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COACH_NICOLE
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4/3/12 1:44 P

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Wow everyone. Thanks for all the great tips and idea. I hope to construct my beds within the next 2 weeks and I will keep you posted on how it goes. :-)



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SUE_2U
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4/2/12 6:19 P

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I have only one raised bed, in redwood, that's about 5'X8.' A bit wider than I wanted but it was a gift so I certainly won't complain!

I have not planted all the crops in square foot gardening, like Zucchini. I wanted to try them this year. How close are they? How many in each square foot if it is bush Zucchini?

Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day.
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GABBY308
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4/2/12 4:30 P

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@55 - Honestly, all mine are wood and I can't imagine moving any of them. Once that soil is in them, they're pretty much set. How about just using containers for a year? I plant the same things in containers, that I plant in the raised beds.






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55WALKER
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4/1/12 2:16 P

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I was all set to get the inexpensive recycled plastic kits that reviews raved about until I read further into the reviews and saw that by the second year they often bend and buckle and frequently crack if you try to relocate them. Mine may need to be moved after the first year so now I'm leaning back toward cedar.
Does anyone here have second or third year year recycled plastic kit beds?

Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.- Dorothy Thompson

The universe and nature should be regarded with the deepest reverence, and nature should be treated with the deepest respect. - WPM



"Optimist: someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it's a cha-cha." ~Robert Brault


TYMBERWOLFE
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4/1/12 1:52 P

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@GABBY308 "I like 10 inch because then when we put 12" fencing around the top none of the critters seemed to be able to jump in. When I had 6" boards, even with the fencing critters got in."

Now that is a great suggestion! Thank you! emoticon

"Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now." ~ Denis Waitley

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WATERFELON
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4/1/12 1:00 P

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I have 3 raised beds currently. 1 is a 10" and the other 2 are 6". They all work fine for what they have growing in them. I have carrots, onions and garlic in the 10" as those are deeper root crops which need the deeper fluffed up soil in a raised bed. I also put my sugar snaps along the edge of the 10" b/c that's where their support is (the back railing of an old metal day bed which I sunk along the back board of the bed. It's actually quite decorative and holds the peas up well!). The other 2 6" raised beds are great for most everything else-I have herbs, spinach and broccoli in, and napa cabbage and bok choi planted so far. I still need a few more bags of potting soil to top the 3rd bed off and I'll put corn in that. I use plastic tubs for potatoes and sweet potatoes and leeks in the years I attempt leeks, which will not be this year! I get better harvests and much easier harvesting from my potatoes and sweet potatoes by growing them in tubs than in the ground.

I think I will also need 1 additional 6" bed for tomatoes and peppers. Not sure about that yet, I might just put them in patio pots or directly in the ground around the greenhouse!


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GABBY308
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3/27/12 11:11 A

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@Nicole - I have a variety of raised beds. Most my dh made from scratch and with the latest ones, I just bought corners from Gardeners Supply and inserted lumber. I noticed last week that Home Depot had the corners now too, but at Gardeners Supply you have a choice of depth. I like 10 inch because then when we put 12" fencing around the top none of the critters seemed to be able to jump in. When I had 6" boards, even with the fencing critters got in.

Also, if you go to Gardeners Supply they have nice pop up greenhouses that fit their raised beds for extending the growing season. I bought some double metal hoops from them and just went out yesterday to stretch some cloth across them in my planted raised bed since our temp dropped to 20F overnight (it was 82F last week)!








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TYMBERWOLFE
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3/27/12 10:34 A

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So far you have two great suggestions. We have soil in our yard that is contaminated from a company which they had to shut down many years ago. We do not have any choice but to do raised beds and container gardening but I find it easier to get to my plants and give them individualized care anyway.

As far as the raised beds since it was a tough year for weather last year we did not have a very big break in the weather during the Spring to build a raised bed so we used an old bookshelf which worked like a charm. We also used a small kid's pool to plant the big stuff. The rest we planted in rubbermaid containers, an old plastic sink, and some large plant containers (some people use garbage cans for things like potatoes because you can plant so much and save a huge amount of space). We drilled holes in the bottom of them and we were good to go. The other advantage to planting in containers is that if you have a plant that you need to treat for disease you can move it away from the others which was a plant saver for us in 2010. Finally, if you find that some of your plants need more sun then you can move them if you need to (which helped us last year due to this crazy WA state weather). My partner is disabled and I will be busy student teaching through June so we are putting the plants that need extra care in a pool on top of a table so she can get to it easier.

Just a thought...hope all these wonderful choices given by different members are helpful! Good luck with your garden!

"Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now." ~ Denis Waitley

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GARBLEDEEGOOK
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3/27/12 9:43 A

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Hi Nicole,

I have made my own out of cedar lumber I got from the local hardware where they cut it to size, a drill, a drill bit and a few long screws. It was easy and I'm not very handy when it comes to wood, my nemesis :) I didn't treat anything because I don't want anything weird to get into my vegetables, but some do stain the wood as they would a fence to make it nicer and last longer. Also, I didn't put a corner bracket in the form of a 2x2 piece. There is a myriad of videos on youtube about this. If this sounds like it's something that interests you, I can see about finding the one I looked at for some guidance.

