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Bed Barrier & What to use over barrier in walkways

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Bed Barrier & What to use over barrier in walkways

Post  jewlz2121 on 4/7/2013, 8:29 am

OK, so we are doing cardboard/newspaper weed barrier and not removing our grass from the entire plot for our 4 raised beds (16'x27)'. This is what I need to do, right? I had originally just planned to lay cardboard under the beds and leave the walkways grass, but have read this is not a good idea. Anyway, This is a lot of cardboard! My landscaper neighbor suggested using round up to kill the grass, that made me chuckle. I wish there was an easy way to find this much cardboard!
Or should I remove the grass just under the beds?

What do I put over the cardboard/newspaper for the 3 ft wide walkways all around the beds? Eventually, I'd like to put stepping stones but I can't swing the cost right now. I have 2 small babies, so any covering (rocks/wood chips) that encourages picking it up and throwing it across the yard I'm not a fan of either. Could I just get a load of topsoil for the walkways?
Thanks for the help!

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Re: Bed Barrier & What to use over barrier in walkways

Post  camprn on 4/7/2013, 8:42 am

I have grass between my beds and it is not a problem, but I don't have Bermuda grass in the lawn.

I removed the sod where the beds were placed and had great success with that as there is no grass that grows up through the beds of Mel's mix.

If i was to go the cardboard route for pathways, I would put a few inches of wood chips atop the cardboard.

It really doesn't make a whole lot of sense to cover the grass with cardboard then lay dirt on top of that, so I would say no to the top soil.

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Re: Bed Barrier & What to use over barrier in walkways

Post  jewlz2121 on 4/7/2013, 9:06 am

Seems like a lot less work now, to just remove the grass from under the beds and not the walkways too! Did you also remove the grass a few inches around the outside of the beds? Do you just keep it trimmed, or how do you keep grass from growing around the outside of the beds?

I was thinking to extend the cardboard out of the bed by a few inches, but I'm not sure what to cover it with to keep grass from growing back.

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Re: Bed Barrier & What to use over barrier in walkways

Post  camprn on 4/7/2013, 9:12 am

@jewlz2121 wrote:Seems like a lot less work now, to just remove the grass from under the beds and not the walkways too! Did you also remove the grass a few inches around the outside of the beds? Do you just keep it trimmed, or how do you keep grass from growing around the outside of the beds?

I was thinking to extend the cardboard out of the bed by a few inches, but I'm not sure what to cover it with to keep grass from growing back.
I didn't extend the cardboard beyond the edges of the beds. I mow the grass between the beds and use a garden edging tool right around the beds. I also will use a weed whacker a few times a year for the stray grass the mower cannot reach.

Here is a photo (2012) of my current arrangement.



Examples of edgers.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Bed Barrier & What to use over barrier in walkways

Post  jewlz2121 on 4/7/2013, 9:31 am

Pictures are such a help, thanks. What purpose do the rocks serve around the outside of the bed?

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Re: Bed Barrier & What to use over barrier in walkways

Post  camprn on 4/7/2013, 9:55 am

@jewlz2121 wrote:Pictures are such a help, thanks. What purpose do the rocks serve around the outside of the bed?
The bed is on a slight slope and the rocks are used on the down slope to have the bed level. There are no rocks on the other side under the edge of the bed.


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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Bed Barrier & What to use over barrier in walkways

Post  edfhinton on 4/7/2013, 10:23 am

Camprn, that side picture is helpful for my planning as well. I will be building my beds over the next two weeks. For a variety of reasons they will be 17" deep (top 6" will be the MM.), and there is a slight south (high) to north (low) slope where they will be 4' wide in that direction. I had been anticipting levelling the entire garden area, but the slope is even less than yours. I am going to be using cedar. So I guess it is ok for part of the beds on the high side to be sunk in a bit in the ground?

I was worried about the wood breaking down over time if both inside and out were in the ground a few inches on that side of the boxes. The other complication for me is I am planning to use hardware cloth under the entire fenced garden area including walkways, since there are lots of moles plus some woodchucks around. I would just have to bend the hardware cloth a bit I guess if the walkway height on the north side is a few inches higher than the bottom of the beds. But ihe hardware cloth seems to be flexible enough to do that. Does that make sense?

We haven't finalized for our garden how to cover the wakways above the hardware cloth, but in the course of putting it down followed by weed barrier on top of it we will be getting rid of the grass there. It would definitely be less work not having to completely level the entire area that will be fenced.

-Ed

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Re: Bed Barrier & What to use over barrier in walkways

Post  camprn on 4/7/2013, 10:36 am

Ed, I'm curious... do you have troubles with gophers or voles? Moles don't eat vegetation and wood chucks, once they gain access to a garden area will eat from the top of the bed.

