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materials for grid

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materials for grid

Post  model a man on 1/22/2011, 4:11 pm

Hi to all. Has anyone used string for their grid? I was planning on using redwood fencing ripped down on my table saw to 1" to 1"1/4 wide but I dont like the way it looks. so I was thinking of using the kind of string that masons use to pull a straight line and using little screw eyelets around the raised bed for the string to go through. Thanks for any and all input

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Re: materials for grid

Post  Ha-v-v on 1/22/2011, 4:20 pm

@model a man wrote:Hi to all. Has anyone used string for their grid? I was planning on using redwood fencing ripped down on my table saw to 1" to 1"1/4 wide but I dont like the way it looks. so I was thinking of using the kind of string that masons use to pull a straight line and using little screw eyelets around the raised bed for the string to go through. Thanks for any and all input

I used twine stapled to the box. I chose to use what was at hand, same stuff I tied up the plants with I made my grid with. I do have two boxes with a wooden grid, I like it as well. Twine came in later after I wanted more beds but less cash.

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Re: materials for grid

Post  Chopper on 1/22/2011, 4:21 pm

String or twine can be used. Just know that it does decay in a season and needs to be replaced.

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Re: materials for grid

Post  camprn on 1/22/2011, 4:54 pm

To allow easy access to the soil in the garden bed I used jute twine on small finish nails. I covered the nail heads with slices of wine cork so as not to stab my knees. At the end of the season I can compost the twine if it is getting on to the end of it's usefulness. Very Happy


Last edited by camprn on 1/23/2011, 10:20 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: materials for grid

Post  middlemamma on 1/22/2011, 10:42 pm

I used wood like Mel recommended in his book, and to be honest I really hated it. I replaced it all with clothesline type string and I love it. Even though the slats were thin it took up space and I want as much space in there as I can get...Smile Plus I can move my little hand rake over the top of the string and get to all the dirt instead of getting splinters in the top of my hand. Smile

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Re: materials for grid

Post  quiltbea on 1/22/2011, 11:38 pm

I used venetian blind slats in 2009 and for some of my boxes last year. I find the slats, even weighted with stones, moves around in a stiff wind. I also tried using jute twine which wore out before the season ended, but that's ok. I find that once the blocks are established, I need neither the slats nor the twine. It makes working around my plants easier. I like the freedom of nothing in the way.

Here's a bed with the venetian blinds slats.

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Re: materials for grid

Post  jumiclads on 1/23/2011, 5:37 am

@middlemamma wrote:I used wood like Mel recommended in his book, and to be honest I really hated it. I replaced it all with clothesline type string and I love it. Even though the slats were thin it took up space and I want as much space in there as I can get...Smile Plus I can move my little hand rake over the top of the string and get to all the dirt instead of getting splinters in the top of my hand. Smile

I have not used anything yet because I have no boxes at all but looking and reading all the suggestions for the grids I think washing line is probably the best Idea. You can get it in a good range of colours and its strong and should last a few years. Also like middlemamma says it doesn't reduce the size of the squares. With one inch wide timber slats you would need to make the internal size of your boxes 4 feet 3 inches square to make sure you ended up with exact 12 inch clear squares of planting space. Also it must be easier to work on the actual compost without the wooden slats being in the way. I must admit though the wooden slats do look attractive at first when boxes are empty and plants start to grow. I say at first because once plants get to full size it is hard to see what material was used for the slats. At the point of replanting a single square the only use of any material to make the square is to give a visible indication of where to plant your next crop. So I will be using plastic coted nylon clothesline treaded through screw in eyes.

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Re: materials for grid

Post  Icemaiden on 1/23/2011, 7:21 am

I used plastic-coated clothesline and just tied it off around screws which were not fully screwed in.
I recall at least a couple of people last season said that they used mason's string. Some were happy and I think one said it fell to bits later in the season. Guess there is string and string?
Try searching for "mason" and you will get some threads to read Smile

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Re: materials for grid

Post  Patty from Yorktown on 1/23/2011, 9:48 am

Hi,
We have talked about string vs. slats before, so a search might help with more answers. But just in case it does not. I have metal venetian blind slats nailed into my boxes. They look pretty but do not work well for me. I am slowly replacing them. I will use cheap string. I want the string to rot over the growing season to make garden clean out easier. With attached slats I cannot rake out leaves. The slats are not as easy to use when I want to plant a multi-square plant. I cannot wait to get an other garden season going, as last year was so rough. This year has got to be better.

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Re: materials for grid

Post  model a man on 1/23/2011, 10:21 am

I bought nylon mason string and instead of using eyelets I got large headed screws to wrap the string around. as soon as I finish installing the drip systems I will add the string. I have 3/ 3'x6' boxes and 5/ 4'x6' boxes and a 2 1/2'x30' box and a 4'x6' od shaped planter I am using.

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Re: materials for grid

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 1/23/2011, 11:10 am

Nylon string. I've used pink and white. I prefer a color with some serious pop, honestly. Last spring, I put roofing nails in at every foot and just wove the twine until I had my grid cut in.

I don't care if it needs to be replaced. Twine is pretty inexpensive. And, it doesn't take up any room at all. Here's a picture with last summer's beans sprouting in the twine.


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Re: materials for grid

Post  LaFee on 1/23/2011, 11:22 am

Mine's coated clothesline...it worked just fine for me, so I'll do it again this year.

