Raised Gardening?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by ChickenTracy, Mar 30, 2006.

  1. ChickenTracy

    ChickenTracy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    243
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Location:
    West Virginia
    Am planning on doing some raised beds this year. Our garden is on a slope & stays too wet in early spring to get our tilling & planting done causing a delay in crops. Not planning on a large garden this year & thought these would be a good alternative. Any tips or ideas for raised beds? tia
     
  2. hollym

    hollym Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,314
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Location:
    TX
    I made some of mine out of landscape timbers with 2X8's nailed on the ends. Some are made of big rocks. Some are higher and are made of scrounged 2X6's with 4X4 corner posts.

    People also use cinderblocks. You can plant marigolds in the holes! If your site isn't TOO soggy, you can just rake the dirt up in mounds with pathways in between. Cost effective, if your dirt won't wash away.

    hollym
     

  3. Woodroe

    Woodroe Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    381
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2005
    Location:
    sw virginia
    I used old cinder blocks and topped them with old solid bricks. Has a nice look and also is very sturdy.
     
  4. mammabooh

    mammabooh Metal melter Supporter

    Messages:
    7,152
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Location:
    Jeromesville, Ohio (northcentral)
    I go for the rustic look...logs. They are easy to move if I need to and they're free!
     
  5. Earthbound

    Earthbound Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,013
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Location:
    Vancouver Island BC
  6. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,274
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2003
    Location:
    Colorado
    In consideration of your wet climate, allow for drainage before you construct the boxes. Dig a trench and place a perforated plastic drainage pipe down the length and out of box. This will improve the soil conditions for the plants.
     
  7. MsPacMan

    MsPacMan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    273
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2004
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Actually, there is no law that says you have to enclose your raised beds within walls of any sort.


    I just mound up the lush, organically enriched dirt on top of my existing clay soil, and then dig shallow trenches on each side into the clay soil to facilitate draining (since my garden beds are on a slight slope). Works great. I have five such raised beds, each 50 feet long. Some are 3 and 1/2 feet wide, others are 5 feet wide.
     
  8. menollyrj

    menollyrj Joy Supporter

    Messages:
    2,569
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Location:
    Middle TN
    Our garden is on a hillside as well. We had my FIL plow the spot, marked off 3' beds with 18" walkways, and used a hoe to pile the loose topsoil from the walkways up onto the bed area. No, I didn't double dig. (Don't tell...) We've had two torrential downpours, and the only beds that eroded each time were the topmost bed (without a fully dug walkway on the upper side), and even then the erosion was limited to about 8-10" section of the bed.

    Good luck!

    -Joy
     
  9. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,910
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2003
    Location:
    tn
    i was in a similar situation last year. had just moved, and needed a place to garden pretty quick. the best area for a garden has a serious drainage problem.

    i used cinderblocks, mainly because there was a leftover pile of them already here. i absolutely love them, and built 3 more this year, for a total of 8, 6 square and 2 long and narrow.

    i use plastic grocery bags to plug the holes, to keep weeds out of them. they can easily be filled with dirt and planted. the marigolds idea is a really good one! might try that this year.

    i'll never go back to more traditional gardening, long rows that need to be tillered and hoed. i hate hoeing. all the work in the raised beds can be done by hand.
     
  10. ChickenTracy

    ChickenTracy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    243
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Location:
    West Virginia
    Lots of great ideas! I'm hoping to get mine started this week & get some plants set out. I've just gotten totally fed up with trying to get the garden tilled & planted when it doesn't dry up half the time until late may or early june. Thanks.:)