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Central Ohio Checking In

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Central Ohio Checking In

Post  rlriii13 on 4/6/2016, 10:49 am

My family and I are just getting our feet wet with our first raised bed.  I'm happy to find a community like this and see I have a lot of reading to do.  Now, I'm off to find the right place for all my questions!

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Re: Central Ohio Checking In

Post  herblover on 4/6/2016, 11:42 am

Welcome from another central Ohioan!  Yes, read lots, ask questions, check out our regional forum; the North and Central Midwest for more specifics.  It is a very large region, but there are lots of OH/PA folks who can give you that level of specificity.

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Re: Central Ohio Checking In

Post  sanderson on 4/6/2016, 2:11 pm

RLR,  Welcome to the Forum from California!  glad you\'re here  Have you been able to read the book All New Square Foot Gardening?  It will answer a lot of questions, and raise others.  Using this method solves the soil problem so you can focus on the plant growing.  Also, use the Search box for a gillion topics.  We are to help.  Very Happy

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Re: Central Ohio Checking In

Post  AtlantaMarie on 4/6/2016, 2:30 pm

Hi RLR. Welcome from Atlanta, GA! Glad you've joined us.

Feel free to jump in with questions, pictures, etc. :-)

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Re: Central Ohio Checking In

Post  rlriii13 on 4/6/2016, 2:53 pm

Thanks!  Yes, I'm currently working through several books.

After reading the forum a bit today, my current concern is with potential root invasion.  The best place for our bed also happens to be only about 10 feet from an actively growing tree.  It also happens to be on an incline, so we planned to build up one end of the bed until it was level.  Because we were building up so high, I didn't think root invasion would be an issue, but after reading some threads today, in particular the jimmy cee saga of 2014, I'm second guessing!

That's why I'm here though.  I wanted to plan ahead for things like trellis supports, etc. before filling the bed with soil.  So, any advice for my situation?  Are there any examples for building an off-ground bed on an incline?  The only way I can think to do it is by sinking vertical supporting posts similar to building a deck.  Or moving the location of the bed, which would be a last resort.  The tree will not be cut down (at least not yet).


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Re: Central Ohio Checking In

Post  sanderson on 4/6/2016, 6:21 pm

Oh, my, are there examples!!  Shocked If you are going to go with the SFG type of dirtless-mix, called Mel's Mix after it's creator, you only need 6" of the mix.  You can make it deeper if you want but only 6" is needed except for long-root veggies like carrots and turnips.  PS  Camprn and I are 2 other folks that raised our beds because of root invasion, and our beds were filled!!  A major job but it had to be done.  Use the Search box for Table Top and Top Hat.

My 2 cents:
1.  Remove the top 2 rows of siding.  Cut off the corner braces level with the remaining sides.
2.  Lay 2" x 4's (treated would be best) across the bed every 2', beginning and ending flush with the edges of the siding.
3.  Lay a sheet of plywood (1/2" min, 3/4" better).  Draw or snap lines in both direction to create 1' squares (as in Square Foot gardening.
4.  Set the top 2 rows you removed back on top of the plywood, reusing the corner braces that you previously cut off flush.  They should fit perfectly!
5.  Drill 1/2" holes in the center of each square you drew and one in each "corner" of the bed.  Remember that you have 2" x 4" under the corners so the holes in the corners will not be perfectly in the corner.
6.  Line the plywood with weed fabric to keep the mix from washing through the holes!
7.  Fill with Mel's Mix. Wink

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Re: Central Ohio Checking In

Post  rlriii13 on 4/6/2016, 8:49 pm

Thanks sanderson.  I'm well versed on Mel's Mix and TTs and the rest.  I should be more specific about my question.  The frame in the photo above is not the same height all the way around, and it's only setting in a shallow trench right now.  I were to pick it up and move it, the siding on one corner is only 12" deep, and the opposite corner is 24".  So, there's no good anchors sunk into the ground very deep at all.  I was just planning on filling with topsoil and then topping off with MM.

So, if I plan to turn this into a TT, I expect that I'll need to get out the post hole digger and create some actual support posts that have some depth.  Are there examples of someone creating a level TT which is sited on an incline?

I like your advice, except I don't think the structure underneath would support the weight.  I also don't want to create an enclosed hotel for critters!  But I was thinking along the same lines as you, only replacing the underlying part with vertical 4x4 posts or double up 2x4s.

