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First-timer working with 8x8 beds

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First-timer working with 8x8 beds

Post  bsielicki on 2/12/2016, 2:40 pm

Hi there,

So glad to have found this forum! I am planning my first square foot garden for this spring. We recently purchased a home with two existing 8x8 foot beds in the backyard. The beds are well-built and in good shape, my only concern is their size. I'm thinking that these are just too large to work with without planning in some kind of path, but I'm looking for suggestions from anyone who may have experience with beds this big. Is there any way to work with the bed as-is? Should I plan to sacrifice a 1x8 foot section through the middle for walking on? Any advice is appreciated!
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Re: First-timer working with 8x8 beds

Post  AtlantaMarie on 2/12/2016, 4:32 pm

Hi Bsielicki. Welcome from Atlanta, GA! We're glad you joined us.

8x8 is VERY large... It will be difficult to reach into the middle, so yes, I'd recommend a "keyhole" which will allow you into the middle without having to sacrifice too much space. I don't know that it would be a 1x8 lane... That's rather narrow... But maybe 2x6 would work.

You might do a search thru the archives to see what others have done. Look under garden layouts, keyholes, etc...

We're here to help, so keep asking questions! :-)
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Re: First-timer working with 8x8 beds

Post  CapeCoddess on 2/12/2016, 4:58 pm

I don't have experience with a large raised bed, but I do have an inground that I was able to divide into 4 beds using 1 ft planks as dividers and walkways.   Here's a pic of  2 sections of it:



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Re: First-timer working with 8x8 beds

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/12/2016, 7:29 pm

Welcome, bsielicki! I think that 8x8 would be a back ache in the making! I agree, a 2x6 keyhole allowing access into the bed would be workable--you have a lot of garden there especially with SFG!

Search the archives, and I am sure folks will chime in!
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Re: First-timer working with 8x8 beds

Post  sanderson on 2/12/2016, 8:32 pm

Hi, bsielicki, welcome to the Forum from California!  glad you\'re here I found this photo of a wood "key hole" garden. I hope this helps.  A 2' x 5-6' permanent walkway for you to be able to walk, bend over, kneel, and carry compost into the beds without ever having to step into it.  If you don't want to disassemble the outer perimeter wall, you can just frame it on the inside.  

PS  We love photos of gardens, even while you are just starting out! Very Happy

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Re: First-timer working with 8x8 beds

Post  AtlantaMarie on 2/13/2016, 8:30 am

Exactly what I was thinking, Sanderson!

I think that would be so much easier than trying to reach in 4 feet. I'm only 5'7' & have vertigo, so I'd probly fall in if I tried to reach 4 feet, lol!
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Re: First-timer working with 8x8 beds

Post  bsielicki on 2/13/2016, 11:22 am

Thank you so much for the feedback! That "keyhole" term is exactly what I was missing, now I have a good idea how to make these beds work. I'm excited to move forward, I'm sure I'll be posting much more here in the days to come Smile
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I did the same thing my first year

Post  Wagz2003 on 2/14/2016, 3:40 am

This year, I'm updating-- the 8x8 was WAY too big, and caused problems with reaching into the middle.  Smile  Keyhole is an excellent solution to this.
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Re: First-timer working with 8x8 beds

Post  sanderson on 2/14/2016, 4:00 am

Hi Wagz, happy hi Glad this topic helped to provide a solution! Very Happy

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Re: First-timer working with 8x8 beds

Post  Kelejan on 2/14/2016, 1:23 pm

glad you\'re here  bsielicki from GT and Wagz from GA happy hi
from Kelejan :canada: 

Glad to see both of you have already benefited from our Forum.
Keep it up. happy banana
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