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What to use as a base for my SFG beds

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What to use as a base for my SFG beds

Post  muddyfeet on 8/24/2012, 11:08 am

I have several of those raised bed kits (I got from Sams Club).
I have weed mat separating my soil mix from the native Florida soil, but I still have a big problem with the nematodes getting into the soil and ruining my plants. I would like to raise my beds totally off the ground and fasten a base of some sort on the bottom with holes drilled in.

What material is best for this? I was looking for cedar plywood, but can't locate any in my area (they all say its a special order and can't order just one or 2 sheets at a time).
I don't want to use something that will rot away in one season (like untreated pine plywood might).

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks!

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Re: What to use as a base for my SFG beds

Post  Pollinator on 8/24/2012, 11:47 am

@muddyfeet wrote:
I have weed mat separating my soil mix from the native Florida soil, but I still have a big problem with the nematodes getting into the soil and ruining my plants. I would like to raise my beds totally off the ground and fasten a base of some sort on the bottom with holes drilled in.

I hate to have a bottom on my beds; can't help it with buckets; but my beds are surely not deep enough to give the roots adequate room.

How about a different approach - deal with the nematodes. Dwarf French marigold has been demonstrated to reduce rootknot seriously.

Also you could use beneficial nematodes like Steinernema carpocapsae. These will parasitize the rootknot. Here's an article on these: http://nematodeinformation.com/tag/root-knot-nematode

Additionally parasitic nematodes will deal with a number of other pests. I am too late this year, but am planning on using them for squash for pickleworm next season.
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Re: What to use as a base for my SFG beds

Post  muddyfeet on 8/24/2012, 12:01 pm

Thanks -

I actually planted my whole garden this summer with marigolds for the nematode issue, but haven't tested to see if that will actually work. ( I now need to put in my fall crop, so will have to turn all the marigolds under)

Perhaps that will be enough.

So you say the base on the raised beds is a bad idea? I was also planning on stacking the beds 2 high, so they will be about a foot, instead of 6 inches high. Is that still too shallow?

The weed mat I have now prevents the veggie roots from going too deep too, perhaps that is also part of my problem. Stunted plants + nematodes.

well, I'll keep trying! Florida gardening is sure a challenge!

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Re: What to use as a base for my SFG beds

Post  Lindacol on 8/24/2012, 1:27 pm

Do a search(left side top or bottom) for table tops. There are lots of ideas for bases that can be used whether you choose to build your beds on the ground or raised as a toble top. Here is a great thread:

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t297-building-a-table-top-sfgsome-ideas

Here is what I did for my table tops:
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t9881-my-garden-in-january-in-so-ca#95339
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Re: What to use as a base for my SFG beds

Post  toledobend on 8/24/2012, 1:59 pm

Haven't put it together yet, but i bought a 4x8 sheet of Hardie (cement) siding to use as the bottom. I cut it in two pieces to make the base for two 4'x4' beds. I'm going to stiffen it up with a few 2x6 runners. Until there is a shade problem (not sure yet), I am going to put it on 5 stacks (one stack each, close to the corners and one in the middle) of two high cinder blocks on our concrete patio right next to the house, to keep the big dog from killing the plants with his pee. If I need more sun in the winter, I'm going to drag them out into an open area in the yard until spring. Mel's book suggests non-treated plywood as a base, but I want something that should last forever. I got a broken piece of this siding and put it in a bucket of water and it never deteriorated so it should hold up to the watering.
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Re: What to use as a base for my SFG beds

Post  walshevak on 8/24/2012, 9:50 pm

Hardware cloth lined with plastic resting on cinderblock. (I did do a little decorative thing with rails) 1st year. Used weedblock for 2nd year beds. Zone 8A coastal NC
Bed kits had 7" sides but the MM is only 6" deep.

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t5250p30-i-m-making-progress-and-gardens


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