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Author Topic: Raised garden bed question(s)  (Read 1086 times)

Offline jvalentour

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Raised garden bed question(s)
« on: January 20, 2016, 10:46:43 pm »
I would like to try a couple of raised beds this spring.  Thinking 10'x4'x18".
My first question is how do I sterilize the surface ground before I fill the bed?

Is horse manure (free) useful in gardens?  If so how do you eliminate the seeds this time of year?

I'd like to put this together for spring 2016.  Any other thoughts.

Offline cao

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Re: Raised garden bed question(s)
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2016, 01:42:16 am »
I have been using several raised for years.  Most of mine are 4'x8'x8".  Your size sounds good.  As far as the surface ground I just scraped the grass of the top and filled mine.  If you are going to fill your entire 18" depth, I wouldn't bother sterilizing the surface ground.  There isn't many weeds or seeds that will grow through 18" of soil.  Any manure can be used.  Some needs to sit a while before adding to your garden.  I don't know specifically about horse manure.  I would assume you could add some.  I personally don't worry about seeds much.  I use my raised beds mainly for tomatoes and peppers.  After planting, I will mulch the beds to keep the weeds down and to keep in the moisture.  Any weeds that do pop up are easy to pull out.  I'll be planting tomato and pepper seeds next month.  Good luck.  Spring comes earlier than you think. :wink:

Offline Rurification

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Re: Raised garden bed question(s)
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2016, 03:29:52 pm »
I'm over in Greene County and have had raised beds for several years.   It's the only way I could get any vegetables to grow in our very clay-y soil.    I cut out all the grass off below the root, then put in the raised beds, laid in some geo textile for weed control and filled them with sand the first year.   Had the best yields I'd had before.  Mulched well with straw peeled off the bales in strips.  Works like a charm.   The following years I filled the beds up with either horse manure from the neighbor [right out of the stalls if necessary] or with chicken manure right out of our bird run.    If I can do it in the fall, even better, then cover it with leaves.   If I have to wait until spring, then I do, but dig it in some.    Straw mulch is the best thing I've found for keeping the weeds down and a foot path 1 strip wide between rows has worked very nicely.    I use more between the squash plants and around the tomatoes. 

The geo-textile was probably unnecessary as the weeds I have problems with are the ones from the seeds that blow in from close by and that pop up on the surface.   

Good luck.   In less than a month we'll have enough daylight to plant greenhouse/hoop house/cold frames.   
Robin Edmundson

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Online Kathyp

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Re: Raised garden bed question(s)
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2016, 05:17:30 pm »
Horses don't process their food well so very fresh horse stuff still needs to break down.  If you can get some that is from last year or even a few months ago, it would be better.  I scrape down my pile and take the nice black manure from the bottom.

I put some of that black gardening material under mine because we get so much rain here I though it would help.  The stuff is not expensive so...

My son made raised beds that I like more than mine.  He used 2x6 boards between stakes.  That way he can move or remove the boards easily if he needs to, or he can easily expand.  I did mine with RR ties, so they are where they are.

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Offline GSF

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Re: Raised garden bed question(s)
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2016, 08:13:01 am »
Down here I haven't had much success with raised beds - they dry out too quickly. I tried horse manure once and had grass out the yang yang. I've been wanting to build a cold weather hoop house for about a decade.
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Offline Dallasbeek

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Re: Raised garden bed question(s)
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2016, 10:49:36 pm »
If it's available where you are, mix in some expanded shale with soil, manure and composted leaves or whatever.  Expanded shale looks like pea-gravel, but it's shale that has been heated to 1700 degrees F, so that it pops like popcorn.  It holds moisture or air and loosens clay soil or makes sandy soil less subject to drying out (less porous?). Tomatoes, peppers, roses, etc. love the stuff.  It's not avalable everywhere, I'm afraid.
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