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Roots...information....

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Re: Roots...information....

Post  Scorpio Rising on 10/6/2015, 5:53 pm

I don't have that book. Need to check with the local library.
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Re: Roots...information....

Post  jimmy cee on 10/6/2015, 9:20 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:I don't have that book.  Need to check with the local library.
Library's are nice, however they always want the book back..
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Re: Roots...information....

Post  MrBooker on 2/18/2017, 6:11 am

@jimmy cee wrote:After finishing my 1st re-do of #2 bed I decided to try a start on # 3 bed.
The weather has been so nice I just couldn't stop today and almost completed when darkness appeared.
This is the end of my 2nd season with SFG, a very disappointing one I might add, the culprit is roots from a nearby locust tree.
I have 5 beds of like size that I am going to create a space between the foundation and the bed itself.
I'm considering this a very important topic for those who are starting to make their beds..
Heed the warning if trees are nearby, don't go through what I am now doing..
Here is my proof.
Next few pictures are above the weed barrier as I was emptying the M.M. from the bed





The next few are just above the weed barrier

next three are with weed barrier removed



next are fine roots removed from the bed ( partial )

THANK YOU JIMMY. You have solved my problem.  I have been blaming the roots on some Miracle Grow potting soil I used in a flower bed. The roots destroyed the bed. I built my new SFG beds last year and was about to amend my MM yesterday and found two of the beds invaded by these roots.

     I know I'll have to dig all of the soil out and remove the roots but will they keep coming back if I don't put down a heavier barrier?
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Re: Roots...information....

Post  MrBooker on 2/18/2017, 6:28 am

@Scorpio Rising wrote:How close are these trees?  I have a pear tree probably 40 ft away, and my boxes have partial wooden bottoms.  My first year with this set up.  Very wet area.  Lots of water for the tree.  Maybe too much.
I have had two 4x8 boxes only a few feet from two of my pear trees and have had no problem with roots. Maybe only certain trees send those roots out.

 Yesterday, I found two of my boxes in the back yard, near a huge maple tree, nearly destroyed by the same roots as Jimmy's. My work will be cut out for me today.
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Re: Roots...information....

Post  sanderson on 2/18/2017, 3:21 pm

Welcome to the Root Club! Sad The only thing that will stop roots is an air gap. Jimmy went Deluxe style. I went mostly table tops with one set on 4x4s spaced 2' apart. All require a plywood bottom and support every 2 feet O.C. to prevent sagging. Camp went with I believe 2x4s on the ground topped with plywood. No short cut. The roots will come back up through Industrial weed cloth. I mean, wouldn't you want some of that MM if you were a tree or bush.

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Re: Roots...information....

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/18/2017, 3:36 pm

The only tree within 20 feet of my beds is an old pear tree.  It is real close to my compost pile, still no probs.  


Air space.
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Re: Roots...information....

Post  MrBooker on 2/19/2017, 7:08 am

@sanderson wrote:Welcome to the Root Club!   Sad   The only thing that will stop roots is an air gap.  Jimmy went Deluxe style.  I went mostly table tops with one set on 4x4s spaced 2' apart.  All require a plywood bottom and support every 2 feet O.C. to prevent sagging.  Camp went with I believe 2x4s on the ground topped with plywood.  No short cut.  The roots will come back up through Industrial weed cloth.  I mean, wouldn't you want some of that MM if you were a tree or bush.
"I mean, wouldn't you want some of that MM if you were a tree or bush"  rofl 

So... It should be safe to lay down weed barrier, put down the 4x4's, lay plywood on top and frame it in? Do you use 3/8 ins plywood or 1/2 ins?

  Four inches off the ground should be enough to stop the roots I would think.
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Re: Roots...information....

Post  camprn on 2/19/2017, 11:11 am

This was a chronic problem in my beds on the ground and there's no beating the tree root hairs .  Nearly all my beds are now elevated off the ground.

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Re: Roots...information....

Post  sanderson on 2/19/2017, 11:17 am

I don't know why 4" (3 1/2") wouldn't work fine. I now use 3/4" plywood (was using 1/2"). My boxes have support every 2' so they don't sag. Don't forget to drill drainage holes and line the box with weed fabric to keep in the MM. Wink

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Re: Roots...information....

Post  sanderson on 2/19/2017, 11:23 am

PS: Don't forget that the plywood will dictate the exact size of the bed. Embarassed The interior dimensions will be less than 4' or 8'. Either grid in full 12" squares or split the difference (which I did on one imperfect box) among the squares. With MM it shouldn't make any difference as it is so rich.

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Re: Roots...information....

Post  jimmy cee on 2/19/2017, 8:25 pm

@MrBooker wrote:know I'll have to dig all of the soil out and remove the roots but will they keep coming back if I don't put down a heavier barrier?
Where are they coming from..why risk it ? roots are a different animal, especially tree roots...
Elevate if you can and you'll never need to concern yourself any more.
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Re: Roots...information....

Post  ralitaco on 2/19/2017, 8:57 pm

@MrBooker wrote:So... It should be safe to lay down weed barrier, put down the 4x4's, lay plywood on top and frame it in? Do you use 3/8 ins plywood or 1/2 ins?
Mr B.,
In my opinion, if you are going to raise your beds and put in plywood bottoms, I would suggest you consider making TT's...it would be the ideal time.

