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Need help designing and building my SFG

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Need help designing and building my SFG

Post  Robin Depaul on 9/24/2012, 11:08 am

Hi fellow SFGers, I have recently devoted myself to SFG. I literally have just stood in my So Cal urban backyard with string and rocks to rough out where my planters will go. Although I was going to purchase raised beds from Gardeners.com a young lady at church suggested I try out Newport Greenhouse in Tustin who probably could custom build them for me. I want them 34" tall, set on 2" pavers. (2) at 8 X 2 and (2) at 4 X 4 in a 300' plot. I was wondering is there any SFG memebers close to me who would like to help me with the design? study I am looking forward to meeting you. Thank you, Robin thanks

Robin Depaul

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Re: Need help designing and building my SFG

Post  No_Such_Reality on 9/24/2012, 12:37 pm

Based on the height, it sounds like you're looking for a raised bed that will be like the raised beds the Orange County Zoo just put in at the Irvine Regional Park.

They look good and they did them with the plastic-fiber wood composite stuff. It may be worth your spending the $5 to park and $2 to get in the zoo to look at them.

As for layout, it depends on your lot and the location of neighbors and heights of walls, buildings and their heights. If your lot is 20x15 or there about or narrower, be really careful with the height of their buildings and walls, particularly come fall/winter gardening. A neighbors two story could shade 1/2 or more of the lot.



No_Such_Reality

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Re: Need help designing and building my SFG

Post  Robin Depaul on 9/24/2012, 12:56 pm

Whoa, The Regional Park....thanks for the tip and wood composite stuff. I really have no interest in getting down on my knees or even stooping unecessarily.
The 1/3 of my backyard is the sunniest and my 50 years old Jacaranda is my only shade concern; even at winter's lowest the sun will shine in this 22' X 20' foot plot and the yard is surrounded by ranch style homes and a 6' block wall. Very peaceful. Thank you for your reply. I am off to the Park to see these planters Very Happy



Robin Depaul

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Re: Need help designing and building my SFG

Post  No_Such_Reality on 9/24/2012, 1:35 pm

It's a very small area they had the planters in. It's on the side as after your go past the mountain lions and before you get to the peccaries and bears.

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Re: Need help designing and building my SFG

Post  Robin Depaul on 9/24/2012, 2:09 pm

OK, so it is in the zoo itself, interesting thank you!

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Re: Need help designing and building my SFG

Post  mollyhespra on 9/24/2012, 9:32 pm

Hi, fellow newbie!

I'm also about to embark on the SFG journey, but I'm a little bit farther along than you, it sounds, at least in that I have built the beds that will be filled (it's to be hoped) with yummy goodies come next Spring.

I did want to comment on choice of building materials, though. When I was researching options, I almost went with the plastic/composite wood faux lumber because I want the beds to last. BUT, when I read up on what they're typically made from, I thought YIKES! I don't even want to take the chance of any of that leaching into my soil/MM. Same goes for pressure treated wood.

So, I went with unpainted, unstained plain ole 2'x4'x8' Cedar lumber. I got a pallet full when they were on sale in late Fall last year & they sat on one corner of my lot under a tarp until I could get to building the beds this Spring. You can see what they look like in my post titled "Big plans for Spring 2013!"

I'm not criticizing anyone who uses the plastic stuff, I'm just explaining what my thought process & choices were in the hopes that it might help you out. Good luck! Smile

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Re: Need help designing and building my SFG

Post  Robin Depaul on 9/24/2012, 10:19 pm

Hey mollyhespra, I agree. It always seems that plastic is the way to go but we all really know it isn't and pressured treated wood isn't for food source building material. I'll take a look at your post. I too am sticking with cedar, natures best. Thank you!

Robin Depaul

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Re: Need help designing and building my SFG

Post  Chopper on 9/25/2012, 2:11 am

I am with you on the 32" raised beds. My ideal. Just remember that you do not have to fill the whole thing with Mel's Mix. The top six inches is plenty.

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Re: Need help designing and building my SFG

Post  No_Such_Reality on 9/25/2012, 1:09 pm

I'd use redwood or cedar myself. I think they look better and ironically, I think the redwood isn't really any more expensive.

I myself like to do deeper planters. It allows more for settling and allows you to not fill right to the top.

I'm assuming you want something like http://www.cleanairgardening.com/eden-planter.html

Or this.
http://www.cleanairgardening.com/largarcenced.html

Seems like you could encase the second and maybe put some doors on for out of sight storage.

It seems like you'd be able to hire one of the pennysaver handymen to build a few like that in a day or so.

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Re: Need help designing and building my SFG

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