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High sided SFG raised bed gardens?

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High sided SFG raised bed gardens?

Post  Mr. Green Jeans on 12/22/2012, 5:43 pm

I've seen pictures of raised bed gardens that around waist height or so, giving easier access to gardeners who might not be able to bend down low, or in a wheel chair. My question to anyone who may have built one or know about them is, what would you fill it with? It seems like a waste of money to make enough Mel's Mix to fill a three or four foot deep bed. I think sand would be too heavy & might bow out the wood. Simple mulch maybe?
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Re: High sided SFG raised bed gardens?

Post  camprn on 12/22/2012, 5:48 pm

I have not made one of these, but I would assume there was a bottom to the bed half way up or the entire deep box was full of sand or something, with the top 6"-8" of Mel's Mix.

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Re: High sided SFG raised bed gardens?

Post  bnoles on 12/22/2012, 5:51 pm

Packing peanuts might be a thought.

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Re: High sided SFG raised bed gardens?

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 12/22/2012, 5:57 pm

My husband built me 3, 4 x 4 raised beds for next year. Here's a link to the pictures: http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t14182-hi-i-m-new-to-the-forums-and-in-your-area#144771

They are built on 6" x 6" legs and have a plywood bottom as Mel suggests. We happened to have 4" x 6" lumber and 2" x 4" lumber available to us at no cost, so all we paid for was the brackets and plywood and they'll last a long time!

The plywood hangs on "L" brackets attached to the inside of the walls and then the plywood rests on the 6" x 6" legs that are somewhat inset. They're very steady.
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Re: High sided SFG raised bed gardens?

Post  Mr. Green Jeans on 12/22/2012, 6:04 pm

Those look great Audrey, and realized the legs were an option, but from either an aesthetic point of view (not that yours don't look great, as I said) or other reasons why someone might want sides all the way up. I guess you could just have it hollow underneath. As I said originally, I'd be afraid of sand bowing out the walls after time due to weight. The packing peanuts idea made me laugh at first, but it's actually an interesting idea!
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Re: High sided SFG raised bed gardens?

Post  bnoles on 12/22/2012, 6:18 pm

Don't laugh.....We use packing peanuts all the time in place of rocks, pebbles and sand in my wife's flower pots. Excellent drainage, light weight and will last forever.

Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

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Re: High sided SFG raised bed gardens?

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 12/22/2012, 6:19 pm

You could build your full wood sided version and actually use the plywood bottom and simply hang it off the wood sides with the "L" brackets at what ever height you wanted the soil to be. You're going to need something to keep your soil separate from your packing peanuts if you use them or you soil will constantly migrate through the pellets as there is so much open space between them Very Happy
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Re: High sided SFG raised bed gardens?

Post  bnoles on 12/22/2012, 6:21 pm

@audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:You could build your full wood sided version and actually use the plywood bottom and simply hang it off the wood sides with the "L" brackets at what ever height you wanted the soil to be. You're going to need something to keep your soil separate from your packing peanuts if you use them or you soil will constantly migrate through the pellets as there is so much open space between them Very Happy

He could probably use weed barrier for that.

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Re: High sided SFG raised bed gardens?

Post  plantoid on 12/22/2012, 8:24 pm

@Mr. Green Jeans wrote:I've seen pictures of raised bed gardens that around waist height or so, giving easier access to gardeners who might not be able to bend down low, or in a wheel chair. My question to anyone who may have built one or know about them is, what would you fill it with? It seems like a waste of money to make enough Mel's Mix to fill a three or four foot deep bed. I think sand would be too heavy & might bow out the wood. Simple mulch maybe?

My beds are 36 inches deep , I filled mine with neat fresh stable muck & straw then put a foot of 4 yr old well rotted stable muck and wood pulp beddings then my 10 inches or so of MM on once it has been well soaked down and settled . It's worked out much cheaper than buying infill materials and it's given me a very deep growth material fortunately ( see big veg in the gallery ).

It's settled down over this first year , I'm going to top up each bed with about 3 more inches using a bit more seasoned MM ( made a big amount four months ago and stored it in heavy duty plastic sacks ) ... this is the first year of using it in 36 inch deep beds so I'm not fretting about things.

One of my friend here in the UK has made all his raised beds out of a pile of old pallets and put in sides & a base for each bed so he has a raised bed system with closed sides.

He filled the beds with his MM just like you would fill a table top .
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Re: High sided SFG raised bed gardens?

Post  camprn on 12/22/2012, 8:36 pm

OOOOOooooh that's the way to do it Plantoid! No wonder your produce is amazing! Very Happy

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Re: High sided SFG raised bed gardens?

Post  Lindacol on 12/22/2012, 9:18 pm

There are several previous threads on this very same thing. Here is one with some ideas:
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t462-raised-bed-filler-question
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Re: High sided SFG raised bed gardens?

Post  gwennifer on 12/23/2012, 12:16 am

I see the waist height beds in the gardening catalogs all the time and when I check the item description I typically see them state that the beds have false bottoms, usually 10" down.

As far as reasons to have legs and not finished sides, here are two:
1. Wheelchair access. You can roll up to it like a table and not have to work sideways.
2. Storage. You can have gardening supplies under there, or roll planters in and out with plants that may need protection from afternoon sun for instance.

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Re: High sided SFG raised bed gardens?

Post  CindiLou on 12/23/2012, 1:20 pm

@gwennifer wrote:I see the waist height beds in the gardening catalogs all the time and when I check the item description I typically see them state that the beds have false bottoms, usually 10" down.

