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Monday, September 10, 2012

Raised Beds

Ok, I drank the Kool-aid,

we’re moving the garden to raised beds. At least part of it for now.  

The stinkin crabgrass that would make a jungle vine proud has won this battle…. but not the war.  After Mr. Fix-It came home and ate supper we went and picked up lumber for 3- 4x8 beds to start with & I plan on adding more as the budget allows this fall. So, raised beds will be built in the next few days.  We want them in & ready to go for spring.

I know in my heart a lot of the gardening failure this year was out of my control & the raised beds are not certain guarantee of a successful harvest but, I think they will help the weed issues. I hate just spending the cash on the lumber but but spending the money seems like the right move.

I’ve been researching as much as I can about growing in raised beds and its funny (frustrating) how so many sources are conflicting in the information provided. 

The Plan” as it stands now is to build the beds, (scrape the top spoil back) lay about 3 double layers of cardboard down first to block weeds, and load it with about 6 inches of my good top soil. Let it set for about a week so it will sprout any weeds that may be lurking and clean those out…then add another 6 inches or so and repeat the weed watch.   By then I should have another good sized load of rabbit poo in wood shaving to add. I’ll top it off with another layer or 2 of cardboard for winter.   The topsoil I’m using is compost rich so it should be fine but, if you see anything else I should/could do please let me know. 

I’ve also contacted a few tree trimmers we know & they will gladly dump their shreds here. (Tornado season is starting soon and well, downed trees are a given)  I plan to use it for mulching the pathways between the raised beds & some to the (new/gonna be) compost bin…which is another project that will be rebuilt bigggggger.

I had no where near enough compost ready this summer…..but then I’m not convinced you ever can have enough compost!



  1. So true-there is never enough compost. I hope like the raised beds. I find them so easy to care for--it's always easier to face a small area to weed rather than one great big space. Once the main weeds are gone, it's just a minor chore to keep up with it. I started out with 6 beds and now have 28!! It just keeps going-LOL!
    I would suggest trying to find a small sawmill in the area--the wood is SO MUCH cheaper there, than in a lumberyard/home improvement store.

  2. Good luck with the raised beds. I have a pyramid for my strawberries.


    Might be another idea for you. I like it, as it's easy to access a "boat" load of plants, however it still gets a bad case of the weeds if I don't take stay on top of it.

  3. Thanks Sue,WOW! I'm not sure I'll have that many beds LOL! Thanks for the lumber tip though. I know they are tearing old barns down all the time and will see if I can harvest some of that wood too. Yes, working a smaller space in mentally easier than facing a field garden

  4. Izzy, We built a similar strawberry garden last year& I love it. Not to many berries as the plants were young & I've let them shoot runners most of the year so, next year God willing we will be loaded with berries.

  5. Sounds like you have a great plan. Looking forward to how successful you are next year!

  6. I think you'll love the raised beds. We have 26 of them plus the field garden and pumpkin patch. There are certain things that don't do really well in the raised beds so I plant them in the more traditional way. Your soil sounds as if it will be plenty good enough that you can plant very intensively in the raised beds. You will have virtually NO weeds that way . . . or certainly very few. Mid-summer I can completely weed all my 26 raised beds in under an hour. And that's if I've really let them go.

  7. Thanks MP, your imput is much appreciated. I plan on keeping the peppers and tomato's in the same established garden area they are in. That soil is like gold!


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