Raised beds

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greenie

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Raised beds
« on: September 25, 2006, 22:09 »
I've heard of people raving about growing their veg in raised beds.  Would the beds need a bottom (as in a big version of a pot) or is it simply building an open frame to keep the pieces of wood together? Would things like carrots and potatoes benefit from a raised bed as opposed to planting in the ground with good soil? And, why raised beds anyway? Is it a matter of drainage?

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shaun

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Raised beds
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2006, 22:53 »
i dont use raised beds but have been thinking about it for herbs,the reason is i couldnt rotavate the soil (you could with a mantis though,i will use scaffold boards about 6' x 4' so i could access from all sides.
also it will be my daughters patch.
feed the soil not the plants
organicish
you learn gardening by making mistakes

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Annie

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Raised beds
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2006, 11:08 »
We have raised beds because we`re on a slight slope,on clay soil,only about 6-8 inches to solid red clay,so have used the decent soil from the paths in the beds,and we have trees so roots were a problem.We have some 2 ft high hottish beds against a wall the the OH is experimenting with and we have a lot of room,paths do take up potential growing ground.
  we have a mixture of railway sleepers with brick paths for the pretty bit by the greenhouse,then bigger beds made with wooden posts and gravel boards(not envirinmentally friendly but recycle and should last us out) and shreddings on the path which have broken down nicley and will shortly be put into the beds and new shreddings put on as and when.

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Losttheplot

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Raised beds
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2006, 12:45 »
Hi

I have also been thinking about raised beds because I have read that you shouldn't make paths out of bark chipping close to the beds because it zaps the nitrogen out of the soil?
There is a plot by mine that have the gravel board beds but I am thinking of doing the wooden framed beds.  How is the best way to do these?
 8)  8)  8)  8)
Hayles.xxx

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shaun

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Raised beds
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2006, 17:45 »
best way to make a raised bed out of timber is
knock some 2"x2" wooden pegs about 18" long (you can always cut them down if they wont knock in) into each corner of the bed (check the length of your edging board.
nail your edging board to the pegs and knock a few more pegs along the boards (keeping the pegs on the inside) to stiffen it all up.
fill with soil, and hey presto a raised bed.
its much easier with a picture  :)
http://www.humeseeds.com/raised.htm

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puravida

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Raised beds
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2006, 19:12 »
Great thread - questions being answered here that I wondered too.

I too will be placing raised beds directly onto a clay soil base with very little drainage.

How high do I need to make them?
Good beer, good BBQ and good friends.

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Heather_S

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Raised beds
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2006, 20:38 »
Depend on what you're growing. I assume it's similar to container gardening... Most things will need a minimum of 12inches depth of soil. Lettuces only need 4inches, radishes only need 6, but most everything else needs deeper.
wistfully hoping to one day be mostly organic gardener in North London.

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Losttheplot

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raised beds
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2006, 09:46 »
Thanks for advice on building a raised bed.  I have printed it out for my hubby and my friends hubby so they can get cracking with their little project ha ha!!  Is this the best way to mark off the beds as I don't really need to do it to improve the soil.  Have been blessed with a plot with good soil and about a billion worms!!  It is just so I can put in proper paths but stop the bark from nicking all the nitrogen and I have manageable sized beds to work with.

I hope this makes sense!!!! :?

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greenie

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Raised beds
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2006, 10:39 »
Thanks a mil for the advice on the raised beds.

I didn't know that bark chippings rob the soil of nitrogen (OH just bought a few bags to mulch under the plum tree) :cry:

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apes1978

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Raised beds
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2006, 08:07 »
Hi, i want to make raised beds, im just waiting for some scaffold boards to come free.

Do i just make the frame, sit it on top of the soil and then fill with topsoil and compost?

is it that easy, or is there more involved?

I was also thinking about making paths inbetween the beds by putting black plastic down and then putting mulch or bark over the top to stop the weeds, is this a good idea?

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milkman

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Raised beds
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2006, 09:23 »
please see my personal gallery - I've used the black membrane that lets water through on my paths.  When I first set my beds up I did try covering the membrane with bark chippings, but found that the weeds were taking hold rather too easily and I wanted to be able to concentrate my efforts on the beds themselves.

Its also easy to spot the slugs and snails lurking under the membrane, and when (if ever) it pours with rain I can still pootle around my plot as though its a sunny summer's day!
Gardening organically on chalky, stony soil.

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noshed

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Raised beds
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2006, 20:08 »
Hi Milkman, what do you use to anchor the path material down with? I can trip over things very easily (even before going to the pub) so this is quite important to me. Thanks
Self-sufficient in rasberries and bindweed. Slug pellets can be handy.

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milkman

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Raised beds
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2006, 20:14 »
black pegs with a flat head that I acquired from the same mail order catalogue as the membrane stuff.  the membrane frays a bit at the edges but generally I've found it quite practical.

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noshed

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Raised beds
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2006, 20:20 »
Thanks a lot

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Annie

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Raised beds
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2006, 00:19 »
Piruvada-our raised beds are about 8"deep,we broke up the deep clay then year by year we add compost and manure to the top soil to hopefully improve the quality.When plants do get their roots down into clay they usually do well.



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