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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We've been wanting to build raised beds for some time. Even though we have about 3/4 of an acre it's best use is nut and fruit trees and an approximately 20 year old elephant garlic bed. Vegetables have their problems in that area, cool summer nights, not enough water (even using a drip system), deer and highly acidic soil. So finally I built two 2' X 7' beds out of 2" X 12" Incense Cedar with cedar framed greenhouse tops. The clear plastic is polycarbonate which is very strong for as thin as it is and transmits 90% sunlight through it. I also installed two lamp socket in each one and since the pics were taken have installed 26 watt CFL growlights that are rated 100 watts. My wife started spinach, Romain lettuce, Broccoli, kale and beets in egg containers and when they grew enough I spooned them out into the raised beds. The above ground vegetables go in the shallow bed and the rooted ones go in the deep bed. I will be adding parsnips when my wife gets some started. So far they're doing very good for the cold weather we're having. The greenhouse tops are now latched in place and are light and easy to take off for watering and fertilizing. Eventually I'll install a drip system in them and as time goes on I plan on building more raised beds which I'd like to make about three foot longer. Not all of the beds will need a greenhouse roof but because of deer that wander almost up to our doors I'll have to have framed screens over their tops.
 

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Nicely done! I am soo jealous I've been wanting to get some raised beds made but moves and money keep me from getting them done. I don't even hope to make somthing that nice and handsome. I reapeat VERY NICELY DONE!!

As for your acid soil have you considered just liming the heck out of it? maybe a lil electric fence to protect a garden plot? Never heard of acid soil you couldn't lime into submission. But them I aint been everywhere either :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. The one positive thing about acidic soil is that it grows trees really well. Sometimes I can just about throw a bare root tree in the ground and it will take off. Many years ago we picked a lot of abandoned homestead apples and made apple juice and threw the cores and peelings in the chicken yard which resulted in about eight trees coming up, I thinned that down to five and this year there was probably one ton total picked from those trees. I've limed the soil a few times but the real problem is I really don't have enough water to plant much in the lower garden. When I had kale growing I used electric fence but even then the deer would sneak their head under them. One thing I didn't mention was the soil I used, I mixed 20 shovels of compost, 4 shovels of clean soil and 4 shovels of sand in a cement mixer, it took a number of these loads to fill the beds. For the top layer I omitted the soil. Under the top layer I spread a thin layer of organic blood meal. For drainage I covered the bottom of the box with 3/4"+/- gravel and over that I used old carpeting that had jute backing.
 

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sounds good make a dozen more I'll be down to get em in a couple weeks :D
 

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Those are absolutely beautiful. I am officially jealous of you and Andi (her greenhouse is beautiful as well)
 

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I made mine using old windows I got from free. Not as polished looking as yours but works great and might be an alternative for those who are lacking money and/or skill to make yours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I made mine using old windows I got from free. Not as polished looking as yours but works great and might be an alternative for those who are lacking money and/or skill to make yours.
Never short yourself for using old windows, it's a great idea and I would have used the three 34"X 76" heavy tempered glass windows I was given many years ago but my wife didn't want that. I think she thought it would break easily and we do have a big maple tree that dead branches fall from once and a while. I'm still going to use them, perhaps for cloches for starting plants outside in the spring. I used the polycarbonate because we had already used the same stuff for a deck covering and entrance roof were I didn't want light to be shaded out of the sunroom. The clear roofing has an excellent warrenty if specified screws are used. I've seen the same stuff on a friends shed and it just doesn't yellow or crack so I was impressed with it's quality. The brand is Sun-Tuf and it is a bit spendy but I don't think I'll have to replace it in my lifetime.
 

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we build raised beds with 2x12 lumber the beds are 4ftx8ft then we make hoops with 3/4in sch40 pvc pipe the hoops are about 27 in high they are screwed into the sides of the beds on the inside. we use 3/4 in pvc crosses on the tops and sides of the pvc. the end pipes use tees now this gives you room to slide 1/2 pvc through the crosses ending in the tees for easy removal when working the beds. on a 8ft bed use 4 hoops.I use 6 mil clear plastic for covers then use 1inx2in x 8 ft strips to screw to the 2x12 to hold the plastic in place. the side and top pipe helps hold the plastic sheeting in place in high wind
 

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Viking, what kind of climate are you in?

I would have thought you would want the beds "in the groun" so to speak for the warmth and insulation value.

Just wondering because that would feeze into an ice cube and stay that way til june here.
 

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PackerBacker it is actually the other way around. We are way north of the Canadian border and raised beds definitely thaw sooner in the spring than the rest of the ground. You can make the beds a darker colour to speed it up or make a cold frame like Viking's.
 

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we build raised beds with 2x12 lumber the beds are 4ftx8ft then we make hoops with 3/4in sch40 pvc pipe the hoops are about 27 in high they are screwed into the sides of the beds on the inside. we use 3/4 in pvc crosses on the tops and sides of the pvc. the end pipes use tees now this gives you room to slide 1/2 pvc through the crosses ending in the tees for easy removal when working the beds. on a 8ft bed use 4 hoops.I use 6 mil clear plastic for covers then use 1inx2in x 8 ft strips to screw to the 2x12 to hold the plastic in place. the side and top pipe helps hold the plastic sheeting in place in high wind
Works great for us.Wh had hoop house full of greens and other plants.Even when it got cold here the sun warmed the ground so it did'nt freeze .Now further up north will be another story.

Now we have a leanto on south wall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Viking, what kind of climate are you in?

I would have thought you would want the beds "in the groun" so to speak for the warmth and insulation value.

Just wondering because that would feeze into an ice cube and stay that way til june here.
We live roughly 80 miles North of the California border at just below 1,500 feet elevation. We have very few really cold winters, some snow but generally the weather is mild and often in November, December and January we can hear the tree frogs croaking. One of the main issues of in ground veggies around here is our deer love the tender young shoots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Here's a pic of how well the broccoli and kale are doing. The Romaine lettuce is growing slowly but tastes really good and the spinach is stunted, maybe it needs a little warmer soil or it's not a companion to the nearby broccoli.
 

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If it is too cold you could always try swisschard instead of spinach, we harvest that for weeks after the first frost, just keeps growing and growing :D
 

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Great job Viking! Sure beats the old 4'x4' boxes I made out of 2x6s. Maybe one day I'll try to fancy things up around here. Those would definately look good up around the house.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Great job Viking! Sure beats the old 4'x4' boxes I made out of 2x6s. Maybe one day I'll try to fancy things up around here. Those would definately look good up around the house.
Thanks. My neighbor build his with 2X12 douglas fir but his are about 3' X12', he's got about eight beds total, only thing is that doug fir doesn't hold up to weathering all that well compared to cedar. They gave me some Swiss chard last year that was amazingly tender and eventually I may grow some but for now kale is a very good winter crop. Thing is, just since I took the pic the broccoli has grown a couple of inches and I may have to add another sideboard all around. I read about adding one ounce of 3% hydrogen peroxide per quart of water for watering the plants and that's why the veggies made that spurt in growth.
 
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