As far as reasons to have legs and not finished sides, here are two:
1. Wheelchair access. You can roll up to it like a table and not have to work sideways.
2. Storage. You can have gardening supplies under there, or roll planters in and out with plants that may need protection from afternoon sun for instance.

What a Face

And for grands to hide under rofl Mine so go UNDER my bed bed thinking
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Re: High sided SFG raised bed gardens?

Post  Turan on 12/23/2012, 1:30 pm

@bnoles wrote:Don't laugh.....We use packing peanuts all the time in place of rocks, pebbles and sand in my wife's flower pots. Excellent drainage, light weight and will last forever.

Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

My M-I-L does this in her half barrels. She learned the hard way to watch out for those peanuts made of corn starch or something. They sort of fizz and dissolve as you water......
rofl

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Re: High sided SFG raised bed gardens?

Post  thegreatcob on 12/26/2012, 4:57 pm

only time I stacked bed was when i was growing potatoes. they reached a height of 4 ft
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Re: High sided SFG raised bed gardens?

Post  plantoid on 12/26/2012, 5:35 pm

Make the bed up on top of old treated pallets as per a table top bed without legs and box in the sides.
or
Make a table top with legs high enough for you or a wheel chair user to get the arms of the wheel chair under..

I suggest make sure it can be accessible from all sides easily if it is for a wheel chair user so they can reach the middle when needed
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Re: High sided SFG raised bed gardens?

Post  Mr. Green Jeans on 12/26/2012, 7:44 pm

I would totally use legs or saw horses or the like for a handicapped accessible garden. My question was about someone, who for whatever reason, wanted a "normal" raised bed with larger height. At the moment, I'm thinking hay bales with some landscaping cloth on top, followed by the MM is probably a good way to go.
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Re: High sided SFG raised bed gardens?

Post  walshevak on 12/27/2012, 4:55 pm

My tabletops are currently on cinderblock "legs" but at one time I was thinking about putting lattice panels on the sides of the beds to hide the underneath.

Kay

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Re: High sided SFG raised bed gardens?

Post  camprn on 12/27/2012, 5:10 pm

@walshevak wrote:My tabletops are currently on cinderblock "legs" but at one time I was thinking about putting lattice panels on the sides of the beds to hide the underneath.

Kay
Kay, I am sure you have mentioned it in other posts, but please would tell me about the bottom of your boxes and how you keep it all together.
Do you have boards nailed to the sides or do you have rails inside the bed with the planks laying on them or angle iron or what. Thanks. What a Face

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Re: High sided SFG raised bed gardens?

Post  Mr. Green Jeans on 12/27/2012, 5:14 pm

And how long before the plywood bottom (I'm assuming it's plywood) rots out? (And then what happens?)
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Re: High sided SFG raised bed gardens?

Post  camprn on 12/27/2012, 5:28 pm

@Mr. Green Jeans wrote:And how long before the plywood bottom (I'm assuming it's plywood) rots out? (And then what happens?)
Funny you should mention this. I thought about plywood for a nano second, and the thought was dismissed because I know it just wont hold up, probably not even an entire season because of warping and peeling. Unless, it was primed and painted with several coats and then I think I would MAYBE get 2 seasons out of it. That's my guess.

I was actually thinking 1X planks or hardware cloth......... or both...

I guess I should go back and read some of those old threads about tabletops... silly me darn funny

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Re: High sided SFG raised bed gardens?

Post  walshevak on 12/27/2012, 5:46 pm

I stapled hardware cloth (1/2" mesh) to the bottoms of my beds and lined them with weedblock. I also gave them the needed extra support by screwing 3 1x4 strips under the hardward cloth equal distant across the bottom. Used the 1x4s because that's what I had on hand. If I was buying I would use 2 2x4s as underneath support. Two beds per unit are resting on 4x4x10 timbers supported by cinderblocks to give a rustic fence look. I store 18 gal bins of 5 blend under the beds for easy access.



The cantalevered emt in the picture is the start of the cantalevered trellises so I wouldn't have to climb so high to harvest. Just a 1 step stool.


Here is the trellis with peas growing.

The first set of beds I lined with plastic and I'm going to have to redo them this year. (3rd season)

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Re: High sided SFG raised bed gardens?

Post  plantoid on 12/27/2012, 8:14 pm

@Mr. Green Jeans wrote:I would totally use legs or saw horses or the like for a handicapped accessible garden. My question was about someone, who for whatever reason, wanted a "normal" raised bed with larger height. At the moment, I'm thinking hay bales with some landscaping cloth on top, followed by the MM is probably a good way to go.

See mine in the show case gardens , they are built of impervious red engineering brick 36 inches high . Build as high as you like in blocks or bricks but do make sure the floor is stable and fairly heavy duty if you go for the floor route if you want it to last a few years .

OK I have filled mine right up with green horse muck & straw to 18 inches or so then another 18 inches of horse muck & wood pulp that is over 4 yrs old .
I then put a fill of about 8 inches of MM on top when it had settled down after a good watering down.
The extra depth has paid dividends ...see the big stuff in the gallery


I think hay bales would not last long , they would start to compost once wet , so you'd end up with the bed dropping or sliding off .

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Re: High sided SFG raised bed gardens?

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 12/27/2012, 8:37 pm

But one good thing about hay/straw bales is that, as they decompose, they heat up the soil in their midst. (A bale bed will produce produce earlier in the season due to the warmer soil temperatures.) But, as the bales decompose/rot, they sink down. Bear that in mind.

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Re: High sided SFG raised bed gardens?

Post  Mr. Green Jeans on 12/28/2012, 10:06 am

@plantoid wrote:I think hay bales would not last long , they would start to compost once wet , so you'd end up with the bed dropping or sliding off .

Hmmm, very good point.
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