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I think I screwed up....

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I think I screwed up....

Post  Scorpio Rising on 6/23/2015, 7:46 am

OK, I am using re-purposed old window boxes for my SFG beds.  However, I placed them directly on the ground in my back yard.  And one of you guys said that the wood will rot, which makes sense, if it is in direct contact with the ground.  

So, after frost, should I get my 2 boys to somehow lift these boxed up onto a platform of blocks?  I want to get years out of this set-up.  There are 4 of them, varying lengths.  12 inches deep, and about 16 inches wide, which I mentally just call a foot for purposes of the  SFG.  Some of the bottom panels are not so great shape/partially missing, but I suppose I could scoop up what falls out and replace.  

I will need to add to my MM anyways because I filled the bottom 1/2 of the boxes with raked out leaves from my perennial beds to save money and fill space.  I activated this by springkling with blood meal before covering with about 6 to 8 inches of the MM.

Advise please!!!  And how do I control the weeds under these beds after I get them off the ground?
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Re: I think I screwed up....

Post  CapeCoddess on 6/23/2015, 10:16 am

Can you post a photo please? My wood boxes are on the ground.

CC
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Re: I think I screwed up....

Post  AtlantaMarie on 6/23/2015, 10:44 am

No, not a screwup.  Just be aware that at some point you'll need to replace them.  Having MM & compost against the wood sides will do the same thing eventually.

My wood is also on the ground although we put some weed fabric, newspaper, & cardboard under the edges to help protect them.

When you get ready to lift them, underneath I'd put newspaper/cardboard (a thick layer) and then thick mulch over that.
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Re: I think I screwed up....

Post  sanderson on 6/23/2015, 12:49 pm

Scorpio, If you are looking for permanency, you would have to go to something like brick/cement block beds. If you want to keep out invasive roots that grow up into your beds, raising them off the ground is probably the only solution. I have table tops and slightly raised beds with weed cloth underneath, pinned down by the legs or pinned to the ground. So far, the type of weeds "indigenous" to my yard are being kept at bay. Weed cloth is good for weeds but not for preventing root in/extrusion. http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t18831-will-landscape-cloth-stop-roots?highlight=roots

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Re: I think I screwed up....

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/23/2015, 12:55 pm

I hope you put some sort of weed and critter barriers in the boxes.

Raising them even a little from the soil is a great idea if you have any threat of moves or voles at all. Even what they don't come in and eat, they can destroy just by digging disruptive tunnels under and through.

The wood will definitely rot, especially if it's not treated or not the type of wood(cedar, redwood) that can last for a good long time in contact with the earth (and in climates not as wet as the one up here in the PNW). Pine, etc. won't last long. Window boxes aren't meant to handle the same stresses as boxes that contact the ground.

If you put the boxes on concrete pavers or cinderblocks, or even on a layer of gravel, they'll last significantly longer.
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Re: I think I screwed up....

Post  Scorpio Rising on 6/23/2015, 5:41 pm

OK, thanks guys.  Most of the boxes have a full "floor" still intact, on a has a sliver missing but mostly there.  I would have to put them on blocks then onto treated lumber I think.  I don't want permanence, but don't want to start from scratch too soon!

There are moles/voles here.  Also, the area where they are is wet wet wet, even though they are a bit upland.  Probably will try to get them off the ground when they dry out after growing season....
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Re: I think I screwed up....

Post  Scorpio Rising on 6/23/2015, 5:43 pm

CapeCoddess wrote:Can you post a photo please?  My wood boxes are on the ground.

CC
I will try, CC!  Yours look like they were made for SFGing, mine not so much....
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Re: I think I screwed up....

Post  CapeCoddess on 6/23/2015, 6:54 pm

Yes, my current boxes are typical SFG boxes. But in the beginning and up until last year I used kitchen cupboards for my boxes. I drilled holes into the backs of themand laid them down  front up. They didn't last as long as the ones I have now will, only 3 years.  But on yr 3 I had to prop up the sides with pavers. hahaha

CC
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Re: I think I screwed up....

