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Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

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Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  ASFx on 6/5/2010, 4:00 am

Im finally finished with my new back yard layout, including four new 4x8 raised beds. I don't yet have my drip irrigation or grids put in yet, but wanted to show you what i've got so far Smile

The beds are 20 inches high and made of trex composite boards. The corner and side posts are 4"x4" cedar blocks which were cut to various sizes to keep the beds level. For the trellises, i used full size 8ft tall cedar blocks. The trellises are roughly 6ft tall from the surface of the soil.




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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  silverbug on 6/5/2010, 7:36 am

It's amazing looking and quite sturdy; very hardcore. I would think your trellis's could withstand a hurricane. Smile Great job. Can't wait to see them growing.

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  AliSmith13 on 6/5/2010, 9:07 am

Wow! So jealous! Smile That is gorgeous and will definitely last you MANY years to come! Great work!
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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  Garden_State on 6/5/2010, 9:10 am

Holy Moly!!! Are thoses filled to the top with Mel's Mix? Is there a reason why they are so deep?

Love the setup.

Pete
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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  ASFx on 6/5/2010, 12:03 pm

@silverbug wrote:It's amazing looking and quite sturdy; very hardcore. I would think your trellis's could withstand a hurricane. Smile Great job. Can't wait to see them growing.

Thanks Smile I needed the trellis to withstand very strong winds. We occasionally get 100+ mph gusts here in Las Vegas

@AliSmith13 wrote:Wow! So jealous! Smile That is gorgeous and will definitely last you MANY years to come! Great work!

Thank you. I hope it does last for a long time. I plan to be here for quite a while. Smile

@Garden_State wrote:Holy Moly!!! Are thoses filled to the top with Mel's Mix? Is there a reason why they are so deep?

Love the setup.

Pete

Yup they're completely filled with mel's mix. It's about 10 cubic yards total for all four beds. There are a few reasons why I decided on a depth of 20 inches.

-In Las Vegas, we have extremely hard, rocky soil. I was only able to get down a few inches even with a pick axe. (the pick axe made sparks when I hit the ground). At a depth of 6 inches, the roots of most plants would not be able to grow into this native soil if they needed to.

-Extreme heat in Las Vegas. During the summer here, it can easily hit 110-115 degrees. I wanted to make sure there was enough soil to hold water between waterings.

-Extreme wind in Las Vegas. We occasionally get wind gusts up to 100+ mph, so I wanted to make sure the plants were able to grow nice deep root systems to survive the wind and to allow for deep staking.

-Narrow yard. My garden area is pretty narrow (about 14ft wide). I have the brick wall to the east, and the 2 story wall of my house to the west. This means that as i go lower to the ground, plants are blocked by the brick wall in the morning, and my house in the afternoon. Going higher up got me about an hour of extra sunlight during the day. This actually works out nicely because i get about 7-8 hours of sunlight during the summer, and my house starts to block the garden from the deadly afternoon sun Wink

-A dog. My Fiance plans on getting a dog, and I didn't want it trampling all over my garden.

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  Chopper on 6/5/2010, 2:04 pm

Vegas is not a place that is conducive to gardening.. I think your extra efforts will pay dividends!

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  chocolatepop on 6/5/2010, 2:06 pm

gorgeous!! I'm surprised and awe stricken at the 20 inches! Did you use the new book or the old one?
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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  ASFx on 6/5/2010, 3:12 pm

@chocolatepop wrote:gorgeous!! I'm surprised and awe stricken at the 20 inches! Did you use the new book or the old one?

I read the new book. It really had a ton of great info. I also bought the SFG cookbook which also has a surprising amount of info about harvesting and storage included.

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  ASFx on 6/5/2010, 3:22 pm

@Chopper wrote:Vegas is not a place that is conducive to gardening.. I think your extra efforts will pay dividends!

Vegas is a pretty easy place to garden year-round as long as you follow a few rules regarding heat management and mulching. During the coldest parts of winter, it only gets down to about 35 degrees in my yard for a short time, so I don't have to worry very much about frost. We use silver reflective mulch (mylar) here which reflects the sunlight back up into the foliage which keeps the soil nice and cool. We also do intensive planting to allow the plants to keep each other cool during the summer. And of course, heat tolerant varieties are a plus. It's June 5th, and 100+ degrees outside and im still harvesting lots of very tasty peas out of one of my containers. It's a heat tolerant "Wando" variety.

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  Paintedlady on 6/5/2010, 10:58 pm

Beautifully done!!! Those are some mighty impressive looking boxes I must say. Tell me that's not real grass or I'll be entirely put to shame.
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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  ASFx on 6/5/2010, 11:56 pm

@Paintedlady wrote:Beautifully done!!! Those are some mighty impressive looking boxes I must say. Tell me that's not real grass or I'll be entirely put to shame.

