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what to use under my SFG bed?

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what to use under my SFG bed?

Post  Treefrog on 8/21/2012, 3:03 pm

So Im going to have to put my sfg planters on top of peagravel and i dont want to have the soil mix with the gravel. What options other than plywood would I have that wont rot or breakdown fast? I'm wanting to do three 4ft x 4ft beds for veggies and two 2ftx4ft beds for my herbs to start with and see how productive those will be and then add some more next season if need be. I cant wait to get started on my fall garden. Laughing
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Re: what to use under my SFG bed?

Post  gregrenee88 on 8/21/2012, 3:07 pm

A good weed barrier cloth. We don't have pea gravel but put ours right on top of our grass, which we cut really short beforehand.
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Re: what to use under my SFG bed?

Post  Lindacol on 8/21/2012, 3:52 pm

I would suggest hardware cloth (to keep out gophers) and weed barrior.
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Re: what to use under my SFG bed?

Post  Treefrog on 8/21/2012, 4:07 pm

THanks guys for the great idea. I will look into finding a good weed barrier to lay down under the beds. Are you guys sticking to the book and using 6 inches deep and not having moisture issues during the summer? I live in a area in the central valley and it gets very hot here and it is a battle to keep thing moist somtimes. I plan on using mel's mix recipe and making my own soil.
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Re: what to use under my SFG bed?

Post  Kelejan on 8/21/2012, 4:07 pm

@Lindacol wrote:I would suggest hardware cloth (to keep out gophers) and weed barrior.

Ditto!

Welcome, Treefrog happy hi
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Re: what to use under my SFG bed?

Post  Lindacol on 8/21/2012, 4:33 pm

@Treefrog wrote:THanks guys for the great idea. I will look into finding a good weed barrier to lay down under the beds. Are you guys sticking to the book and using 6 inches deep and not having moisture issues during the summer? I live in a area in the central valley and it gets very hot here and it is a battle to keep thing moist somtimes. I plan on using mel's mix recipe and making my own soil.

3 of my 4 beds( 2 of these are raised, table tops) were built with 2x8 lumber, making them about 7 1/2" deep. 1 is made with cindar blocks and the Mel's mix in that one is about 10". All work fine. I just figured I would rather have them a little too deep, than not deep enough and I have even grown carrots in the shorter beds - I used a variety that was only supposed to get 6-7".

Mel's mix does seem to need to be watered more often. On these very hot days we have been having I usually turn my drip watering system on twice a day for maybe 15 mins.
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Re: what to use under my SFG bed?

Post  Treefrog on 8/21/2012, 4:54 pm

Sounds good thats what I was thinking go a little to deep than not deep enough. I think I will go with my gut feeling and go 10 inches deep and see how that does this fall. I will recuit all my daughter friends for extra hands for help. It's always fun to teach the coming generation about gardening and sfg would be great to get them started.
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Re: what to use under my SFG bed?

Post  RoOsTeR on 8/21/2012, 6:40 pm

6" is all you need. Save your money or extra Mel's Mix for another bed. There is plenty of evidence here on the forum to support the fact that 6" is plenty for things like tomatoes and even carrots. If you do want a few things a bit deeper for things like potatoes or longer carrots, you can always use a top hat or two. There's really no need to go deeper...unless you've got deep pockets Very Happy but just know it's not necessary.

Here's a top hat:
http://www.squarefootgardening.com/accessories/top-hat-box-for-carrots-leeks-potatoes/
If you're a little handy you can easily fabricate your own.

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Re: what to use under my SFG bed?

Post  Treefrog on 8/21/2012, 6:58 pm

alright rooster i will start off at six inche. Like mel said in his book this technique of sfg goes totally against what I have been taught I guess I need to just take the leap and not over think it with my regular "row type garden thinking". I will stick to the book. I was just worried about water retention but the heat is ending anyway. Thank you guys this is the best forum I have been a member on.
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Re: what to use under my SFG bed?

Post  walshevak on 8/21/2012, 8:52 pm

welcome

Just wanted to add my welcome to the forum. My kit beds from Home Depot are 7" deep with 6" of MM and up on cinderblocks "a la tabletops" I'm in the lower south zone 8 and extra inch of wood did give me a bit of wind protection for emerging seedlings and a space for mulch when needed against the heat.

Kay

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Re: what to use under my SFG bed?

Post  gregrenee88 on 8/21/2012, 8:59 pm

We used what we had...2x8's but didn't fill completely to the top.
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Pine straw as a layer under garden fabric?