Post  Scorpio Rising on 6/23/2015, 9:17 pm

Honestly, CC, 3 years would be great!  These boxes were here when Ii moved back  here 10 years ago, and if the wrought iron brackets had'nt started failing, I would still probably be doing them!  

I think they are cedar boxes, remarkably well preserved except for one.....will get out in the AM and try a pic!
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Re: I think I screwed up....

Post  vortex on 6/24/2015, 3:47 pm

For boxes on the ground, try this as your bottom barrier:

In order of from the ground up...

 - Hardware cloth (or doubled up  chicken wire)

On top of that, I'm using Pond Underlayment from pondliner.com. This is heavy duty stuff, and will stop invasive roots coming up through it.

You can get it in all sorts of sizes, and a 5x5 is currently $5.50. It's worth it. Highly durable, made for ground contact, and pretty awesome. Of course the worm friends aren't going to get through it, but you could always build a worm tube through the bottom.

So hardware cloth/chicken wire for the critters, underlayment for the roots, and there's a good foundation to start on.
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Re: I think I screwed up....

Post  Scorpio Rising on 6/24/2015, 5:30 pm

Wink I can't figure out how to get the pic from my iPad to here.....tried the How to do stuff....
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Re: I think I screwed up....

Post  camprn on 6/24/2015, 9:34 pm

Lever them up and slide some 2x4s under each end. You will get a few years out of them.


Last edited by camprn on 6/25/2015, 7:10 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Typos)

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Re: I think I screwed up....

Post  Scorpio Rising on 6/24/2015, 9:41 pm

camprn wrote:Lever them up and slide some 2x4s under each end. You will get a few ears out of them.
I love this idea, campern!  Simple and effective!
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Re: I think I screwed up....

Post  sanderson on 6/25/2015, 3:16 am

Scorpio Rising wrote:
camprn wrote:Lever them up and slide some 2x4s under each end. You will get a few ears out of them.
I love this idea, campern!  Simple and effective!
Or as Camp says, easy, peasy. (or something like that Embarassed )

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Re: I think I screwed up....

Post  camprn on 6/25/2015, 7:09 am

sanderson wrote:
Scorpio Rising wrote:
camprn wrote:Lever them up and slide some 2x4s under each end. You will get a few ears out of them.
I love this idea, campern!  Simple and effective!
Or as Camp says, easy, peasy.  (or something like that Embarassed )
of course I meant years, lol.

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



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Re: I think I screwed up....

Post  Scorpio Rising on 6/25/2015, 7:37 am

I knew that!  lol  No corn in there this year, it is such a space hog for what you get off each stalk.  I have done corn, back when I did SFG in the 80s but it just wasn't worth the space, and so many farmers and Memmonite/Amish around here do sweet corn there is not a shortage of homegrown corn!
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Trying for a pic....

Post  Scorpio Rising on 6/25/2015, 9:00 am

http://i18.servimg.com/u/f18/19/25/77/83/th/image10.jpg
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Re: Trying for a pic....

Post  boffer on 6/25/2015, 10:04 am

Oh so close!  

It looks like you copy/pasted the third line of code, rather than the second.

The second line that says "Image" will display the picture.
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Re: I think I screwed up....

Post  Scorpio Rising on 6/25/2015, 6:28 pm

OMG, boffer, I Literally have a good hour in getting the darn pic up!  I had to do it from work, could not do it from my iPad??!!


I won't give up!
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Re: I think I screwed up....

Post  boffer on 6/25/2015, 6:34 pm

Sorry I can't help with the Ipad issue.  I'm a Luddite who's still tethered by technology with tails!  

(tails=cords)
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Re: I think I screwed up....

Post  Scorpio Rising on 6/25/2015, 7:04 pm

My work outer is my fave...I am low on the food chain at home...3 kids with laptops/devices and a husband who is internet addicted!  I never had a way to get on the net until the kids got me this iPad 2 Christmases ago..... Cool
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Re: I think I screwed up....

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