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Impossible Gardener in Delaware

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Impossible Gardener in Delaware

Post  stealthmayhem on 6/29/2017, 9:16 am

Good morning All.  I just wanted to drop by to say hello!  Without getting into a super long story, I just bought a house in December.  The entire backyard is poured concrete.  So, raised beds it is.  After doing some research, I stumbled upon the "Square Foot Gardening" method, and it all makes sense to me. 
 I just got everything that I think I need (Mel's Mix is EXPENSIVE to make!), but it is a one time thing. Wish me luck.
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Re: Impossible Gardener in Delaware

Post  AtlantaMarie on 6/29/2017, 10:14 am

Hi Stealthmayhem. Welcome from Atlanta, GA! At least it was a fairly easy decision for you, lol!

I agree, it makes a lot of sense. That's one reason I decided to go with SFG.

We're here to help in any way we can! We like photos & diagrams....

What are you looking to grow?
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Re: Impossible Gardener in Delaware

Post  Turan on 6/29/2017, 1:30 pm

glad you\'re here

A thought on your beds on a concrete slab. Once upon a time there some one came here looking for advice who had put her beds on a slab and there was not enough drainage so a nasty septic soup developed. I know others have done it without problem though. My guess is care in the MM. I was contemplating this for my mother in law's patio. She ended up using forms a bit deeper (and easier for her to reach) and putting old packing peanuts in a bottom layer. I would of put a bag of perlite (not being a peanut hoarder and chunky perlite is cheaper than vermiculite but still suitable for MM, or sand cuz I like it).

Best of gardening luck and show us how it all proceeds.

sunny

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Re: Impossible Gardener in Delaware

Post  Robbomb116 on 6/29/2017, 8:59 pm

On concrete for I would recommend making a "table top" style bed with a plywood bottom (with drainage holes drilled in). Even if it is only a few inches off the ground, it would help ensure there is drainage.
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Re: Impossible Gardener in Delaware

Post  stealthmayhem on 6/30/2017, 8:22 am

@Robbomb116 wrote:On concrete for I would recommend making a "table top" style bed with a plywood bottom (with drainage holes drilled in).  Even if it is only a few inches off the ground, it would help ensure there is drainage.
That is exactly what I was planning to do.  I was going to line my box (12x4) with weed barrier, just to keep the Mel's Mix from falling out the drainage holes that are drilled in the plywood bottom. The slab isn't exactly level (to allow for better drainage), so I am adding legs of different sizes to my bed to get it off the concrete, allowing it to drain properly, and level out.
As far as what I am going to grow, the only things that I know are going in the box are tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries,  and cantaloupe.  Oh, and carrots, and green beans, and two different kinds of peas, and...............I  guess I do have an idea of what i am going to put in there.  Just NO Flowers.  Looking pretty, doesn't fill my belly up.
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Re: Impossible Gardener in Delaware

Post  kristinz on 6/30/2017, 8:29 am

Welcome from a fellow Blue Hen!  I didn't do much this year in my garden due to other projects, but am going to start planting things that I would normally do in a rotation such as radishes... I have 3 tomato plants given to me by a neighbor...  My husband made a 4x2 bed on wheels for a friend who only has a deck.  This worked well for her and seems to give enough lift off the ground for drainage.  Looking forward to seeing / hearing how things go for you!
~Kristin
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Re: Impossible Gardener in Delaware

Post  sanderson on 6/30/2017, 3:50 pm

Stealth,  Welcome to the Forum from California!  glad you\'re here

Not skimping on Mel's Mix will go a long way to a successful garden.     One caution.  Some bagged composts have peat moss as an ingredient, so reduce the amount of fluffed peak moss to accommodate.  Second hint:  peat moss needs to be fluffed before you measure it!!  It almost doubles in size, so if you buy a 3 cubic feet bag, you will get almost 6 cu. ft of fluffed.

All of my beds are off the ground.  Most are 2' wide x various lengths table tops with a few on pavers.  My pavers are beveled so there is good drainage.  A couple of 2'x4' are on 4 wheels each and can be moved around if needed.  A 4' x 12' elevated bed would be cumbersome.  May I suggest that three 4'x4' will be easier to manage, rotate crops, utilize trellises, etc.  Here are 2 photos showing part of the construction of a 2' high table top.


Underneath support at 2 foot spans.

Rolling beds:

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Re: Impossible Gardener in Delaware

Post  stealthmayhem on 7/1/2017, 10:07 am

@sanderson wrote:Stealth,  Welcome to the Forum from California!  glad you\'re here

  A 4' x 12' elevated bed would be cumbersome.  May I suggest that three 4'x4' will be easier to manage, rotate crops, utilize trellises, etc.  
The reason that I went with 4x12 is simple.  I have 8 pieces of lumber that are 4'x8".  If I made 4x4 {4ft on each side}, I would only get 32 square feet of garden space . (4x4=16sqft x2 = 32 sqft).  If I use the same 8 pieces of lumber in a 4x12 {1 4ft on each side, and 3 4ft pieces on the top and bottom} I can get 48 sqft of gardening space.

I Have some 3/4" plywood  for the bottom, so I would just need to purchase some supports (my wife is starting to get upset with all the "stupid expenses" of this garden, but it will be worth it when she has a bunch of tomatoes and strawberries to nibble on).  I am trying to maximize cost vs return.
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