Raised bed gardening?

Discussion in 'Gardening and Agriculture' started by PopPop, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. PopPop

    PopPop Well-Known Member

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    I have been considering a few raised beds but dont have any good ideas on materials for the frames. If any of you have any ideas, I would love to hear them, Thanks!
     
  2. Concerned_ Citizen

    Concerned_ Citizen Well-Known Member

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  3. Reblazed

    Reblazed Member

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    What a super idea! :2thumb:

    What did you use to hook them together?
     
  4. BadgeBunny

    BadgeBunny Well-Known Member

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    I dry-stacked two rows of cinder blocks. Not nearly as economical as some other ideas but I needed the sturdiness they provided. Worked good enough that I am gonna build two more beds with them this spring.
     
  5. CulexPipiens

    CulexPipiens Still waiting for the zombies.

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    I'm considering using Trex or some other similar product as it should have a longer life span and unlike treated lumber, shouldn't leach anything into the ground. On the other hand, the warehouse where I work gets shipment crates with fairly long boards. They just get cut up and tossed after being unpacked. There is a group of us that scavenges many of the useable boards (1x3 up to 1x6 sizes) for a variety of things. These won't last more than a handful of seasons in the ground, but being free it might be worth it to just replace every few years and let the old ones continue decomposing into the ground.
     
  6. ComputerGuy

    ComputerGuy Retired Air Force

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    Great idea for recycling. We are using old RR ties and the wife is doing square foot farming.

    Last year (our first) wasn't a bust, but not a failure. Need to rotate crops and planting cycles
     
  7. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

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    Good that you've already started though. You're way ahead of the game! We get so many people say that if things get bad they'll "just throw some seeds in the ground." Yeah, right! It usually takes two years or more to get good at gardening. Especially in this locale where the ground is so poor. It takes us about threee years once we break ground to begin getting decent crops from it and another two years for the soil to be where we want it. And we use every trick we know!

    We use rocks, logs and tires for raised beds. Go to a place that sells truck and tractor tires and they're usually so happy for somene to take their old tires that they'll help you load them. Use a knife or sabre saw/sawsall to cut the sidewalls out and you'll have the makings for a raised bed that will last a couple of lifetimes.
     
  8. ComputerGuy

    ComputerGuy Retired Air Force

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    Yeah, we learned that potatoes grow best in tires and are easier to harvest that way. We are also very blessed because we raise chickens, and turkeys and the by product is great soil.

    So eggs, great soil and turkeys for eating..Good stuff.
     
  9. BasecampUSA

    BasecampUSA Sr. Homesteader

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    Hmmm... -wondered what to do with them old tractor tires that are stacking up here, great idea, I'll try that.

    As for the raised beds, I'm lazy (and gettin' old) and like to till my beds with my Troy-bilt, so I just lay lonnnng logs down parallel to each other about a foot wider than the tiller and stake them in place for long raised bed rows - without any ends! --That way I can drive the tiller right up on the bed from the ends.

    Between the logs, I filled in loam and sand with compost and manure all mixed up, to get it ready to plant.

    Sure, the logs will rot in 3-4 years, but I have 12 acres of dense forest, and a lot of tree culling to do each year, so the non-toxic logs are no problem to replace.

    - Basey
     
  10. catsraven

    catsraven Meoww

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    Pallats can be taken apart and used. The best part, they are free Just ask.
     
  11. Herbalpagan

    Herbalpagan Well-Known Member

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    we used regular timber boards, 2" thick, 12" wide. got ones that were 16' long and made beds 4' widex 16' long. most are on their third year with no real wear and tear.
     
  12. CulexPipiens

    CulexPipiens Still waiting for the zombies.

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    I've seen many references to growing potatoes in tires but wonder if the tire leaches anything into the soil or is basically inert in this application? Anyone know?
     
  13. BasecampUSA

    BasecampUSA Sr. Homesteader

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    Quote CulexPipiens:
    I've seen many references to growing potatoes in tires but wonder if the tire leaches anything into the soil or is basically inert in this application? Anyone know?


    Well, I don't think they harm living organisms...

    Because when tires lay around here collecting rainwater they are the best breeding grounds for Culex Pipiens :D

    http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/freepubs/pdfs/uc185.pdf

    -couldn't resist... sorry, no pun intended ;)

    - Basey
     
  14. ComputerGuy

    ComputerGuy Retired Air Force

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  15. mosquitomountainman

    mosquitomountainman I invented the internet. :rofl:

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    We stacked tires and grew potatoes in them one summer and it didn't do well. I believe the water wasn't getting all the way to the bottom so next time we'll put in a section of pvc drain field pipe and pour the water into it. That should get the water all through the column. (We hope.)

    We've never known of a leaching problem with the rubber.
     
  16. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

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    Several Boy Scout Eagle Projects have been to build raised gardens at our soldiers & sailors home. They have used old railroad ties. I believe they build them up about 42"s. They put crushed stone in the bottom and then layer dirt.
     
  17. CulexPipiens

    CulexPipiens Still waiting for the zombies.

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    But of course I already know this. :)

    Short term exposure usually isn't a problem... it's the long term exposure. Year 4 or 5 or 10 or... whenever. Cumulative buildup is my concern. I don't know that there actually is any, just something I've been curious about.

    Now, using old railroad ties would concern me. http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/factsheets/chemicals/creosote_prelim_risk_assess.htm
     
  18. Concerned_ Citizen

    Concerned_ Citizen Well-Known Member

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    The shelves had holes already in them so we just bought nuts and bolts and bolted them together.......laid chkn wire and carboard on the bottom
     
  19. PopPop

    PopPop Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the ideas, I think I have found the solution. I made a deal on a bunch of cross ties and have located some rubberized casket liner material to line the beds with. Now the challenge will be the construction and filling with suitable material.
     
  20. tikiman

    tikiman Well-Known Member

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    We've been using 2x6 or 2x12's for several years now. sealed the wood with old fasion high gloss tree paint to keep from weathering so bad. still doing good. I put a good mesh wire in the bottom to keep the gophers out, fill 1/2 with my dirt ( nothing wrong with it ... just the damm ghophers ) and then a mix on top.