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Old 04-28-2015, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Canada
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Hi, I want my hubby to make me a few raised beds out of wood for planting a few different kinds of vegetables (peas, potatoes, tomatoes, zuccini squash, swiss chard, etc)

What is the best height to make them and do you fill them entirely with dirt, or do you put rocks or bricks? or something else? in the bottom for drainage?

Sorry, one more question: do you line the bottom first with weed resistant cloth or does it matter?

Thanks, Ann
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Old 04-28-2015, 10:04 AM
 
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Raised Beds - Soil Depth Requirements

Raised Beds - Soil depth requirements
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Old 04-28-2015, 10:08 AM
 
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I think the best height, depends on your motivation for doing a raised bed. If one of your motivations is so that you don't have to bend over as far to weed, then I'd make them rather high, like 24".

As for what to put in the bottom, I'd suggest small organic branches and other wood, if you have access to it. You won't have to water as often, if that is a concern at all. Try searching the web for the word Hugelkultur -- lots of info about it out there.
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Old 04-28-2015, 10:09 AM
 
Location: North West Arkansas (zone 6b)
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I would line the bottom with lots of newspaper. Atleast 6-10 pages.

The height should be atleast 6 inches deep unless you want to go higher to save on bending over. If you have any garden waste (leaves, twigs etc) you can try to break them up so they lie flat and then put them on top of the newspaper.

There are different ways of filling the beds. One popular way is to use equal parts Peat Moss (or coconut coir), perlite (or vermiculite), mixed compost (try to use at least 2 different kinds of compost). Add some lime and some slow release fertilizer.

For compost look for: cotton burr, yard compost, mushroom, municipal

I've heard that mushroom compost is comprised of mostly chicken manure and tends to be a little too "hot" sometimes where you could risk burning the roots of plants due to the manure continuing to compost.

If the ground is workable (ie not alot of rocks), try to loosen the soil and mix a bit of perlite and compost in so your deeper rooted plants can go down below the beds eventually.

I built a 10 min raised bed this weekend using 3 pieces of 2X6X8 pressure treated lumber. I'm still buying the components to make the soil. I'm not going to worry about the chemicals in the pressure treated lumber.
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Old 04-28-2015, 10:10 AM
 
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there's also tiered raised beds where a box contains different heights for planting vegetables with different height requirements.
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Old 04-28-2015, 10:13 AM
 
Location: North West Arkansas (zone 6b)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ottc777 View Post
there's also tiered raised beds where a box contains different heights for planting vegetables with different height requirements.
My neighbor has one of these contraptions from Sams Club. It didn't last the first year and he had to reinforce it to keep the wood together. Not worth the $45-70 in my opinion.
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Old 04-28-2015, 10:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by gunslinger256 View Post
My neighbor has one of these contraptions from Sams Club. It didn't last the first year and he had to reinforce it to keep the wood together. Not worth the $45-70 in my opinion.
I have one of those as well, but mine's still doing great. A section got wiped out when a tree came down on it, but 90% of it held up to the blow. I've even moved it from one side of the yard to another, and it's held up great. My garden is growing like crazy this year.
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Old 04-28-2015, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Canada
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Wow, you guys are quick! Great info and thanks for the link need4speed!

Our ground is just starting to thaw up here in Ontario. We have such a short growing season, but I love doing a bit of gardening anyways.
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Old 04-28-2015, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
80,518 posts, read 68,564,279 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by need4speed2012 View Post
Raised Beds - Soil Depth Requirements

Raised Beds - Soil depth requirements
This link has everything you need to know including Height of plant at maturity (you don't want to use a ladder to harvest veggies), roots, preference, expense, soil amendments, ect

Friend of mine said "I want to build a raised bed for Tomato plants because I don't want to till and dig down"

You still have to till below surface. Maybe not as much but roots don't want just 3-5" depth unless they are small plants. So heads up on putting any weed blockers down since you'll need to till and dig down. (Unless you have 1 foot raised beds).
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:18 AM
 
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You can even do a raised bed table garden: https://www.google.com/search?q=rais...w=1600&bih=763
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