Yes, the wood will eventually rot, either from the inside or the outside. These plain pine boards I think have a 5-6 year lifespan. Rolling Eyes

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: Bed Barrier & What to use over barrier in walkways

Post  edfhinton on 4/7/2013, 11:07 am

I don't know if we have voles, but there are lots of holes in yards in the area from moles and the neighbors we met last week have the bottom of their small conventional garden lined. (Aside, it will be interesting to see if they get interested in SFG after they see this year how much more we can grow in no bigger space than their conventional garden.) Anyway, we definitely have the woodchucks, big ones, so I want to make sure they can't tunnel their way up into the garden area, and then amble about munching away, assming they could climb up onto 17" high beds. Perhaps the 17" height would foil the woodchucks? If the height alone would do it on the outside, that would save me a LOT of hardware cloth. I would only need it under the beds themselves.

I have been hoping going with cedar would extend the life of the beds, especially since the deeper beds will be significantly more work to replace the boards on later. I wonder if I could "cheat" and just build out new sides outside the old ones when that time comes, so I don't have to remove contents when it is time to rebuild? I am probably over-thinking something that is years away.

-Ed

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Re: Bed Barrier & What to use over barrier in walkways

Post  jewlz2121 on 4/7/2013, 11:12 am

Husband is outside removing the grass as we speak! Should the beds be set inside of the square after removing the grass? In other words, remove the grass to the outside perimeter of the board and then set the bed inside?

Or just dig inside the beds...and the leave the beds on top of the grass? I guess this way, it would make your bed deeper.

Thoughts?

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Re: Bed Barrier & What to use over barrier in walkways

Post  camprn on 4/7/2013, 11:27 am

When I was removing sod this is what I did.

I placed the box in it's final position. I took my edger and cut the sod around the outside of the box. I removed the box.

Then I began cutting in a grid, 12" squares of sod and lifted those. After removing them I took the sod blocks and placed them near my compost area, root side up and piled them on top of each other. They turned into nice compost within a year.


http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/gallery/Personal-album-of-camprn/Two-months-in-and-making-5th-box-pic_1250.htm


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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: Bed Barrier & What to use over barrier in walkways

Post  yolos on 4/7/2013, 11:35 am

@edfhinton wrote:I have been hoping going with cedar would extend the life of the beds, especially since the deeper beds will be significantly more work to replace the boards on later. I wonder if I could "cheat" and just build out new sides outside the old ones when that time comes, so I don't have to remove contents when it is time to rebuild? I am probably over-thinking something that is years away.

-Ed

That is what I plan to do. Build new sides around the old bed and lift out the old bed if it can be easily lifted and fill in with a little more MM. Or let the old bed rot further and become compost inside the new bed. I do not have anything on the bottom of the beds so this should work for me.

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Re: Bed Barrier & What to use over barrier in walkways

Post  jewlz2121 on 4/7/2013, 11:54 am

@camprn wrote:When I was removing sod this is what I did.

I placed the box in it's final position. I took my edger and cut the sod around the outside of the box. I removed the box.

Then I began cutting in a grid, 12" squares of sod and lifted those. After removing them I took the sod blocks and placed them near my compost area, root side up and piled them on top of each other. They turned into nice compost within a year.


http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/gallery/Personal-album-of-camprn/Two-months-in-and-making-5th-box-pic_1250.htm


Ok, he is doing just that. Our sod is pretty thick though, so we are having to remove approx. 4 inches down. I was afraid setting the beds down inside that deep wouldn't be good? Our boards are 10'' so it's only going to leave 6" above the grass. Would there be any reason to put an inch or two of soil where the sod was dug out, just to raise the beds up a little bit more, before filling with MM?

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Re: Bed Barrier & What to use over barrier in walkways

Post  gwennifer on 4/7/2013, 12:29 pm

@jewlz2121 wrote:...Our sod is pretty thick though, so we are having to remove approx. 4 inches down. I was afraid setting the beds down inside that deep wouldn't be good? Our boards are 10'' so it's only going to leave 6" above the grass. Would there be any reason to put an inch or two of soil where the sod was dug out, just to raise the beds up a little bit more, before filling with MM?

Nope - save the money and the time. Having your beds sunk in the ground like that is actually going to help you - they'll be more insulated from the weather.

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Re: Bed Barrier & What to use over barrier in walkways

Post  jewlz2121 on 4/7/2013, 1:07 pm

Y'all are so helpful, thank you so much! I'll post pictures when we're done.

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