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Author Topic: Raised Bed Gardening  (Read 2937 times)

Offline GSF

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Raised Bed Gardening
« on: May 12, 2014, 10:23:06 pm »
Okay, I still have my "traditional" row garden but I'm experimenting as well. I have about 10 raised beds made from (one deep) RR cross ties. I planted strawberries, purple hull peas, bush beans, sunflowers & sun hemp just to see how it will do. Should I make the beds 2 RR cross ties deep? Don't freak out over the carcinogenic concerns. These cross ties are well worn.

I've had a couple of friends tell me you get a heck of a lot more  produce with less land. We'll see. Any comments or suggestions are welcomed. Like I said, this is my first time doing it.
When the law no longer protects you from the corrupt, but protects the corrupt from you - then you know your nation is doomed.

Offline BlueBee

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Re: Raised Bed Gardening
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2014, 11:16:42 pm »
Don't freak out over the carcinogenic concerns. These cross ties are well worn.
There was a fellow beek in another thread worried about a few molecules of styrene outgassing from my foam hives and now we hear you're using railroad ties for growing vegetables  :-D

I have done some experimenting with raised vs flat beds.  I think the benefits of a raised bed depends a lot on your soil makeup, how much rain you get, and how hot it is.  My raised beds in Memphis tended to dry out and get cooked as the temps went up and rainfall went down.  That required more watering which was a pain.  If you’re growing root crops, the raised beds really seem to help them thrive if you’ve got clay soil. 

The other thing that drives me crazy with raised beds is moles.  They always find them and love them.  They turn raised beds in Swiss cheese.

Offline beesNme

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Re: Raised Bed Gardening
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2014, 10:25:41 am »
raised beds have a few advantages, you can pack alot in them. i would go 2 high for more depth, also it would be alot better  on your back
make up the bed fill with good soil and some compost, then i would lay down some weed paper poke a small hole where you are going to plant and watch it grow. look for plants that do well together. i raise rabbits so can you guess where there droppings went ?  lol

Offline Kevin Bentley

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Re: Raised Bed Gardening
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2014, 11:24:46 pm »
I do raised beds(2 cross-ties high) and love them.  Here's my advice for what it's worth. 
1)Make sure you put down a weed barrier under the soil you add to the two-high cross-tie beds
2)To BlueBee's and beesNme points.  Use a good mixture of soil and compost.  This helps prevent drying out and allows you to
maintain a more consistent moisture level in the soil.  I think it also helps with calcium deficiency issues. (IE no blossom end rot)

PS...I'm the fellow beek that NEVER said I was worried about a "few molecules of styrene outgassing (from BlueBee's) foam hives". :shock:

He may be! :-D





Offline BlueBee

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Re: Raised Bed Gardening
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2014, 12:27:57 am »
We have been inundated with rain this week.  I’ve got mallards moving into my garden. :(  It might be time to build some more raised beds....but I'm going to skip the railroad ties  :)

Offline GSF

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Re: Raised Bed Gardening
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2014, 06:47:38 am »
I was talking a while back with a friend of mine from the Smokey Mountains. I mentioned railroad cross ties and cancer. He said he knew folks who used them for over twenty years and they never got a sign of cancer. You can't never tell tho.
When the law no longer protects you from the corrupt, but protects the corrupt from you - then you know your nation is doomed.

Offline BlueBee

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Re: Raised Bed Gardening
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2014, 02:10:59 am »
I’m tempted to try to build one of those strawberry pyramid raised bed things you see on the back of the gardening catalogs.  Usually a 3 tiered raised bed with a circular sprinkler in the middle to water it all.  Instead of strawberries, I’m thinking petunias. 

Offline KD4MOJ

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Re: Raised Bed Gardening
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2014, 02:00:57 pm »
Do a google on "Staw Bale Garden"... gives a new meaning to a raised bed!

My brother and sister n law did a test... his ground based garden and her staw bale garden. She is quite a bit ahead! Smaller plans but much more fruit.

...DOUG
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Offline BlueBee

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Re: Raised Bed Gardening
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2014, 12:34:10 am »
Pretty cool idea with the straw. 8-)  Never heard of that one before, but NOW it seems obvious.

Offline danno

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Re: Raised Bed Gardening
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2014, 09:43:43 am »
Look into drip irrigation for your raised beds.   I have several raised beds made from 2 X 6 tongue and groove 4 boards high, a small green house and a 50 X 75 vegi garden with a 6 ft fence.   The big garden is completely covered with  geotextile fabric so no weeding necessary.  All run on drip irrigation.  15 minutes of drip at 7:00AM every day and all the water goes right where you want it.

Offline Better.to.Bee.than.not

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Re: Raised Bed Gardening
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2014, 04:10:42 am »
I am a huge fan of drip irrigation. it is just plain all aces as far as I am concerned. I have numerous systems setup and all set on timers, and have done it for years. Some people look down at the dry season, I am happy for it, because with using specific placement drip irrigation, the plants get watered fine, but weeds do not. I am somewhat sad when it rains honestly. I also have a large cistern that my gutters run into that collects rain water. not sure how large it is, but probably at least 1-2,000 gallons. It works out pretty well.

I do not have raised beds per say for my main gardens, but I do a lot of container growing, which is a raised bed in a way, but just a simple waterline, hookup and a tap with a drip irrigation on the end and I can put water wherever I want it, real easily.

Offline danno

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Re: Raised Bed Gardening
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2014, 08:45:36 am »
I should also add that anyone can set up a drip system for very cheap.   The most expensive part is the timer and the can be had for about 25.00   We have all our back deck plants and hanging baskets set up and I even ran a 1/4 line over the house and down to the 2 hanging baskets on the front porch

Offline AliciaH

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Re: Raised Bed Gardening
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2014, 01:44:18 pm »
Raised garden beds are where my old deeps go to die.  I plant a different herb in each one.  So far, so good!