Post  Windmere on 3/5/2013, 11:43 am

Me again folks. Since I am on the verge of setting up my SFG garden frames, I have a lot of questions: I wanted the opinion of folks as to whether it would be a good idea to lay down pine straw under my garden fabric (all of which will go under the 3 SFG beds I am setting up). I have an abundance of pine straw because I have quite a few pine trees on my land.
thinking
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Re: what to use under my SFG bed?

Post  bnoles on 3/5/2013, 11:48 am

It really would serve no useful purpose since you are putting down fabric cloth. I would save it for mulch instead.


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Thanks for advice~

Post  Windmere on 3/5/2013, 11:55 am

Thanks for the advice regarding the pine straw.

I noticed you have a cover on your bed (the picture you chose to be your "avatar.") It looks like you used PVC pipes. I can't make out what kind of material you've used as your cover (clear plastic?).

Also, where did you get your PVC pipes and was it expensive? Since I am surrounded by pine forest, my family and I are very concerned about critters getting into our beds (and all that time and money being wasted as a result).

thinking
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Re: what to use under my SFG bed?

Post  bnoles on 3/5/2013, 12:38 pm

I used 2 10 ft long 1/2" pvc sections from Home depot to make the umbrella style cover for my bed. The are only $2 plus change each from any home center. Just attach one section by any choice to one corner and bend to the opposite corner, then do the same with the other section and use a twist tie to attach the 2 sections in the center.

It is great for about any covering you want to use. I am using plastic right now for frost and freeze protection and then I will convert to animal protection come spring and then to shade and insect material in the summer. Just go to the dollar store and pick up some cheap clips to attach your material to the frame. Works very well.

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Thanks for the tip Bob - Where did you get the clear plastic?

Post  Windmere on 3/5/2013, 1:18 pm

You are very resourceful. What an economical way to create a critter barrier and create a greenhouse effect.

Can you tell me where you picked up the plastic?

Thanks!

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Re: what to use under my SFG bed?

Post  bnoles on 3/5/2013, 1:26 pm

Got the plastic at Home Depot, but probably not the most economical source.

I can't take credit for originality on any of this, I learned everything I know from Mel and this forum.


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What to put under beds?

Post  Hans on 3/5/2013, 6:25 pm

Hi there all,

We are going to be building our beds soon and I have a question: what do you close the beds off with at the bottom? As in what material? plywood? We want these beds raised and off the ground - what have some of you sat these beds on?

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Re: what to use under my SFG bed?

Post  dvelten on 3/5/2013, 6:48 pm

The book calls for plywood with strategically arranged drain holes. I didn't like the idea of plywood and used 1/2 inch galvanized hardware cloth. Pictures of my beds with the hardware cloth on my blog
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Underneath draininage

Post  licellec on 3/8/2013, 12:58 am

Hello all,

With the weed barrier and hardware cloth underneath, should we punch holes for drainiage?

Thanks!
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Re: what to use under my SFG bed?

Post  RoOsTeR on 3/8/2013, 5:43 am

@licellec wrote:Hello all,

With the weed barrier and hardware cloth underneath, should we punch holes for drainiage?

Thanks!
No

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Re: what to use under my SFG bed?

Post  licellec on 3/8/2013, 6:28 am

Thank you RoOsteR :-)

Question: where would the water drain out example if it rains? Would the sides where the boards connect be sufficient enough?
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Re: what to use under my SFG bed?

Post  RoOsTeR on 3/8/2013, 7:21 am

Moisture is allowed to pass through weed barrier. Very Happy
Unless you used plastic, which isn't advisable Shocked

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Re: what to use under my SFG bed?

Post  licellec on 3/8/2013, 7:29 am

I have some leftover landscape fabric, however I dont know if it will allow moisture, I havent really looked or checked on it. It is the gray colored one that we used when we had some landscaping done wherein we just put rocks on top. Maybe when I get home I will cut of a piece and put water Very Happy
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Re: what to use under my SFG bed?

Post  dvelten on 3/8/2013, 8:26 am

I believe the best type of landscape fabric to use is the old fashioned spun bound polyester. It is made by pressing filaments of polyester into a cloth. It's semi-transparent and very porous and will allow water to flow through freely while stopping the Mel's Mix from being washed out. The stuff not to use is the heavier, shiny "pro" fabric that is made like a plastic tarp. It is made from a waffle weave fabric and coated with plastic. They punch tiny holes in it to make it porous but I don't believe it is sufficient. People use it in our community garden and water puddles on top of it. And it degrades easily from sun exposure and starts to shred and flake like an old plastic tarp and the stuff blows everywhere. I have tried to get its use banned several times but not succeeded. Then there is the issue of chemicals leaching out of the plastic coating.
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