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Re: materials for grid

Post  Lavender Debs on 1/23/2011, 12:26 pm

In my 4x4s Ray made wooden slats that set inside on small lips in the boxes. The very first box that he made has the grid attached to the box but that is a pain to work with. Box 2 and 3 have removable grids which work so much better for me. It is easier to do irrigation maintenance without the grid in place. It is also easier to get the soil ready in the spring (or winter as the case may be). I do like the look of the grid and do not feel like I lose any space to it. Everything fills in quickly. Oddly enough they also give me something to balance against (with a light touch) when leaning across the square to work in the center squares.

In my one 2x8 box I use jute twine connected with U shaped nails (maybe they are called staples?) I don't notice the twine composting or breaking down all that quickly. It does stretch. Ray will be adding two more 2x8s in late spring/early summer and I plan to stick with jute for that size of garden.

Deborah... thinking corks on nail heads are a good reason to drink wine instead of eating advil after spring gardening.

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Re: materials for grid

Post  camprn on 1/23/2011, 12:37 pm

@Lavender Debs wrote:
Deborah... thinking corks on nail heads are a good reason to drink wine instead of eating advil after spring gardening.
Precisely! bottoms up

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Re: materials for grid

Post  boffer on 1/23/2011, 1:39 pm

I've used wood slats, re-bar, mini-blinds, steel rod, and foam baseboard. Last year I used nylon mason string for the first time, and I'll never use anything else. It's cheap, easy, fast, and versatile.

After seeing how many forum members are happy with string grids, this came to mind: string doesn't always show up as well in pictures as other grid materials.

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Re: materials for grid

Post  miinva on 1/23/2011, 3:07 pm

Amen about the nail heads! We figured out very early that the permanent slats were going to be a pain, but last year I discovered that nails with twine isn't a perfect solution either when I list my balance and cut my palm on a nail head. The staples are a great idea! It may not be comfortable but at least they wouldn't cut my hand if I leaned on one accidentally.

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alternatives to wooden grid?

Post  mcb on 4/20/2013, 10:40 pm

I'm wondering if any one has any creative ideas for something other than a wooden grid? I don't like the look of leaving it in the bed. And it would be great if I could just roll it up but I'm not sure what it could be.

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Re: materials for grid

Post  southern gardener on 4/20/2013, 11:03 pm

I have two different ways of marking my grids. We have "scored" the boards on the raised beds at 1' intervals so we can see where each square foot is. Most of our beds are 2' wide so it's easy to see 1' at a time. The other way is I literally take a ruler and "score" the soil with one foot squares at planting time. The marks are about 1" deep so I can clearly see my squares. After planting and watering, the marks go away, but I'm fine with it. I know Mel says it's not a SFG without the grids, but I had such a problem with slugs/snails/earwigs/sow bugs hiding under my markers I tried another way. I didn't care for the string method either, but to each his own......... Smile Very Happy

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Re: materials for grid

Post  jazzycat on 4/20/2013, 11:46 pm

I'm just using string. I can take it down when I want to or put it back very easily. I have upholstery tacks nailed into the wood to wrap the string.

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Re: materials for grid

Post  jimmy cee on 4/21/2013, 3:43 am

Just finished my first bed.
I used nylon clothes line, tied to eye screws on one side.
Weighted down on the other to keep tension.
All line lays in filed slots to maintain distance



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Re: materials for grid

Post  edfhinton on 4/21/2013, 7:41 am

I used 14 guage plastic coated wire with eye hooks at both ends.



It is thick enough to see the grids at a distance, so you get the SFG look. It takes next to no width away from your squares. And it is so easy to work with. Just put through the eye hook and bend and twidst around itself at one end. The pulll tight at the other end through the eye hook and bend and twist. At 14 guage, it holds it's position in the first eye hook while pulled very tight trough the second. And if you need to later you can disconnect one end at a time and reconnect exactly as it was. When we transplanted our peas out, this was convenient as we just shifted off that end of the wire, planted without our hands hitting and working around the fixed grids, then threaded the end of the wire back through the eyelet and retwisted.

-Ed




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Re: materials for grid

Post  llama momma on 4/21/2013, 8:05 am

Plastic coated clothes line with shiny brass upholstry tacks is very simple. Pull it tight or it'll sag in the heat. I got tired of wooden shims and paint stirrers pushed in on the skinny side, shifing and leaning over. It looks good at first then gets sloppy-looking.

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RE: Alternatives to Wooden Grid

Post  johnp on 4/21/2013, 8:31 am


I found a ploy-something rope at Home Depot that is about 3/16's of an inch in diameter in very bright colors. Hot pink, lime green, orange etc. It looks really good and altho the colors fade somewhat the second year they hold up well. It's very cheap also. I fasten each end with a bowline knot to galvanized roofing nails you can buy at Ace Hardware or other locations that sell in bulk so you buy just what you need.

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Re: materials for grid

Post  RoOsTeR on 4/21/2013, 9:18 am

@jimmy cee wrote:Just finished my first bed.
I used nylon clothes line, tied to eye screws on one side.
Weighted down on the other to keep tension.
All line lays in filed slots to maintain distance



Pretty clever Jimmy.

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Re: materials for grid

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/21/2013, 9:20 am

I use bamboo stakes and then remove some or all of them after planting if they are getting in my way.



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Re: materials for grid

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