Thanks Smile

It's not real grass. It's a special synthetic grass from a company called Synlawn. it was just released in 2010 and greatly reduces the amount of heat retained by the grass. I'm still able to walk on it barefoot even in 100+ degree weather which is pretty nice.

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  Chopper on 6/6/2010, 5:39 pm

By not conducive to gardening I meant "raw" Vegas. Hot desert with horrible soil intense sun and winds and no water. But with a hose, SFG and Some trucked in MM you got something!

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  Dietryin on 6/6/2010, 6:39 pm

I love your garden pic's and the thought you but into it will really pay off. Don't forget to update us with some photo's when you have the boxes planted.

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  johnfromfl on 6/6/2010, 7:51 pm

Nice Garden. good luck with the harvest.

I don't think it's going anywhere with the 4 x 4's. I hope the shovel in the pic was to put in the Mel's mix.
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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  kingdaddy on 6/15/2010, 5:09 pm

i was watching some videos on youtube today from a guy who has a bunch of great videos about growing your own food, and i came across a video of YOUR garden. i knew that i recognized it right away and have been scouring the forum to find this thread. i would love an update on how things are growing out there for you! here is the video so evey one can watch it.


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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  ASFx on 6/15/2010, 5:23 pm

Yup that's my garden. Smile

These videos were actually made just a couple days ago, so i don't have much growing in the beds yet. It's a 3 part video series that John Kohler from GrowingYourGreens.com did at my house. The first two parts show my kitchen herb garden, seed starting area with LED lights, and self watering containers I made.

Since then, i added some temporary grids made of garden twine since that's what I had around. I'll replace them with something better later this year. I planted lots of pole beans along the trellis, and many more bush beans within most of the squares of that same bed. I also planted some cucumbers along the trellis which are now sprouting (you can see them in the pic below). I know it's a late start, but i figured i'd just see what happens and maybe i can get a decent fall crop before i start planting my cold season veggies.

Here's a pic of the grids and cucumbers just sprouting:



Here are the videos:

Part 1:


Part 2:


Part 3:

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  milaneyjane on 6/15/2010, 5:46 pm

Those boxes are AMAZING---I am green with envy. Great job!
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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  Shoda on 6/15/2010, 5:55 pm

Terrific garden. Can't wait to see updates as it grows! Best of luck to you.
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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  johnfromfl on 6/15/2010, 6:18 pm

Great Job with the garden and love what you are doing with the inside and starter plants. Keep up the great work. I am on a budget but will do what I can with what little I have.
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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  ASFx on 6/17/2010, 2:55 pm

Thanks everyone Smile It's been a lot of fun.

Here's an updated pic of my seed starting area, and the pipe pots i was talking about in the video.

I bought 10ft lengths of 3" ABS pipe, then cut it up into 4" tall segments. I then use them as bottomless pots which are sitting on a capillary mat with a water reservoir under them. The soil in the pots stays just perfectly moist all the time. Not too much, not too little. They stay here under my LED lights for 6-8 weeks until they go out into the garden. The only thing I have to do is refill the water reservoir about once every week.


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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  Shoda on 6/17/2010, 11:37 pm

What type of soil are you using in your bottomless pots? Are you able to lift them without all the soil falling through? I guess I don't quite understand how this works.
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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  ASFx on 6/17/2010, 11:57 pm

@Shoda wrote:What type of soil are you using in your bottomless pots? Are you able to lift them without all the soil falling through? I guess I don't quite understand how this works.

Pretty much any type of "potting soil" should work with a capillary mat like this. I'm using Fox Farm happy frog potting soil. It's organic, and has worm castings, bat guano, and composted forest humus added.

Once the plants are 6-8 weeks old and the roots have been established, i can pick up the pipes off of the capillary mat, and the soil will stay inside the pot. If i need to move the pipes before then, i just tilt them up and use a 4 inch spatula which works perfectly. For the most part, i will never need to move anything until they're ready to go outside though. Then i just take the entire tray outside, then lift them up and put them right into the garden soil.

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  ASFx on 6/30/2010, 2:27 am

Just made a quick video update of my seed starting shelf with LED lights. You can see how nicely everything is growing on that top shelf since the pic in the first post of this thread. That was only about 2 weeks ago Smile


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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  ASFx on 7/18/2010, 5:42 pm

Here's a photo update. Everything looking good so far Smile Im very happy with it.



Tomatillos in the front, bush beans in 18 squares (9 per square), pickling cucumbers on the back left trellis, and blue lake pole beans on the back right trellis


Icebox watermelons, and spaghetti squash to the left of the watermelons.


Fairytale eggplant just starting to fruit in the last few days. They really seem to be enjoying the 115+ degree heat.

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  Chopper on 7/19/2010, 1:14 am

Looks great! I have planted 4 eggplant - at different times and they are my worst plant across the board. I hope to see one fruit at least before the end of the season. Has the 20" box setup worked well for moisture?

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