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Thread: New 16' raised bed filled with fresh compost,

  1. #1
    Member mudbuddy's Avatar
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    Default New 16' raised bed filled with fresh compost,

    Used 2 - 2 X 12s X 16 ft & some old plywood for the ends.
    Got a load of rejects from Lowes last year cheap, use them for soil boxes.
    Put it in the garden & filled with fresh compost. 5 wheel barrow loads of a small pallet bin that was done allot better than I thought. Topped the compost with 1 wheel barrow load of Horse Manure compost. then shoveled in a few inches of garden soil. Mixed with a pitch fork. watered. Letting it set for a week until planting time. It will be Granddaughter's garden spot for peas.
    1st pic full of compost from pallet bin, 2nd pic mixed & watered.
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    Would you say that raised beds are the best way to avoid the frost issues when winter comes? Maybe raised bed + low canopy if you want to extend the season?

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    Member mudbuddy's Avatar
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    You may gain a few days , maybe a week or 2 depending on the weather.
    But when it gets cold, we usually have several hours below freezing & with out a heat
    source, everything freezes. I get about an extra week maybe 2 with the Green House. The reason
    is we are loosing daylight, the sun strength is less & less every day (by about 1 hour+ per week
    loss of daylight& sun angle is getting less).
    You can save some of the cabbage family from "frost bite, but only for a few days.
    Then it's not "frost" that gets it, it freezes.

    Now in the Spring, the soil boxes are above ground, so they warm up (thaw) faster
    (gaining sun strength & angle, which gives warmer soil temps for a few weeks earlier planting for many seed.

    The ultimate, for Spring planting, would be to have the bottom 6" of soil, fresh Horse Manure
    or something to generate heat to keep it warm at night.

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    Not in a green house but a friend two years ago was struggling with the cold summer. He took some good size rocks and placed them besides some of the plants. The rocks would heat up during the day and then keep the warmth later in the evening. The plants besides the rocks did much better. I was wondering if an infloor radiant heat thing would work. Build a solar heater to heat a 30 gal black drum with black pipe snaked in ground. Even a wood stove might heat the main source a bit... Just a thought.

    George

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    Member garnede's Avatar
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    I have 1 gallon jugs as "drip" irrigation.



    Maybe if you need more ground heat you could do the same, but instead of poking a hole in the bottom to water your plants, you could paint the bottle black and leave it full. A half buried bottle would gain a lot of heat to transfer to the soil.

    As a side note the 1 gallon jugs make great drip irrigation. I just made a small hole in the bottom and buried them 3/4 in the ground. When it is dry they need refilling in about 4 days, but if we get rain they can take over 2 weeks to drain. They water from the bottom forcing plants to send their roots down deep for water.
    It ain't about the # of pounds of meat we bring back, nor about how much we spent to go do it. Its about seeing what no one else sees.

    http://wouldieatitagainfoodblog.blogspot.com/

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    After looking at mudbuddies GH and garden boxes, I decided I should begin to shift to the long boxes and get away from roto-tilling, and weed pulling... Kinda pricey getting 2x12's and getting started, but figure to build one or two boxes a year for the next several years.. I'm not too excited about moving all that dirt/compost/manure with a shovel, but I got more time than money or good sense...

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    Member mudbuddy's Avatar
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    Good deal John.
    I think you 'll like them. I'm always looking at HD & Lowes for their rejects. Usually 1/2 price. Bowed/twisted allot but the plants don't care.
    I had to compact the soil the first year. Compost is lighter than dirt & didn't hold the water very well. Worked good after I walked on them then dug holes to plant. Now I just dig a hole & plant. I have to add some compost to the top, but I like that, plant food..
    I even have earth worms in the boxes now, I think that's a good thing. No idea where they came from. Compost piles I guess.

    Shoveling is good exercise, keeps your arms strong for when you hook the big one.

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