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using oak logs for bedframes/ root depth requirements/ best choice of plant species

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using oak logs for bedframes/ root depth requirements/ best choice of plant species

Post  muddobber on 9/17/2011, 2:58 pm

Good after noon to all: We're getting some much needed rain here in the ozarks.I'm new to square foot gardening and have some general questions: 1. Ive an abundance of standing oaktrees that need to be thined.I'd like to use them for my bedwalls. Any pest/fungal problems that would make this unadvisable? 2. where can I find a root depth requirement (so I know how tall to build my beds) per vegetable plant species.Where do I find what seed varieties work best in my area.I've gardened for years and my choice of seed is usually determined by how good the seed company's ad is.....Not all ways a good choice. Everyone around here has their own opinions, and everyone row grows...I'll be the first around here to try sq/ftcontainer growing. 3. Does anyone know how deep a bed has to be to keep earthworms alive and happy? Thanks

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Re: using oak logs for bedframes/ root depth requirements/ best choice of plant species

Post  Chopper on 9/17/2011, 4:17 pm

@muddobber wrote:2. where can I find a root depth requirement (so I know how tall to build my beds) per vegetable plant species 3. Does anyone know how deep a bed has to be to keep earthworms alive and happy? Thanks

First and foremost, welcome to the forum. I cannot answer all of your question but I can take a stab at a couple of them.

I have to ask, have you read the New SFGing book? All of your questions, with the exception of the oak tree one, should be answered. Also check out the "I Learned Something New When I checked Out Chapter (X)" thread. It has a wealth of info.

The beds need to be 6 inches deep. Period. The combination of good Mels Mix soil ingredients allows this. Alfalfa has a very deep tap root, and you do not want to grow it in a bed anyway, but any of your garden veggies are fine in 6 inches of MM soil. Because the nutrients are so dense. And believe me, this has been tested over and over by the members of this forum. Many doubters who came to believe. Just make sure you include all of the ingredients recommended or buy the premixed MM at Lowes.

If you are putting your beds on the ground, then worms are happy. Either way, they are happy in the 6 inches also as long as you never let it out completely.

Chopper

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Re: using oak logs for bedframes/ root depth requirements/ best choice of plant species

Post  muddobber on 9/17/2011, 8:28 pm

thanks chopper for the reply. Will 6" of soil be adaquate for tom's, asparagus, carrots etc.... I'm pretty low bucks,if I can't get a book thru the library I don't have access.

muddobber

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Re: using oak logs for bedframes/ root depth requirements/ best choice of plant species

Post  Chopper on 9/17/2011, 8:36 pm

Yes 6 inches is adequate. Hard to believe but true. I feel you about the money and I have a hold on the SFg book at my library now b/c I do not own one either. but there is LOTS of info on this site. Start looking around and on the left of your screen on the home page are some newbie topics.

I do not see why the oak would not work. There is an oak thing that keeps plants from growing but I think that is a root thing. I would look around the internet for that answer.

Asparagus is a special case and will need its own dedicated box since it is a biennial I think?

Carrots will find a way to grow. If the soil ends, they go sideways or sometimes push themselves up. Tomatoes, corn, lettuce, beets, beans, squashes, melons, peas, etc, etc, etc will all grow fine in 6 inches of soil. Go online now and put the book on hold and take a look at it. And the one place not to cut corners is the soil. It is a little pricey to start, but then all you will ever need after is compost. It is well worth the investment.

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Re: using oak logs for bedframes/ root depth requirements/ best choice of plant species

Post  sherryeo on 9/17/2011, 9:40 pm

to the forum! I'm so glad you've joined us and are interested in trying sfgardening! Do be sure to read the All New Square Foot Gardening book! And, while you're waiting to get it, I would highly recommend reading this post about how important the Mel's Mix is to sfgs. http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t7451-mel-s-mix-how-strong-is-your-backbone

I wish this post had been available before I mixed my first Mel's Mix because I think I messed up a bit on getting my composts. It is well worth the effort to do it right and will ensure the best possible start.

I hope to see you around the forum!

sherryeo

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Re: using oak logs for bedframes/ root depth requirements/ best choice of plant species

Post  stripesmom on 9/19/2011, 12:05 am

HI Welcome to the forum. I was just in Salem Mo. last weekend. What a beautiful part of the earth to be able to live in.



#1-Oak is a hard wood. It will out last pine and lots of people use pine boards for their boxes. I see no problem.



#2 I don't know where you'd get a root depth requirement. Seed packets? Carrots, well, they are as long as they need to be. Choose a variety that is short for a 6 inch deep box or build a 12 inch deep box for the longer ones. I planted mine in tall containers and they were still stunted. On the other hand, we had a weird growing year. I only grow carrots for fun. They are cheap at the store. I try to concentrate on what is the most expensive veggies. Tomatoes and peppers. In the winter, what costs the most to buy? That's what I'm into mostly. But carrots are fun.



No, you can't put aspargus in a regular sfg. It needs more depth. Asparagus will grow wide (up to four feet) and at least a foot in the ground or farther. It has long roots (like rubarb) and likes to get it's moisture from farther down. Watering isn't as much of an issue with aspargus. It doesn't like to be wet. But like any thing, it does need some water. I've watered mine daily all summer, but we've not had much rain, like many people. Try using Mel's method in the older book, using sfg on top of soil with no bottom to the box so your roots can grow down in the earth. Asparagus may last up to 15 years (some times longer) if given time, care and space. First, till the soil or just cover with newpapers (to kill the weeds). In your neck of the woods, I'd till the soil, remove it if it's rocky and add mel's mix below the box (if it's not hard rock and just sandy, then leave it like it is and don't worry about tilling). Then build your box, add MM and young asparagus crowns. If you start your box now, you can plant the crowns next spring. There is some debate about when to pick it. Some people say wait 2-3 years to establish the root system. Others say if you pick it the first year, it will encourage the root system. Personally, I would wait. One more thing, they like sun, but will grow fine in shade. I don't have experience with it long term, but I think in the sun, you will find it will be more prolific and last years longer than in the shade.

#3. Try searching the forum for earth worm boxes. Also, look on youtube for earthworms/worm boxes. Some varieties need to have more depth than others. I added regular earth worms to my boxes and I kept finding them escaping. A 6 inch deep box is too shallow for regular old worms. Most likely the ones from where you live, are use to going deep when it gets hot. Worms are great, but not necessary (apparently) in this way of gardening. If you don't have bottoms on your boxes, then the worms will come up as they feel to feed, then leave when they are too hot.

Finally, try to find the money to buy the book. I have read mine (both the old and new) over and over again and keep finding more to learn. I have been a row gardening for years and at the age of 54, I have found a new way to look at how to grow things. What I found with this way is many reasons to do it. When every one else's gardens were burning up, mine was fine with little water. But, it still needed water. Mine needed no weeding, every one else was using a hoe in 100 degree weather. Mine was expensive to start, but cheap to keep it going. Mine produced tomatoes and every body else had to buy theirs-because theirs burnt up. Mine is still beautiful and theirs are weed patches. Finally, I just loved it so much. I am still loving it. Good luck!

stripesmom

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