Raised flower and herb beds

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Caelma, Nov 12, 2005.

  1. Caelma

    Caelma Well-Known Member

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    Mar 7, 2005
    I know, I know, it's only Nov but with the new cabin I'm getting excited.
    Couldn't sleep last night and with a hot cup of tea, snuggled under the blankets with pen and paper jotting down plans.

    I have several questions

    1) I have always heard the chemicals from RXR ties could seep into ones soil and not to use them.
    Is this true?

    2) I like that cottage stone but not sure what it will cost me up in AK,
    so would love ideas from you all.

    3) Can anyone post pictures of their raised beds?

    4) For herbs what depth shoud the raised beds be?

    5) Is it true in raised beds, things grow better cause the soil is warmer or is that an old wives tale?

    6) What depth for bulbed plants?

    7) How far in advance (for sold climates) can you plant inside to eventually transplant outside?

    I have a few more questions and will be doing a lot of reading this winter. If there are any books, web sites or yahoo type groups you can recommend I would sure appreciate it.
    Thank you
     
  2. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    May 20, 2004
    Location:
    SE Missouri
    Just cut some spruce trees and lop off the limbs and use the trunks to make your raised beds. Things decay way slow in AK so they will last several years.

    Plant when the tree leaves are as big as squirrel paws.

    If you don't start things inside pretty early, you won't get to have a crop. Leafy plants (lettuce, cabbage, etc will grow tremendous) but it is hard to ripen tomatoes without a greenhouse. You won't get to set stuff out before June usually.

    There are tons of rocks all over the place in AK. I used them to make raised beds when I lived in Anchorage.

    Peas (snow, English, etc) grow great. Corn is hard but there are varieties that will grow in AK.

    A greenhouse is not a luxury.
     

  3. suelandress

    suelandress Windy Island Acres Supporter

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    Location:
    The Quiet Corner of CT
    I'm in New England, probably a bit colder than you. I start flower seeds end of January/beginning of February (some of them take a couple of months to germinate) I start veggies, etc, end of February beginning of March.

    My raised beds don't have supports. It's just 5-6 inches of dirt and holds together rather well. In fact, in the flood we had in October, with a river basically going over a new raised bed under the willow, the soil stayed in place (the hostas, however, uprooted and floated away) Every fall, I cover my veggie beds with a thick layer of leaves and the flower beds with a mix of shredded leaves and wood chips. I do have one bed....my herb bed....that is surrounded by left over chunks of firewood, but they are more decorative than anything.

    Have fun with your new adventure. Winter is good for planning! I have lots of perennial seeds if you'd like some. Just PM me.

    PS Just noticed on Cy's thread you're moving to AK....so maybe you are colder! What zone are you in?
     
  4. BeckyW

    BeckyW Well-Known Member

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    Colorado
    You might want to take a look at www.northerngardening.com Their garden forum is especially good. I haven't been there lately - it was a read only for non-members (had to pay to join to post). Not sure if it's still that way. It has excellent info for mountain growers and while I've never looked, there's probably a sub-forum for Alaska, Canada and other long-day gardeners.

    BW
     
  5. JAK

    JAK Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    New Brunswick
    1) I have always heard the chemicals from RXR ties could seep into ones soil and not to use them. Is this true?
    - I think so

    4) For herbs what depth shoud the raised beds be?
    - If you mean perrenial herbs that is an interesting question. Raised beds generally extend the season in the Spring but shorten the season in the Fall. No with row covers and what not you can extend the season both ways. In general I would say same depth as for vegetables. The best height for raised beds depends on both temperature and moisture, and how deep and well drained your soil is underneath, and how much water you have to spare. In some climates sunken beds are better than raised beds, so I would guess the optimal depth is anywhere from -12" to +30", depending on where you are.

    5) Is it true in raised beds, things grow better cause the soil is warmer or is that an old wives tale?
    - True in the Spring. False in the Fall.

    6) What depth for bulbed plants?
    - Deep enough to drain well if that is the problem.

    7) How far in advance (for sold climates) can you plant inside to eventually transplant outside?
    - Only so far that the plants are not ready before the outside is ready. Even if danger of frost has past the soil might still be too wet. Raised beds can allow you to move outside sooner, and thus start inside sooner.

    There is really a continuum between all the various gardening methods. The key is to understand each plant you are planning on growing, and how it will respond to modified environments. Don't feel you have to treat all plants the same way. Try a little bit of everything to learn faster, while managing you time and money wisely and keeping it fun.