Post by Pharmer Phil on Mar 19, 2005 10:51:18 GMT -6
So i will say that these are what I've used for Many,many years! I remember living along the highway in 1979, people would slow down, some would pull in..to ask me what I had BURIED ROTFLMAO I will add some shots that may help you understand, but the technique is..Simple! Till your area, as much as you want to dedicate to raised beds. Take a string and two stakes...just like you are about to make a row, place one stake at a point and stretch the string to the length you want the bed to be. Now, take a shovel and go two shovel widths wide, and throw one shovel full of dirt 'just over' the string, the next shovel full. throw it just about three feet the other way (you will use this in the next raised bed) Keep this up till you get to the end of your string, so, what you have is: A 'path" that is two shovel widths wide, and the length of your string directly next to the string, opposite the path, you have a heap of dirt. Now, measure and move your string about 4 feet to the side away from the path, place your stakes and do the 'shovel thing' back along the string. WaaLaa, you have now..Two paths and ONE mound of soil that is about four foot wide. remove the string (or go on to the next 'bed') rake the mound out smooth, then take the back of your shovel, a wide board, or as I do, Your foot and 'firm' the sides. With or without straw to cover the sides, These have worked for years for me, and I never had any errosion problems. If you anticipate or live in an area that gets torrential rain, you can always plant something along the sloping sides!
Post by Pharmer Phil on Mar 19, 2005 12:44:39 GMT -6
It Is a Little work! But the advantages far out weigh the effort, and with these type of raised beds, there is nothing to dis-assemble when you want to till your garden, or rotate your crops! As with any raised bed, the most important advantage is reduced soil compaction. Plant roots need air. In an ordinary garden, you can’t avoid stepping in the garden bed occasionally when doing your everyday gardening. A raised bed garden allows gardening from the garden path. Plants can be spaced a little closer together in a raised bed because you don’t need places to step. This increases productivity per square foot of bed and reduces weeding when the plants begin to mature.
Raised beds tend to drain away excess moisture better than ordinary garden beds. This is another advantage that helps the plant roots to breath. In areas that have saturated soil like Florida (Dap) and many areas of the South, raised beds may be the only way you can grow many types of plants.
Soil condition and type can be controlled in a raised bed and can be varied easily from bed to bed, to suit different plant types needs. Raised beds are the answer when your topsoil is thin. Water, fertilizer, compost, mulch, etc. can be applied more carefully because they only need to be applied to the garden beds, instead of feeding the walkways too!
Raised beds extend your gardening season. They tend to warm up a little sooner in the spring and remain productive later in the fall
The depth that you till your garden+ the depth of the soil you add to the bed while building, creates a rootzone depth that can be up to 18 inches...You oughta see the carrots , parsnips,etc. you can grow in a raised bed, with that kind of depth!
Post by Pharmer Phil on Mar 20, 2005 7:32:38 GMT -6
Ya need to be "ruthless" when it comes to thinning carrots! take the ones right away that are right next to each other, then, in a couple weeks, take the ones out to leave yourself about 3-4 inches between each carrot you wanna keep. I guarantee that with the raised bed, your carrots will NOT be stubby, unless you plant a "stubby" variety, like Danvers 'half-Long" Thumb 2head
Post by Pharmer Phil on Mar 20, 2005 9:58:38 GMT -6
Yes YB, I make them in a single row, about 12 inches on the top, and double, about 16 on the top. any plant can be raised this way, deep rooted veggies like them, any plant that likes 'dry feet' Plants with 'special' needs...Your Peppers for example: Peppers like a deep, well drained soil, to much moisture in the root zone slows their growth and sets up ideal conditions for root rot. In that particular bed, go to the effort of mixing the soil to accomodate. They like an evenly moist soil, and thrive with a deep root system, so add a thick layer of mulch on the top, and your set. The first pic below is the bed I built in the pics above, which was home to 24 cauliflower, the bed to the right is the one for brocolli,carrots, and the one in the far right is for the onions, which will be a double row. the second pic is from the west side of the fenced in portion of the garden, foreground, beets , with corn to left, then you see the onions, beyond them the brocolli and then the Cauliflower. beyond that, the green beans, peas, and on the other side of the fence, barely visable, are the tomato trellis's, the potatoes, then one of the 5 pumpkin patches.
It may sound like a lot of work, but I think in the long run is less work. One benefit that I don't think Phil mentioned is easier weeding. First, because weeds come out of the loose soil with less effort but also as the garden plants grow the spacing is such that the leaves will eventually touch and shade out the undesireables. All you gotta do is give them ahead start. Beds are also ideal for using season extenders like remay cloth or plastic covers.
Post by Pharmer Phil on Mar 20, 2005 19:19:20 GMT -6
"You Are correct Sir!" (totaly useless quote if ya never watched Johnny Carson!) Weeds are fairly non-existant, and the hoops fit Oh so nice over the beds!, did Ya see the pic of laura going to work burying one edge of the remay Seadog?
