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New house, existing railroad tie planters

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New house, existing railroad tie planters

Post  fredbarr on 4/17/2010, 2:10 pm

I am a first time member from Seattle. I have owned Mel's SFG book for a couple of years but was renting and didn't feel good about gardening there.

Now I am buying a house and excited to start using everything I've read about.

When I saw the house I was excited to see two large raised beds on the south side of the house. Since I'm 58 I thought having the beds raised and a natural seat around the edges would be perfect.

However, the beds are railroad ties and covered with creosote. They form two 6' X 7' interior beds.

From reading the book I had the thought to build a SFG box inside the railroad ties to keep the garden out of contact with the creosote. Does that make sense or should I just plant inside the railroad ties?

Any thoughts?

Thanks

fredbarr

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Re: New house, existing railroad tie planters

Post  camprn on 4/17/2010, 2:46 pm

Are there any other areas on your property to put new boxes? If it was me planting in the RR tie beds, I would probably put flowers, um, like LOTS of gladiolas and sun flowers for cutting flower But if I was pressed to use the space for food, I would dig out the soil (and dump it away from the food growing area) then line the interior with new boards and put in Mels' mix. But that's just me. Oh yeah, glad you\'re here
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Re: New house, existing railroad tie planters

Post  boffer on 4/17/2010, 2:55 pm

Hiya,

Welcome to the forum. glad you\'re here It's nice to have another member who rusts rather than tans!

Like camprn said, you could line the inside of the beds with wood, or you could line them with plastic. Here is a terrible pic recommending what I would do with the space. The inner most squares marked in red X will be difficult to tend. I suggest something in that space besides veggies that need attention. Perennials, yard art, whatever.



Be sure to read the PNW regional forum, there's some folks up your way posting there, too.

Happy gardening in your new home.
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Re: New house, existing railroad tie planters

Post  mckr3441 on 4/17/2010, 3:03 pm

OH! BOFFER JUST SAID THE SAME THING!!! Great minds think alike!

How high are these raised beds? If they are low enough, could you put SFG boxes on top? You could make the boxes 2x? around the edges. you would have a 2x3 space in the middle to put a statue or fountain 'cause you wouldn't be able to reach in there.!

Otherwise, I'm inclined to go with camprn.

Welcome to the forums!

Claire
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Re: New house, existing railroad tie planters

Post  martha on 4/17/2010, 3:40 pm

camprn's suggestion is absolutely right on target. However, depending on time and energy, I think the plastic lining thing would also work.
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Hey Wow, thanks for all the input

Post  fredbarr on 4/17/2010, 7:46 pm

Unfortunately, I don't have another area for a SFG. Actually I count it a blessing to have a "compact" yard. The planters are 16" tall (two railroad ties on top of each other), inside, they currently have about 8" of soil, a layer of black plastic and 2" of decorative rock on top plus the crazy cement deers.

I was figuring to yank the deers (if I can get a crane back there) take off the rock (not sure what to do with that yet), leave the plastic and build a 6' X 7' box to fit inside the railroad ties. Seems like 6" boxes on top of the black plastic would fill the planters quite nicely.

I like boffer's thought about leaving the center clear and his layout around the edge. Maybe some more plastic over the railroad ties and boards around the top to hold it down and keep me from the splinters.

Where would I go to find the PNW folks. I know the growing season up here is pretty short so hooking up with them would be great.

I'm excited to get started and encouraged with the response I got from you folks. Thanks so much. I know I'm gonna have lots of questions

fredbarr

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Re: New house, existing railroad tie planters

Post  boffer on 4/17/2010, 8:32 pm

I've never thought of our growing season being short, we just have real crummy weather some summers. Last summer was so nice, I could do no wrong in the garden, in spite of myself!

Can two young men pick up the deer? My son lives near the Kenmore gun range, he might be able to help them disappear.

The PNW regional thread is here. There's several members not far from you. I think you're on the right track converting the existing beds to sfg.

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/pacific-northwest-f15/
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Re: New house, existing railroad tie planters

Post  fredbarr on 4/19/2010, 3:14 pm

Thanks Boffer.


I think I can get the deer moved.

I'm thinking I'll also leave the rocks. Put the weed cloth over them for drainage.

I'll ping the PNW group.

Thanks

fredbarr

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