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New to SFG but not new to gardening...I'm setting up my 6 raised beds

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New to SFG but not new to gardening...I'm setting up my 6 raised beds

Post  mazzy on 5/8/2014, 9:35 am

Hi SFG enthusiasts.  I've been gardening on and off since 1990.  Three years ago my wife and I bought a house with 1/4 acre lot in El Sobrante (15 miles from San Francisco).  I immediately put in a 20' x 50' garden.  The first year it was fantastic.  Tomatoes, cabbage, onions, squash, lettuce, spinach...you name it.  All types of fresh veggies.  Last year the little local terrorists (moles) destroyed the garden.  What a heart break.  I gave up and spent my time building furniture for my house (my other hobby is woodworking).

I researched the mole problem and came to the conclusion that the only way to grow veggies in this mole infested area was to build raised beds.  I considered using 2 x 8 redwood for my beds but was concerned that in 10 years (when I'm 73), they would be rotting and I'd have to rebuild them.  Not something that I would look forward to.  So we built the beds out of cinder blocks and concrete.  My beds look very similar to fortified bunkers.  They start out with a 4 inch cement pad with cinder blocks creating the walls of the beds.  The cinder blocks are 3 tiers high (24 inches high).  They are built with re-bar both vertical and horizontal and the cinder block cavities are filled with concrete.  We added 3 different colored stucco coatings to give it additional beauty.

I was concerned about having good drainage.  I didn't want my beds to become mud filled swimming pools.  So in each bed I ran two lines of 3 inch French drains covered with 6 inches of 3/4 drain rock.  Additionally each bed got 8 additional 1" drain holes.  On top of the drain rock is 11 inches of top quality garden soil specialized for garden nurseries.  Then 7 inches of Mel's mix tops it off.

I just got done adding Mel's mix to my largest bed.  Within a week or two I'll put Mel's mix in two more of the beds.  So three of my 6 beds will be SFG style soil.  I will add the squares and drip watering system and see how Mel's method works with actually growing veggies.  If all goes well I'll convert the last 3 beds to Mel's method in a couple months.  Until then I'm going to cover the last 3 with tarp and let them lay fallow so not to grow weeds.

Sorry guys...this "introduction" has turned into a book.  In a couple days I'll take some pictures of my backyard bunker system and post them.

Best,
Mazzy

P.S.  if the little terrorists figure out a way to rappel up the walls or parachute in...they can have it  :>)
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mazzy

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Re: New to SFG but not new to gardening...I'm setting up my 6 raised beds

Post  walshevak on 5/8/2014, 10:34 am

glad you\'re here   I can't wait to see your "mole bunkers"   lol! 

Kay

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walshevak

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Where post pictures?

Post  mazzy on 5/8/2014, 10:44 am

Hello Kay...would I post the pictures in this area or is there another area I should post them in?

Mazzy
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Re: New to SFG but not new to gardening...I'm setting up my 6 raised beds

Post  sanderson on 5/8/2014, 12:29 pm

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Re: New to SFG but not new to gardening...I'm setting up my 6 raised beds

Post  AtlantaMarie on 5/8/2014, 1:30 pm

Hi Mazzy.  Welcome!

My hubby (Mike) & I are also woodworkers.  And you should see Pappy Slip's posts for ideas for woodworking in the garden!
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Pappy Slip's posts

Post  mazzy on 5/8/2014, 7:40 pm

Wow...I love his trellis.  I'd make one like it to put on the left side of the garden but my two dogs would eat it.  They are 3 year old standard poodle brothers (litter mates) and they are NUTS!!!  

Mazzy
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Re: New to SFG but not new to gardening...I'm setting up my 6 raised beds

Post  Marc Iverson on 5/8/2014, 11:49 pm

Heheh, sounds like our Aussie Shepherd girl. When she was a puppy, she ate the siding off the house and ate holes in the floor of our deck. Now she just drags logs from the woodpile and eats them.
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Re: New to SFG but not new to gardening...I'm setting up my 6 raised beds

Post  Kelejan on 5/9/2014, 12:09 am

glad you\'re here mazzy.  Look forward to your pictures. Your set-up sounds very interesting and I like your forward thinking.
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Re: New to SFG but not new to gardening...I'm setting up my 6 raised beds

Post  mazzy on 5/9/2014, 9:29 am

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Re: New to SFG but not new to gardening...I'm setting up my 6 raised beds

Post  Kelejan on 5/9/2014, 12:31 pm

Lovely, Mazzy. I have added a suggestion there.
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Re: New to SFG but not new to gardening...I'm setting up my 6 raised beds

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