I use TT's and they are about 3' off the ground. While that is great for some plants like lettuce, herbs, etc.; they are a bit too tall for tomato plants, peppers, etc that grow over 4' tall. With that said, I would recommend that you consider making some at various heights.

Good luck...
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Re: Roots...information....

Post  MrBooker on 2/20/2017, 6:33 am

@ralitaco wrote:
@MrBooker wrote:So... It should be safe to lay down weed barrier, put down the 4x4's, lay plywood on top and frame it in? Do you use 3/8 ins plywood or 1/2 ins?
Mr B.,
In my opinion, if you are going to raise your beds and put in plywood bottoms, I would suggest you consider making TT's...it would be the ideal time.

I use TT's and they are about 3' off the ground. While that is great for some plants like lettuce, herbs, etc.; they are a bit too tall for tomato plants, peppers, etc that grow over 4' tall. With that said, I would recommend that you consider making some at various heights.

Good luck...
To build all table tops, it would cost me over $500. My raised beds are three 4x4's, four 4x8's one 4x10. Not to
mention all the back breaking work.  Not ALL of the beds have roots "YET". Below is a layout of my beds.
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Re: Roots...information....

Post  MrBooker on 2/20/2017, 6:41 am

@jimmy cee wrote:
@MrBooker wrote:know I'll have to dig all of the soil out and remove the roots but will they keep coming back if I don't put down a heavier barrier?
Where are they coming from..why risk it ? roots are a different animal, especially tree roots...
Elevate if you can and you'll never need to concern yourself any more.
Jimmy. If I dig out all of the MM and remove all the roots I possibly can and elevate the beds, can I reuse the MM or will any of the fine remaining roots grow again in the MM?

The roots are coming from a tall Elm tree about 40 feet from my beds.
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Re: Roots...information....

Post  sanderson on 2/20/2017, 4:53 pm

I don't think you will have any problem with the roots growing again. I didn't. The fine hair roots need the mother tree or a large root. I'm sure you will be "cleaning" the MM just fine.

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Re: Roots...information....

Post  ralitaco on 2/20/2017, 6:46 pm

@MrBooker wrote:To build all table tops, it would cost me over $500. My raised beds are three 4x4's, four 4x8's one 4x10. Not to
mention all the back breaking work.  Not ALL of the beds have roots "YET".

I must have misunderstood, I thought you were going to put a plywood bottom and sit them on some 4x4's laying on the ground. I was suggesting you turn those 4x4's up to make them legs.

@MrBooker wrote:If I dig out all of the MM and remove all the roots I possibly can and elevate the beds, can I reuse the MM or will any of the fine remaining roots grow again in the MM?
In my experience, you can reuse the MM and the fine roots will breakdown over time. I know this because, I had that issue after letting my beds sit idle for about 4 years on the ground and I cleaned them out and moved the MM to my TT's

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Re: Roots...information....

Post  MrBooker on 2/20/2017, 7:24 pm

@sanderson wrote:I don't think you will have any problem with the roots growing again.  I didn't.  The fine hair roots need the mother tree or a large root.  I'm sure you will be "cleaning" the MM just fine.
Do you think this plywood  is ok to use. I'm a little leery of the "Pressure treated". 

3/4 in. x 4 ft. x 8 ft. Ground Contact Pressure Treated Pine Performance Rated heathing
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Re: Roots...information....

Post  trolleydriver on 2/20/2017, 7:38 pm

I would be leery of pressure treated plywood as well.

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Re: Roots...information....

Post  jimmy cee on 2/20/2017, 7:47 pm

@MrBooker wrote:
@jimmy cee wrote:
@MrBooker wrote:know I'll have to dig all of the soil out and remove the roots but will they keep coming back if I don't put down a heavier barrier?
Where are they coming from..why risk it ? roots are a different animal, especially tree roots...
Elevate if you can and you'll never need to concern yourself any more.
Jimmy. If I dig out all of the MM and remove all the roots I possibly can and elevate the beds, can I reuse the MM or will any of the fine remaining roots grow again in the MM?

The roots are coming from a tall Elm tree about 40 feet from my beds.

Yes, absolutely, those roots will wither away adding  to the mix., however roots from living trees just love Mel's Mix
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Re: Roots...information....

Post  sanderson on 2/21/2017, 4:56 am

Mr. Booker, I may have misunderstood. I thought you were going to create an air gap underneath the beds by laying Pressure Treated posts (or 2x4s) on the ground, then top with plywood and the bed frames. You don't need PT plywood if it is elevated on PT supports, or by legs like Ralitaco and I have.


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Re: Roots...information....

Post  MrBooker on 2/21/2017, 6:19 am

@sanderson wrote:Mr.  Booker, I may have misunderstood.  I thought you were going to create an air gap underneath the beds by laying Pressure Treated posts (or 2x4s) on the ground, then top with plywood and the bed frames.  You don't need PT plywood if it is elevated on PT supports, or by legs like Ralitaco and I have.  

 Sanderson:  You didn't misunderstand..  I'm putting down weed barrier, PT 4x4's, 3/4 ins plywood with weed barreir and cedar frame.  I'm on the road now. Getting started on beds when I get home on Wed. Thanks for your help.
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