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Raised Bed Vegatable Gardening

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  • Raised Bed Vegatable Gardening

    I would like to see a discussion on Raised Bed Vegatable Gardening. If it is already here I must have missed it.

    Thanks

  • #2
    Here are my thoughts on raised beds:

    Advantages:
    - No matter how bad your existing soil is, you can just build a raised bed on top of it, with new soil in it.
    - Good for your back, if you build a high enough bed
    - Less likely to suffer from soil compaction because there's a clear boundary between walking areas and growing areas
    - Gives you another excuse to spend most of your time outside in the garden ;-)

    Disadvantages:
    - Costs more than usual row gardening
    - It takes time to build raised beds
    - Must be made of high quality wood in order to survive the weather

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    • #3
      I agree with Thomas.

      Newt

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      • #4
        Raised Bed Gardening

        I love raised bed gardening!
        I have eight beds; four foot wide by eight foot long by two foot high.
        They are still snow-covered and awaiting the warmth of the sun [as am I]!

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        • #5
          Hi Steamheater,

          What are your raised beds constructed from?

          Newt

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          • #6
            Newt,
            The beds are constructed of 2" x 12" CA [copper azone] lumber. I know that treated lumber is considered a "no-no" by some but I believe that what I am utilizing is the best alternative.
            Hopefully, I am right.
            Art

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            • #7
              Steamheater, thanks for getting back to me. The problem with copper treated wood is the leaching of the copper into the soil, especially if you are growing edibles. Too much copper ingestion can be toxic to humans and animals.
              http://www.finegardening.com/how-to/...rden-beds.aspx

              Newt

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              • #8
                Newt,
                I knew the "hazards" of copper going in but seeing as how I am 70 years old, have a metal ball&socket for a left hip, am "blessed" with a blown-out right knee, am considering having the left hip replaced and thanks to asbestos; I have COPD, I figured I could handle a bit more copper in my system :}
                The real truth is that I wanted something that would give me many years of gardening as well as make it a tad easier on my ol bod!
                I did line the beds with plastic but that too is probably "bad" for me!?
                All-in-all; I feel as though I made the right decision for our lives. Even though the vegies are laced with a minute amount of copper, they sure do taste good!
                Hmmm, you don't suppose copper adds flavor, do you?

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                • #9
                  Art, you gave me a giggle with your description of your physical 'replacements'. My hubby, who is only behind you by 4 years, has a similar history from knee replacements to titanium plates in his neck to joint replacements in his hand (with more to come), so I understand wanting to make it easier on your 'bod' for gardening.

                  The copper one gets from veggies grown in soil that has been leached into, in and of itself, may not cause harm, but with heavy metals it's cumulative. So my hope would be that any children or young folks eating those veggies won't be potentially harmed at a later time. And yes, copper can add some flavor. :)

                  Newt

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                  • #10
                    Newt,
                    We do share our small bounty with others but mostly it is the squashes, cukes, tomatoes and other plants that are grown in beds made of "huge" rocks. Hey, they felt awful huge when I was moving them!
                    I grow mostly lettuce, chard, spinach, mesclun, peas and carrots in the beds made of wood. We tend to devour those crops before they even get a chance to mature. I also have 2 beds with asparagus in them which I cannot even think about harvesting for another year!
                    The beds do make my gardening easier because of the fact that when I get down on the ground, I do have to look around for anything else that I can do before I crawl to a rock and use it as leverage to get back up! :}
                    Here's to spring!
                    art

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                    • #11
                      Art, I can sooo relate to having to use something for leverage to get up. I too look around to see what I can do while I'm on the ground. Yesterday, while I was on the road doing a double run for the Pet Railroad, hubby was in the veggie garden turning the soil. When I phoned to tell him I was running late due to an unexpected Great Dane that took up too much room for the other dogs and cat, he was moaning. He said he'd 'wrenched' his back turning over the soil. It was a long night of ice packs, linament and massage. Today he drove 4 hours one way to go see his 92 year old mother who is in the hospital. He just called to say he's on his way home and to have the ice packs and linament on the ready! At least he got his onions in the ground!

                      Much of the pleasure of my trip yesterday was that I got to drive 2 hours south into almost the central part of SE Virginia. All the forsythia were blooming along with daffodils. I could see the buds on the cherry trees ready to pop and some of the pears were already in bloom. Along with the puppy kisses I got, it made for a great day! Spring is on it's way to you.

                      Newt

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                      • #12
                        Ouch!

                        Newt,
                        I can relate to the "wrenched back" and the pain that goes with it.
                        What I can't relate to [but do dream about] is being able to plant in March!
                        My father retired to Arkansas and he too was able to plant in March. How nice that would be!
                        Here in our neck of the woods; we are lucky if we can get the peas in by May 15th. Everything else goes into the ground on June 1st [if the weather co-operates].
                        I am going to try covering a few of the raised beds with plastic and attempt to make "mini-greenhouses" this spring. I still can't do that because of the snow surrounding my raised beds but will be doing it soon. The snow is receding quickly! I will soon be uncovering the garlic bulbs. Yippee!
                        Our fruit trees are just beginning to show signs of budding, the raspberries still look as though they dead, The forsythias are actually limbering up, our daffodils and tulips are still shivering under the ground. A few brave bulbs right against the house have pushed themselves above ground [testing the weather, I think] and we look forward to the colorful show to come.
                        It sounds like you have quite a houseful [and a car full]!
                        Can you hurry up that delivery of spring?
                        art

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                        • #13
                          Art, I can't hurry spring, but I can commiserate. I grew up in the Catskill Mtns. of NY State and my daughter and sil used to live north of Chicago. I remember the bone chilling cold and the deep snow. It has it's own beauty, but I do apprecaite the warmer climate here. One of the things I appreciate about the climate here is the great diversity of plant material. I do miss the fall colors that New England offers. In the fall of 2007 I visited New England all the way to your state and it was just one amazing vista after another. The lobster wasn't bad either! :)

                          Newt

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                          • #14
                            Lobsters in Maine

                            Hello Newt,
                            Spring is getting oh, so close! Still have a bit of snow in the gardens but I can see a lot of bare ground. It won't be long until the land magically and very quickly, turns to all shades of green. No sign of my asparagus yet! Pea-planting, spinach, chard and radish planting about two weeks away. Then we will battle the frost and attempt to get in our other vegies. We will be putting out the hummingbird feeders in a week or so! Last week we were finding a lot of dead baby birds in the yard. Sadly, we think some of our over-wintering goldfinches got ahead of themselves. As for those yummy lobsters; I don't eat them but my wife and sister-in-law love em! By the way; they make fantastic compost! art

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                            • #15
                              Art, I'm so glad you mentioned the hummer feeders. I almost forgot to put mine out as I usually do it on April 1st. If you would like to track their route north to you, you can do that here and see when folks report they have arrived.
                              http://www.hummingbirds.net/map.html

                              I almost forgot to mention about the dead birds. I hope you didn't handle them with your bare hands. Take a look here.
                              http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/west..._factsheet.htm

                              Oh, and crab shells are also great in compost!

                              Newt

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