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How deep is your box?

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How deep is your box?

Post  LeeAnne12 on Thu 01 Mar 2012, 8:48 pm

I ordered 2X12's today to make my boxes. I was wondering what everyone else does. It just seemed to me that I could plant some veggies with deeper roots in the same box as the shallower rooted veggies. Is there an advantage to having them just 6 inches deep?

Thanks,

Lee Anne
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Re: How deep is your box?

Post  mageice3 on Thu 01 Mar 2012, 8:52 pm

@LeeAnne12 wrote:I ordered 2X12's today to make my boxes. I was wondering what everyone else does. It just seemed to me that I could plant some veggies with deeper roots in the same box as the shallower rooted veggies. Is there an advantage to having them just 6 inches deep?

Thanks,

Lee Anne

I'm fairly new at this but from the book Mel says that most veggies will grow in the 6 inch beds and to use high rise boxes for deep growing veggies. The cost of doing a 12 inch bed would be double for filling it with mix, and a high rise only fills one square foot with the extra 6 inches...

Dunno if It helps but I have seen several beds that were 12 inch, they filled the bottom 6 with sand to improve drainage.

James
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Re: How deep is your box?

Post  B00kemdano on Thu 01 Mar 2012, 9:03 pm

I'm new to SFG, so take it with a grain of salt!

I used 2x10s for my TTs. They aren't filled to the brim, so there's only about 8" of MM in there.

I figured if I decided to plant some long carrots, I'd make a high rise box for a square or two.
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Re: How deep is your box?

Post  mageice3 on Thu 01 Mar 2012, 9:05 pm

@B00kemdano wrote:I'm new to SFG, so take it with a grain of salt!

I used 2x10s for my TTs. They aren't filled to the brim, so there's only about 8" of MM in there.

I figured if I decided to plant some long carrots, I'd make a high rise box for a square or two.

Sorry should have mentioned my boxes are 7 inches deep, I plan to fill 6 with MM and the top inch will be mulched to help keep water in during the windy dry summers we have.

James
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Re: How deep is your box?

Post  sfg4uKim on Thu 01 Mar 2012, 9:18 pm

@LeeAnne12 wrote:I ordered 2X12's today to make my boxes. I was wondering what everyone else does. It just seemed to me that I could plant some veggies with deeper roots in the same box as the shallower rooted veggies. Is there an advantage to having them just 6 inches deep?

Thanks,

Lee Anne

Hi Lee Anne:

Have you had the opportunity to read the All New Square Foot Gardening book? If not, it's got a TON of great info. There's really no reason to make your beds deeper than 6" - you can add a Top Hat to an individual square to grow deeper veggies like carrots.

You can see a photo here: Top Hat

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Re: How deep is your box?

Post  CWJones on Thu 01 Mar 2012, 10:16 pm

A quick primer on lumber. Due to the way lumber is produced a standard 2X6 board actually measures 1 3/4 X 5 1/2 inches. A 2 X 8 will come out about 1 3/4 X 7 1/4. This is because the board is cut to size green or wet, easier to cut and doesn't dull the saw blade as quickly. Then the board is dried and shrinks. So all lumber will measure out slightly smaller than the stated size. The length will be right as that is cut after it is dried. Except manufactured lumber such as plywood and pressboard, that is as labled.

That is the reasoning I used to make my first two 4 X 4 foot boxes with 2 X8 boards. I intend to make my first batch of mix to fill two boxes (about 18 cu ft of mix). Thus they should be filled to slightly less than level. Close enough for government work!! Another thing I did was wrap each board in black 4 mil plastic before putting the boxes together. I did this because I saw somewhere someone discussing termites destroying his boxes, and I'm thinking it should keep the boards dry and slow down them rotting out. May not work as it may just hold in any moisture and rot them faster. But I'll find out one way or another. I had the plastic from a project several years ago anyway.

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Re: How deep is your box?

