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Thread: Raised bed question

  1. #1

    Default Raised bed question

    I'm going to put in a raised bed this weekend. My planned dimensions are 16' long, 4' wide and 9" tall. Does that seem ok? As in, is it tall enough to be effective? Also, I'm planning on putting it in my yard, should i remove the sod underneath first? It seems like 9 inches of dirt would effectively kill the grass and make removing it unnecessary.
    I live in anchorage and will be growing zucchini tomatoes, peppers beans onions and cucumbers. Hopefully.. This is my first year attempting it.
    Any advice is greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jibby View Post
    I'm going to put in a raised bed this weekend. My planned dimensions are 16' long, 4' wide and 9" tall. Does that seem ok? As in, is it tall enough to be effective? Also, I'm planning on putting it in my yard, should i remove the sod underneath first? It seems like 9 inches of dirt would effectively kill the grass and make removing it unnecessary.
    I live in anchorage and will be growing zucchini tomatoes, peppers beans onions and cucumbers. Hopefully.. This is my first year attempting it.
    Any advice is greatly appreciated!
    If it were me, I'd remove the sod.
    9" deep should be deep enough to grow any of the common root vegetables
    Good luck with the tomatoes and cucumbers outside. Most (successful) gardeners who grow tomatoes, and cucumbers outside, do so up next to a building on the south side.

  3. #3

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    Yeah, I'm not super optimistic about the cuc's or tomatoes after all that I've read, but we shall see.
    Just out of curiosity, why would you remove the sod first?

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jibby View Post
    Yeah, I'm not super optimistic about the cuc's or tomatoes after all that I've read, but we shall see.
    Just out of curiosity, why would you remove the sod first?
    to keep it from growing up into the raised bed.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    When I put mine in, I put down a ground cloth to prevent things like equisetum from coming up. You'd be surprised how resilient some of those plants can be - 9" isn't much for some of the weeds you may find in your yard.

    Actually, mine are a few feet deep, but the first 6-12" was filled with large rocks which were then covered with ground cloth. That provides for good drainage and reduced my need for more soil (thus saving some $$ since I used relatively expensive soil).




  6. #6

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    I think I'm going to put down some blue board on the bottom, to insulate it from the ground and also to prevent the weeds from popping up into the bed. Is this a good idea? It seems like it would keep it warmer, but are there other effects I'm not considering?

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    Member mudbuddy's Avatar
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    Never tired blue board . Might work well.
    Only issue I can think of is drainage. Maybe if it's at an angle it'll be OK.

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    Member AK6Pack's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Jibby;1281007]I think I'm going to put down some blue board on the bottom

    Just my .02 but I wouldn't want my plants roots trying to grow into the foam and leaching some weird chemical out of the blue board.....

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    Member mudbuddy's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=AK6Pack;1281121]
    Quote Originally Posted by Jibby View Post
    I think I'm going to put down some blue board on the bottom

    Just my .02 but I wouldn't want my plants roots trying to grow into the foam and leaching some weird chemical out of the blue board.....
    Blue board is a closed cell , water tight, insulation

  10. #10

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    Narrow your bed down to three feet wide instead of four. It really helps when reaching to the middle of the bed while planting, weeding and harvesting without have to lean over to far or stepping into the bed itself.

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    I would narrow it to 2 to 3 feet as Mad said I did 4 footers and end up like Brian trying to weed. Put do a newspaper 5 or 6 thick to kill the grass it will break down after a couple months.

    Rob

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    Member SkinnyD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_rob View Post
    I would narrow it to 2 to 3 feet as Mad said I did 4 footers and end up like Brian trying to weed. Put do a newspaper 5 or 6 thick to kill the grass it will break down after a couple months.

    Rob
    This is good advice. You'll pull more weeds if you can reach them.
    Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.


  13. #13

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    What about root maggots? I have read (on the back of my seed packet) that radishes need to be protected from them. Can the way you build your beds provide protection? I dont even know what a root maggot is but it sounds bad. Advice?

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    Member power drifter's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=mudbuddy;1281138]
    Quote Originally Posted by AK6Pack View Post

    Blue board is a closed cell , water tight, insulation
    That is what everyone has thought, but have heard now that over the years they are finding some of it soaked up water like a sponge and it doesn't come back out.

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon3464 View Post
    What about root maggots? I have read (on the back of my seed packet) that radishes need to be protected from them. Can the way you build your beds provide protection? I dont even know what a root maggot is but it sounds bad. Advice?
    The best way I have discovered to fight root maggots on onions, radishes, and turnips is with nematodes. for $21 (more or less) you get a little sponge that supposedly has millions of nematodes in it, soak it in water, then pour the water on your veggies and you won't have any root maggots...

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    98992446P.jpegHoop Tunnels.jpg

    4 foot wide beds are not too wide as long as you can reach in from both sides. My main beds are 16" deep. Warm season crops like peppers and tomatoes and even green beans do much better under plastic hoops. I always remove the sod and fork over the soil to loosen it up for drainage. Insulating the base to speed up soil warming is an interesting idea. Better to use IRT brown plastic row cover over your beds. It will suppress weeds and allow infra-red solar heat to warm your beds - much better than black plastic. You can get it at Far North Garden Supply.

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    Default Wasilla Planter nice setup

    That is a nice outside bed design. How are tomatoes doing for you in those? Can you keep aphids off of peppers?

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