd pic? Duh
#2 and #3 are the same type of plant....
Strawberries...
Just different ways they can be planted!!!!!

#74917 October 30th, 2006 at 06:59 AM
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Weezie, thanks bunches for posting these pics.
Yours are EXACTLY what I'm dreaming of/planning !!!
I don't like to bend over to garden, so the height of those boards is gonna really work for me.
Just today I was trimming my container ornamentals, and lemme tell ya, I was lightheaded city from bending over for so long.

#74918 October 30th, 2006 at 07:09 AM
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What I didn't finish above when I was talking
about I should have only put in compost and such,
cause the sifted top soil that I put in,
the entire bottom of it sits like concrete now..
All compacted down..
To do over again...
I might get a different type of dirt,
maybe one, not sifted especially, cause when they sift it, yes, it takes out a good portion of weed roots and large rocks...
It's the large rocks and different sized and shaped rocks that give it good drainage..
The sifted top soil, just compacted down, flat,
concrete like or almost like clay consistancy...
And I had to pull it out the soil, shift it to one side, then get my mini~rototiller in there, rototill up the very bottom and then re~do again with more compost and composted manure...
but only doing one patch at a time, was very time consuming and labor intensive.. whew!

So, I might not either make them so high,
*cause you have to dig so far down*
or different type dirt... Duh Duh Duh

#74919 October 30th, 2006 at 07:48 AM
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Love that strawberry planter weezie!

Julie, no matter which way you look at it, raised bed gardening is the absolute ideal way to go. The foremost advantage they have is good drainage. No matter what you're planting, one of the most important things a plant needs is proper drainage. Most plants will perish if their roots sit in waterlogged soil. The second advantage they have is their ability to inhibit soil compaction. You won;t be walking in your raised beds I would hope. wink Soil compaction will most certainly be detrimental to plant growth.

Don't be so quick to think that you NEED raised beds to garden well. That's simply not the case. If you have good soil that drains well already, you may not need to take the added expense of making a bunch of raised beds. My suggestion would be to get a soil test done. Have them include a mechanical analysis as well. This will tell you what type(sand, loam, clay, etc.) of soil you have. Has this area been worked before? Anyway, like the saying goes, the secret is in the soil. Thats where success or failure lies. Maybe you could let us know a little more about what you're expecting from this garden.

#74920 October 30th, 2006 at 07:50 AM
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Hmmm...good point !
Gee, there's alot to it !
I thought I'd just dump them full of potting soil, plant, and enjoy.... frown

#74921 October 30th, 2006 at 09:00 AM
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The advantages of raised planters been has laid out very nicely at http://www.squarefootgardening.com/.

Consider starting out pesticide free rather than completely organic. Going completely organic is a good goal eventually. There are some good and cheap chemical fertilizers and planter mixes that can really get you off on the right foot until your compost bin is going full bore.

As for heirlooms, consider hedging your bet by also leveraging hybrid vigor. There are so many excellent hybrids that will increase your odds for success. Check your state or county extension website for suggested varieties. What works well for someone in another part of the country may not do so well for you.

#74922 October 30th, 2006 at 09:21 AM
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Mr. Clint, thanks for this superb website !
I'm already devouring it !

#74923 October 30th, 2006 at 12:01 PM
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I love Mel Bartholomew's book, "Squarefoot Gardener"....
I read that one alot in the winter
time just for ideas and stuff... thumbup thumbup
I don't apply it tooo much, well, let me rephrase that,
because some of the veggies he uses to use up small spaces,
I don't grow..
does that make sense???
But his concepts are very good..
and I use companion planting alot for my beds..


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