Author Topic: First time vegetable gardener in raised beds. Need advice  (Read 938 times)

Offline bensev

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First time vegetable gardener in raised beds. Need advice
« on: October 28, 2016, 05:44:31 AM »
I am going to grow vegetable crops from next season. People are telling that home grown vegetables are healthy and cheap too. My wife is also very much interested in it. We will be able to feed our children nutritious organic food.

I want the best technique to build the garden in the backyard. I read about raised garden beds. It is compact, easy to build, just like they say, looks like give better yields too. I think it is really good for planting herbs like ginger, turmeric, and garlic.

I want to know your suggestions about the raised bed. I heard that they can be made with wood or concrete. I have some cinder blocks in my shed. I think I can use that for its construction. Please share your thoughts.


Offline spuds

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Re: First time vegetable gardener in raised beds. Need advice
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2016, 08:38:29 AM »
Hi Bensev
 well come  to the best forum

if you have replay on your tv look at gardeners world , think it was two weeks ago when the gardener on there was making beds
the  beds he made was out of wood ,but I see no reason not to make them with blocks
the t.v. gardener had three foot high posts in each corner so as he could drape netting over the plants or use as supports for canes
keeps the bugs off ThU:-)

do not make the beds to wide , I think four feet is plenty wide enough
« Last Edit: October 28, 2016, 08:41:04 AM by spuds »
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Offline Big Gee

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Re: First time vegetable gardener in raised beds. Need advice
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2016, 12:39:15 PM »
I've found over the years that raised beds of 4 x 16 feet (1.2 x 4.9m) work very well. It's important not to go beyond 4' in width (unless you have orangutang arms!).

There are pros and cons when choosing materials. Concrete block borders are great & solid, but very permanent! Wood is easy, aesthetically pleasing and easier to change, but unlike concrete it rots eventually.

Putting posts in the corners is a good idea, although I prefer to use alkathene hoops (blue water pipe) for the job. If you put saddle brackets on the outside of your borders, then you can slot the pipes into them to keep them rigid, for draping over the netting or possibly plastic sheeting (like a mini polytunnel).

The height of the beds is up to you. Some, especially disabled gardeners have them at heights of around a yard (1m) so there's no need for bending- but they take a hell of a lot of filling!

Offline Poppa Tommo

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Re: First time vegetable gardener in raised beds. Need advice
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2016, 07:34:11 AM »
I have four large raised beds constructed from timber and have them constructed from very thick boards some 40mm thick. Here we call them 'dung boards' or 'stock boards', generally used on farms for cow barns etc.

I got a bit over enthusiastic with my first bed and used readymade off cuts from a barn construction. I now have an over-wide bed that is difficult to cultivate, weed and harvest from.😡
Stock board. Expensive - yes, but durable, very strong and able to retain higher beds. I have my beds at about a metre high so that they are easier to cultivate and harvest from. Also manageable from a disabled point of view.

Don't forget - the higher the bed the better the drainage - great for some plants but not for thirsty ones so make sure that you have water on tap.

One thing to be mindful of when deciding on the height of your bed is how are you going to fill it. If your bed is only 30cm high by, say, 4m long by 1m wide you will need approx' 1.3 cubic metres of soil to fill it. Double that and you are heading towards 3 cubic metres. That's a lot of material to both acquire and shift, so make sure you can source your soil. Another thing to note is that even though you might over fill it initially it will settle surprisingly quite a lot in the first year so you will need to top it up. More soil needed.

What about your paths between your beds. The best I can come up with is woven weed suppressant covered with a layer of large road chippings (40mm down). Weeds will still make it but the weed suppressant makes them easy to pull.

Well that's about it from me so go ahead and enjoy your gardening.
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Offline aftermidnight

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Re: First time vegetable gardener in raised beds. Need advice
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2016, 03:22:21 PM »
One of my raised beds is waist high, for the first few years it was used as a compost box for things that needed time to break down, like cut up raspberry canes, corn husks (bought corn :) garden clean up in the fall etc. When it was a little more than 3/4 full  I added a bale of sunshine mix, mixed in some finished compost and started planting, each year I added another bale of mix and a bag of sea soil. Next year I'm only going to have to add compost, it has finally stopped settling.