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WOODWORKING-making raised beds for the garden

 
 
hightor
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Feb, 2018 06:03 am
I've got beds that are only four inches or so above the level of the pathway between them. I've thought about casting my own interlocking blocks out of hypertufa and did make some prototypes but dealing with all the Portland cement was a pain. The rot resistant woods available to me are white cedar (expensive) and black locust (very difficult to find as milled lumber). I settled on cedar shingles. I cut six inches off the feathered end and drive the remaining ten inch pieces into the ground, staggering two layers to cover the seams. Using a heavy steel edger I open up a straight narrow slot for the shingles and drive them in with a rubber mallet.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Feb, 2018 06:32 am
@hightor,
Good choice on the tufa mix. Ive tried it for planting pots and it is convenient but doesnt look attractive when youre trying to get something more finished. It has its place making "forest nooks where youd want to control a ground cover .

My cypress beds are set just at the ground surface. I screened an area and leveled it with a front end loader and a spinning laser level that I had in the company stores.

I laid down a single layer of brick for drainage and the laid the cypress beds on top (4'X8') . As you know, cypress is nice n heavy. cause its loaded with silica like bamboo. My raised beds take a fresh bucket of compot each year or so and give us the best tomatoes, chile peppers (Im a fan of hotter is better), and this yar, Im planting strawberries.

I used to garden on a half acre ground plot and I get just as much from the raised beds on a much smaller area and they look lmost Williamsburgish what with th cut flower bed within.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Mar, 2018 03:31 am
@farmerman,
Ive got onions in and Im going to devote 2 of the new beds just to strawberries. The neat thing about these is that weeds dont take over as they did in the old "Flat plat garden"
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 Dec, 2018 03:16 pm
@farmerman,
I made 4 more 4'X 8" boxes. Only thing different is that I built these from a material thats like TREX (its 10" wide boards 5/4 stock and is guaranteed for my life). I planted several sets of onions . I planted my garlic around Halloween in one of the older boxes. All in all, Ive now got 10 raised bed plots .I poured river rock walkway stones in between the boxes and around the outside about 3 ft wide. This gives water a nice daylight way to drain and it keeps the lawn mowers from pitching grass seed into the boxes and causing weed growth.
Ive got 2 boxes o strawberries (about 48 plants) garlic , herds , and now onions.

Planting onions before New Years, Organic Gardening is reccomending it (as well as garlic and spinach be grown as an overwinter crop that will produce useable plants waay before they would bolt in the brightening daylight.

YES, I have a little rolly cart for me and my cast to sit upon while I plant. But the neat thing is I can easily reach over 1/2 the width of each box while in my cast and brace.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 Dec, 2018 03:19 pm
@farmerman,
I got the TREX like material at a building supply auction. For some reason the builders didnt want the wide stuff (I guss they use the plastic wood mostly for decks and like an even , not a random width look)
I got all the boards for less than 30 bucks for the whole pile.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Thu 4 Apr, 2019 07:42 pm
@farmerman,
My older Cypress beds are wearing very well. I think I will be having a bonus crop of strawberries since I ran the tendrils out and planted them last summer. I have 2 4X8 (ft) beds devoted to the berries and Im not buying any of the store berries becaue their all picked green in California and shipped east. They induce ripening in the berries by spraying with ethylene gas and they are NEVER fully ripe and are often hard nd tasteless. SO, Im looking forward to days in late May when our local crops start producing.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2020 04:17 pm
@farmerman,
Ive got 8 raised beds total now. Ive loaded on up with maple woodchips from the furniture mill lathe shop (In Quarryville). Ive let em compost with sheep **** this past season and today I planted about 3 dozen soft top and 2 dozen hard top garlic cloves.

This is a ideal time, ground isnt frozen yet, and the cloves have set small root clumps. SO now I just let em grow and settle in for the winter. next spring, when they send up tops, Ill use a couple hard tops for butter fried scapes. we like em better than ramps in the spring.


Ive also loaded three of the beds with grss , chopped laves and sheep ****. HUGE piles , Ill let em compostt over winter. (One pile is being used as a weather barrier for about 6 new pots of blueberries. Ill dig em in peat moss beds treated with Fe SO4 for acidifying the peat even more,


Im set for winter. They expect our first snow by Dec 20, Penn State model
hightor
 
  2  
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2020 03:50 am
@farmerman,
I ended up biting the bullet and making boxes out of PT lumber. I checked out potential toxicity problems and the consensus is that the newer PT lumber is safe and won't leach anything other than a little copper — and only if your soil is deficient in that mineral. I could understand why people would choose not to use it, but I think it will be fine.

I used ¾" poly tubing to make hoops for the tunnels, and hammered rebar pins to hold them. These beds are 2½ x 12 (and one 2½ x 10). The picture is from early June. I've got one filled with hardneck garlic right now. I use shadecloth over these lettuce beds during the summer. It's been night and day as far as garden management goes — so much easier to water and weed.

https://i.imgur.com/21FnSK1.jpg


farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2020 04:48 am
@hightor,
yeh, new PT woods are even being adv for garden use , just dont fed any lleaves to sheep since they are suseptible to Cu anemia. As far as veggies for us , Cu is a micronutrient. Its beenawhile since Cu/As was used. Many Amish ue wood hardeneres on stuff like Ponderosa pin and mak nice long lived beds

2.5 X 12' That seems easier to reach the center.

I may try the hoops thing this year if I set up two just for highbush blueberries (a dim second to your berry barren blues). I may try that as 2.5 by 8 with two bushes per box(Highbush can get pretty big).


Do you butterfry the stapes of yer hard top garlic? we love em as a side dish that assures your social distance for at least a day.

PS your beds look really nice. I tried the wood chip in between but grsses still invded the edges , so I burn em ans have put rock dust in the pathways.

0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2020 04:53 am
@hightor,
uh, one point. Are your rebar pins tcked to the outsie of the beds or, s it looks in the photo, have you drilled holes into the edges of the beds??
hightor
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2020 05:13 am
@farmerman,
I'll provide some clearer pictures later today — if it's not raining. But yes, the sides have rebar pins driven into drilled holes. Only the ends are on the outside, along with the vertical piece that supports/stabilizes the end hoops.

One cool thing I discovered — since the rebar pins had sharp ends from being hack-sawed to length, every now and then I'd catch my hand on one of these burrs when working without the hoops in place. I knew that filing each one would be a time-consuming pain-in-the-butt so I did a search for something that I wasn't even sure existed. I discovered that there is such a thing as a "Deburring External Chamfer Tool" — fits right into a battery operated drill and smooths the pins up with no difficulty at all.

And yeah, we usually enjoy at least a few dishes with garlic scapes.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2020 05:26 am
@hightor,
tool is like one of those round tenon carving tools. I have a set I use making "primitive" stool and tittle tables around the property.

yeh , scapes, not stapes, I wasnt meaning to have you become a cannibal
0 Replies
 
 

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