Post  LeeAnne12 on Thu 01 Mar 2012, 10:41 pm

Have you had the opportunity to read the All New Square Foot Gardening book? If not, it's got a TON of great info

Yes, I have read the book, but on my Kindle, and I didn't bookmark anything on it. I've ordered the paperback and should get it by Monday. It's much easier to thumb through them than it is to try and search info on the Kindle. Thanks for the info on the top hat. Based on everyone's opinion, I think I'll call the lumber store and see if I can catch them before they cut the wood.

I had no idea that the actual size was smaller than what it says. So, now my squares will be a little off. Grrr...the perfectionist coming out. Is it noticeable when you are trying to put them together?

Thanks!

Lee Anne
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Re: How deep is your box?

Post  CWJones on Thu 01 Mar 2012, 11:02 pm

No your squares will not be off as the length is cut after drying. The only thing that is not exact is the height and width of the board. I'm a bit of a precision nut too.

CWJ
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How deep is the box?

Post  tomperrin on Thu 01 Mar 2012, 11:12 pm

@LeeAnne12 wrote: Is there an advantage to having them just 6 inches deep?

The first big advantage is that it takes a lot less MM to fill the box. Be sure to fill the box to the brim, and refill again if the mix settles below the rim. I've made the mistake of not having enough MM in a six inch box.

For most of my squares, I now use rough sawn cedar, which is unmilled, untrimmed. The boards are an honest 1" x 7". These squares are good for almost all veggies.

The exceptions go into squares made of 2" x 12" pine. These are for an area requiring greater drainage and for asparagus, corn and potatoes.
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Post  smjames63 on Fri 02 Mar 2012, 12:24 am

My first box was 3x6 made with an old picnic table that was falling apart. It was about 7" high. Considering that the wood was really old, I'm amazed to say it is still just fine - not rotting at all. My next two 4x4 beds were made with 2"x8" boards and filled 6" with MM. They are 3 years old and absolutely no sign of any problems with them except a bit of shifting (I live on a hill). As said above, you really don't want to use 12" wide boards for the entire box. The mel's mix really is the most expensive aspect of SFG, so save your money. Build a high rise box for the few instances that you would need it. I've had absolutely no problem growing my veggies and herbs in 6" of MM.

One word of caution. At the last two presentations I've given, folks have come to me with problems growing crops in their boxes. After some discussion, I realized that they had purchased a mix from a garden center that actually had soil in it. Be sure to stick with the Mel's Mix recipe. Absolutely NO soil. Just coarse vermiculite, peat moss and mixed compost. Don't count on a garden center to sell you what really needs to go into a SFG box. (My area does not have the actual Mel's Mix available at stores.)

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How deep is your box?

Post  Komanui on Fri 02 Mar 2012, 12:47 am

Aloha -

I used 1 x 8 redwood fencing for a six inch mix - it's rot resistant, fairly inexpensive & attractive. I looked at using 2 x 8 or larger untreated lumber. It was more expensive and I didn't see the need to go with the extra thickness.

Komanui
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Re: How deep is your box?

Post  1airdoc on Fri 02 Mar 2012, 6:47 am

My boxes are made of 2x12's, but it is because I had to put them on a steep hill. The downhill side sits on the ground surface, but the top edge of the uphill side is nearly level with the ground surface. Anything less than 2x12 would make the uphill edge underground!
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Re: How deep is your box?

Post  elliephant on Fri 02 Mar 2012, 8:21 am

Up until this fall all of my boxes were 6 inches...a little less because of the real wood measurements. I've grown HUGE plants in 6 inches of MM. That said, I moved in August and I stacked 2 beds on top of each other to make 12 inches. Partly because my new backyard was smaller and I had expanded a bit too much the year before. Also because my climate is extreme and I wanted to experiment with deep boxes to see if it made a difference. Won't have an answer on that until this summer when we heat up (Ok, so it's supposed to be 95 here today, but I'm talking about the endless weeks of 78/98 days without any rain)

Right now I think that any new boxes would be 8 inches, just to allow for more mulching...but ask me again after this summer's experiment (I have other boxes still at the original 6 inches)

ETA: Let me clarify that I only moved a matter of blocks, so the same climate.

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