I use the same kind of beds. Most are 4 foot wide but I have some 2 foot wide along fence lines, that I use for trellises. my pathes are not quite so deep though. I put cardboard or news paper in my paths to keep them clean. then pile grass clippings on the paper. each spring I move this in to my beds. Kind of a sheet composting. I dont take my beds apart, just leave the beds the same. But I can still use the tiller to help cultivate. The pathes are not tilled. So that my wheel barrow won't sink into the dirt. I use either a square foot or square 18 inch pattern to plant the beds depending on soil fertility and plant type.
I use the shovel instead of the tiller and don't turn the soil but just loosen it. This year I'm not even gonna loosen it more than a couple inches. I think it will help preseve water. It may be crazy, we'll see. where you from squashnut?
Ok all you raised bed junkies, I was having a discussion with a friend over the raised bed Idea.
First, my 2nd section of garden is like 34' x 50' with a 2or3-12 pitch running the length of the 50'. I was going to do it for weed control and hopefully water control incase we have another wet summer that ruined my mater plants last year.
I am not going to do it with my corn, can control the weeds easier. My freind told me the only reason to do a raised bed was for irrigation purposes and that I should run the rows across the 34' section instead of down the lenght of the 50' section.
Anyone care to give me some input on which way is best???
Post by Pharmer Phil on Apr 1, 2005 16:13:08 GMT -6
I would definately go across the width(34), as it would add the needed water control and add a 'terraced' affect. In your case, the only reason may be water control, but the other benefits will come to light as the season progress's. No, corn is not a good candidate for raised beds.
I agree with the terraced idea and that should help with the erosion problem if you have lots of water. If you have good mulch available that will help at the downhill edge of the beds. Nope, corn and squash are'nt well suited to beds, but some things like carrots, onions, beets (yuch) will yield much more grown that way. Cabbages, broccolis and that type of thing too. It always made sence to me... you walk on the part thats for walkin and grow on the part thats for growin including the fert the watering the weeding. ROTFLMAO
I do my corn and squash in raised beds. I do intercropping with them and we get too much for us from 4 beds that are 4x 17 foot long. the squash keeps the corn roots damp. I timed the corn and squash so that it was all harvested at once for canning and had another small patch for fresh eating, so I would't damage any plants during harvest. I am in zone 5/6 north Idaho.
Another westerner!! I'm from Okanogan county a couple hundred miles west of you. Are you around Sandpoint or CeurDeLene(sorry can't spell that one) I know the Indians used to intercrop squash and corn also beans and corn. When I tried it the squash overcame the corn and choked it out. :4-dontkno
I am just west of Sandpoint. The spacing is inportant on the corn and squash. I planted the corn 3 hills of 3 plants across the bed. the rows across the 4 foot bed were 2 foot apart. I put a hill of 2 or 3 squash in every other block created by the corn. I found the whole thing did not need much water summer.
do you plant them at the same time or give the corn a head start? If it helps with water conservation it will be a good idea this year. Sandpoint is a beautiful area. Ya'll get more moisture than we do, which isn't hard to do since we only average 12 inches a year in the valley.
Accually i plant the beds with lettuce and other fast growing spring greens. In the mean time i start my corn and squash in pots at the same time. as the beds clear out i plant the corn and squash. ( this takes about 100 4 inch pots) this year i am also trying beets and green onions in the same beds, before the corn and aquash . i use the most intensive gardening plan that I can. One of my biggest probrlems i have is I always grow to much lettuce. I am trying to use some of that space to grow other things that can be canned or frozen for winter use. I have also been able to get some broccolli to grow down in between the corn rows. But it has to be very fast types such as Early Dividend. I thought about growing some pole beans in the same beds, but i would put a pole in the bed for them to grow on instead of the corn.
I do something simular. I start the spinich, lettuce, radishes, kolrhabi and anything else early and fast maturing under plastic and/or garden fabric tunnels then follow with summer crops such as muskmelons, greenbeans, or bush squash when the early crops are off. I raise too much lettuce ( and all the other early stuff for that matter), but its easy, and fun to give away. We're eating greens before most people around here even start to plant the garden. It helps us make the most of a small space. Thumb
Look it! He wrote "muskmelons"! :party: No one down here understands that term and look at me like I have 6 heads whenever I slip and say that instead of cantaloupe. :3angry1: Here's a hug 2head just for you seadog!
Post by vassarphan on May 19, 2005 13:56:03 GMT -6
MERCY,,, that DOES look like MAJOR work!!!! I only want to do a small area by our deck phor some phlowers... I KNOW mine won't come close to yours PHarmer PHil.... You did a GR8 job!!!!
(I have TWO dogs to contend with too!!!! Does anyone know if MOTH BALLS will keep dogs out of the phlower beds??? If not,,, do you know something that will?) I'm about ready to hang this MUTT of ours ;o(