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Re: Central Ohio Checking In

Post  ralitaco on 4/6/2016, 10:58 pm

Welcome from Coastal NC.

I found this thread where he used cinderblocks.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t18857-beds-are-taking-shape-now

Here is a link to my Adventures in Table Tops
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t18566-adventures-in-table-top?highlight=table

I know there was another thread out there where they built several beds on an incline and they stepped down, but I couldn't find it.

There are lots of options for what you want to do. but if you decide to fill in the deep end and put down plywood, you may want to fill with sand

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Re: Central Ohio Checking In

Post  yolos on 4/6/2016, 11:14 pm

I have a similar problem with roots but not an incline.  This big ole live oak tree is right next to my garden and then on another side of the garden I have two dogwood trees.  The garden starts at the drip line of both sets of trees.  The roots have invaded about half of my boxes.  Last year I took out the MM and then all the roots and then put down thick layer of cardboard and then put the MM back in the boxes.  The roots are all ready back again.  So I had planned to fix the problem permanently this winter but got called out of retirement for a few months.  So my bed raising was put on hold until this fall.

My plan is to do a bottom bed of pressure treated 2" x 12" high bed as a base.  Then put a floor on top of this base and then another bed exactly the same (but not pressure treated) on top of the floor.  I too did not want creatures crawling under my beds so I went with a solid bed on the bottom.  

Here is my tree.

It comes in handy when I need leaves for my compost pile but is a nuisance otherwise.

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Re: Central Ohio Checking In

Post  sanderson on 4/7/2016, 2:47 am

RL,  I think your assessment of my suggestions is correct.  The lower part is too weak to support the weight.  I have TTs supported by 4" x 4" treated wood.  The largest is 2' x 8'.  This is my Valentine's Day new 2' x 7'.  

The bed sides are 2' x 4" studs  Because they are thick studs, they can be bolted to the legs for strength.  

I also use plumber's tape to strap in 1" PVC frame holders before I fill the bed.  

Because there is no such thing as a level spot in my back yard, every leg seems to need a treated shim.  For you, figure out how long the lower legs need to be to create a near level condition to set the plywood  bottom and sides.  In stead of a post hole digger, just level off the individual foot prints of each post.

If you don't want to use wood legs, use cinder blocks as legs.  To fine tune the downhill block height, shim with a board of 1' (3/4"), 2" (1 1/2")  3" (2 1/2") , etc.

Here you can see how the treated 4" x 4" legs are notched on which to set the plywood and side. If you want to double up with 2" x 4"s, just bolt the shorted support piece to the full height piece.

The thinner wood you used for the sides?  Build a compost bin, or small beds that don't need strength set on bricks or pavers .  Nothing goes to waste with us, tight wads that we are! Very Happy

I hope this gives you some ideas.

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Re: Central Ohio Checking In

Post  rlriii13 on 4/7/2016, 8:32 am

It definitely does give me ideas.  Thanks everyone.  I hadn't considered just setting it on top of the grade without digging down, but the more I think about it, that might be the best way to go.  I'm hoping to get this figured out this weekend, so I'll report back.

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Re: Central Ohio Checking In

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/7/2016, 11:09 am

Welcome from the Buckeye State, RLR!  I am about 2 hours northwest of you, lived in Columbus eons ago while attending OSU.  Sounds like you have a good start already, just working out some details.  This forum is a wealth of information.  Join us over on the regional thread, N&C Midwest for updates and to see what the rest of us are doing or contending with!

glad you\'re here

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Re: Central Ohio Checking In

Post  rlriii13 on 4/7/2016, 4:01 pm

Thanks Scorpio.  I've spent a tiny amount of time in Ada, on the ONU campus.  Can I get some of your flat land in my backyard please?

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Re: Central Ohio Checking In

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/7/2016, 7:37 pm

Fun! It is a pretty campus, IMO. My sister lives in Lewis Center, and my daughter is attending Cols. State in the fall! Love Cap City!

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Re: Central Ohio Checking In

Post  Kelejan on 4/8/2016, 11:42 am

glad you\'re here ririii39 happy hi 
from Kelejan :canada:  in British Columbia.

So you are another who would appreciate some flat land?  Of my plot of 100ft x 500ft, 100ft x 400 ft goes up a 45 degree hill and gets no sun.  The rest of it isn't so bad now I have cut down some trees.  Very Happy

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