forum: Gardening / Growing

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#1 Thu 06 Oct 11 8:10pm

TexasTank

Member
Member since Wed 05 Oct 11

Raised beds for the garden

Hello, I am in the process of building raised beds for the garden. I am using stacked 4X6 Cedar beams, which should be fairly resistant to rot, but I am concerned that I will be rebuliding the entire garden again in a few years. Would you recommend lining the inside of the bed with plastic or with asphalt shingles as recommended by an older gardener. Naturally I am trying to refrain from using any potentially toxic chemicals, therefore I think sealants are not an option. I look forward to your recommendations. Thanks.

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#2 Thu 06 Oct 11 8:46pm

Kye

Forum super champ
Member since Fri 04 Apr 08

Re: Raised beds for the garden

No plastic should be used, im still pulling out plastic lining from my Dads garden that was put in place more than 25 yrs ago...they used every day plastic black rubbish bin bags, there is surely now some other plastic lining that is biodegradable?

Later this year we will build long raised shelves for the strawberries, at their feet will be other fruit plants and the tomatoes, salads are already in raised beds, Roman style as with all the herbs. All we added was horse manure from a local farm and we leave the soil to do its thing during the winter months.

No chemicals are used, i love Ladybirds and this year we have had so many.

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#3 Fri 07 Oct 11 2:57am

TexasTank

Member
Member since Wed 05 Oct 11

Re: Raised beds for the garden

Thanks Kye. I think that I will end up relying on the woods' naturally resistance to decay. I just don't like the idea of plastics, sealants or shingles breaking down in my vegetable garden. I have been using mushroom compost in my existing garden and it has been very productive. My sugar pumpkins, butternut and acorn squash have been great despite an extended drought here in Texas.
This time of year, the hummingbirds are migrating to South America. My wifes' feeders have looked like bee hives. It is really quite remarkable.

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#4 Fri 07 Oct 11 4:11am

JoyYamDaisy

Forum super champ
From Melbourne Australia
Member since Sun 12 Apr 09

Re: Raised beds for the garden

Good luck with your gardens TT!
The hummingbirds would be such a wonderful sight!  cool

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#5 Fri 07 Oct 11 5:40pm

minerva

Forum champ
Occupation Walking the Old Ways
From Living in the Wild Woods
Member since Wed 16 Jan 08

Re: Raised beds for the garden

TexasTank wrote:

Thanks Kye. I think that I will end up relying on the woods' naturally resistance to decay. I just don't like the idea of plastics, sealants or shingles breaking down in my vegetable garden. I have been using mushroom compost in my existing garden and it has been very productive.

Just make sure that there is plenty of organic matter (well-rotted manure/compost) incorporated into the soil.
You will find that unless you do so, rather than enough moisture to rot your wood, there won't be enough to keep your plant roots going!
Because the beds are raised, excess moisture will find it's way down & out naturally, making the wood last fairly well anyway.
The other side of that is because fertilizer is water soluble, it also will run down & away..........during the peak growing season, top up fertilizer levels now & then especially with the greedier crops.

Hope it works well for you, come back & let us know!

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#6 Fri 07 Oct 11 7:36pm

Kye

Forum super champ
Member since Fri 04 Apr 08

Re: Raised beds for the garden

Our raised beds are surrounded with woven branches, (basket style) woven between wooden spikes. They have been in place for at least four years, have lost some colour but are still strong.
We bought them from an Roman excavation site called Bribracte that we visit at least once a year, the students make them in their free time, they are copies from the original Roman gardens.

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#7 Fri 07 Oct 11 7:55pm

minerva

Forum champ
Occupation Walking the Old Ways
From Living in the Wild Woods
Member since Wed 16 Jan 08

Re: Raised beds for the garden

kye in france wrote:

Our raised beds are surrounded with woven branches, (basket style) woven between wooden spikes.

They sound like the Hazel "hurdles" I made for my garden out of the pollarded Hazel "withies" I cut last year.

Last edited by minerva (Fri 07 Oct 11 7:57pm)

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#8 Fri 07 Oct 11 8:07pm

Kye

Forum super champ
Member since Fri 04 Apr 08

Re: Raised beds for the garden

Weaving branches really is difficult on the hands, so bravo if you make your own.

O/H Grandfather made all his woven garden baskets himself, they are still used and lovingly kept in my Mother in Laws cellar, along with the 100 yr old crib that was home made, we had to take an appointment with an old Aunt to be able to borrow it for each birth in the family.

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#9 Fri 07 Oct 11 8:20pm

minerva

Forum champ
Occupation Walking the Old Ways
From Living in the Wild Woods
Member since Wed 16 Jan 08

Re: Raised beds for the garden

I wear gloves!  lol
...........& I soak the withies from when I cut them, to when use them!

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#10 Fri 07 Oct 11 8:42pm

Kye

Forum super champ
Member since Fri 04 Apr 08

Re: Raised beds for the garden

I know how minni, just that i have never tried hmm i would like to though with anything natural.
When a kid in hostel i had to make a basket with strips of leather...for a so called 'teacher', they had noticed that i made them perfectly, i may have spent two hrs to to make the basket and i was then sent back to my other activities  evil

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