I got the plans from a book I found at the library called Square Food Gardening. There are two books. The first one is a bit more specific than the second which is really more like a SFG for dummies, ie simple, but I cannot remember which has the plans. Also you may need some kind of cage or cover for your kale. I have squirrels problems and nothing short of that will deter them from finding my soil appealing for their nuts :)

Here is a video for ideas: www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7vFS38TP4g

HTH



HJESS19
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3/27/12 5:39 A

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Hey everyone,
i'm a first-time vegetable patch person from the UK. we usually have a good amount of rain and not too much sunshine, average temperature where i live is around 59 (except the last couple of days which has been in the 60's!!). my little seeds are in their containers at the minute to germinate giving me time to either dig a patch or build a raised bed. i've read that raised beds may help in our climate. anyone know if that's true?
if it helps, i'm attempting to grow tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, peppers, chillis, onions, and spring onions. i may be a bit ambitious!


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KSROMAN
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3/26/12 7:25 P

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I love to "trench" my tomatoes. You gently strip all but the top 4 true leaves and bury the whole stem in a trench (of course deeper for the root ball. Initially the top of the tomato will be at an angle, but in a couple days it will straighten up. All those "hairs" on a tomato stem are roots. This way they get the maximum amount of nutrition and it really anchors the plant.



I have seen women looking at jewelry ads with a misty eye and one hand resting on the heart, and I only know what they're feeling because that's how I read the seed catalogs in January.

Barbara Kingsolver - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle


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55WALKER
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3/26/12 6:52 P

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Thanks!

Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.- Dorothy Thompson

The universe and nature should be regarded with the deepest reverence, and nature should be treated with the deepest respect. - WPM



"Optimist: someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it's a cha-cha." ~Robert Brault


RBRINK21
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3/26/12 6:24 P

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Corn has a pretty shallow root system so they don't need much. I personally wouldn't grow in a bed less than 8" deep (though most of my beds when I had raised beds were all 10" deep). Other crops do have deep root systems, such as carrots, beets (roots can reach up to 24" deep), squash, potatoes, asparagus and sweet potatoes just to name a few. Tomatoes also benefit from deep planting so they have a nice deep root system. The deeper the roots go the more nutrients that are available. Of course if you don't put hardware cloth or weed block under your beds, the height above the ground doesn't really matter much. Here's a good link that shows root depth of various vegetables: www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/hil/hil-33-e.h
tml


`Rachel`


When you do what you've always done, you get what you've always got.

Failing to plan is planning to fail.

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55WALKER
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3/26/12 5:55 P

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I was inclined toward six inch. I wondered if this person was suffering from "more is better" syndrome. LOL

Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.- Dorothy Thompson

The universe and nature should be regarded with the deepest reverence, and nature should be treated with the deepest respect. - WPM



"Optimist: someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it's a cha-cha." ~Robert Brault


KSROMAN
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3/26/12 5:41 P

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I've been successful growing in 6" (with an additional 6" tall 1' x 1' "top hat" over one or two squares for deeper root crops) but 8" is certainly a good idea if you wish. I've even done corn & sunflowers in 6".

I have seen women looking at jewelry ads with a misty eye and one hand resting on the heart, and I only know what they're feeling because that's how I read the seed catalogs in January.

Barbara Kingsolver - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle


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55WALKER
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3/26/12 5:25 P

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I was talking to someone about this today and one of her major points of emphasis was bed depth. She said to go for 8 inches deep, that many people are frustrated by the 6 inch depths.
She also said are a there are a number of companies making recycled plastic raised bed kits that are sometimes cheaper than good chemical free lumber.

Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.- Dorothy Thompson

The universe and nature should be regarded with the deepest reverence, and nature should be treated with the deepest respect. - WPM



"Optimist: someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it's a cha-cha." ~Robert Brault


KSROMAN
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3/26/12 5:25 P

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Rachel's right. Hardware "cloth" (metal mesh) and weed block are great for burrowing critters.

Groundhogs will also attack from above, so with raised beds you can make "critter cages" using things like plastic-coated chicken wire (which blends in better than the silver stuff) to keep them out. You could also make "table top" beds that are on legs (also easier on the back).

If you want to email me at sfgkimroman@yahoo.com, I can send pictures of cages & table tops that should help.

Kim

I have seen women looking at jewelry ads with a misty eye and one hand resting on the heart, and I only know what they're feeling because that's how I read the seed catalogs in January.

Barbara Kingsolver - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle


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RBRINK21
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3/26/12 4:54 P

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Raised beds work really well. Make sure to put down hardware cloth and weedblock under them so nothing can dig under them. Here's a great post my friend did on raised beds and saving money: www.nwedible.com/2011/02/raised-beds-and-f
alse-economies_18.html


`Rachel`


When you do what you've always done, you get what you've always got.

Failing to plan is planning to fail.

dogislandfarm.com


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COACH_NICOLE
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3/26/12 4:43 P

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I plan to construct some raised beds for my garden this year. I'm hoping it'll help deter the groundhog(s) that ate my chard/beans/kale last year in-ground, but also give a more polished look to my front yard garden. Has anyone constructed their own raised beds before or do you have any general tips on raised bed gardening that you think would be helpful?

Thanks in advance for any ideas!

Nicole



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