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deep boxes for root veggies

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deep boxes for root veggies

Post  Feistywidget on 11/9/2011, 7:23 pm

Mel advocates the use of 'extra deep boxes' for root veggies. He suggests that to do this, you should make the boxes taller, and refers to them as 'high rise' boxes

The thing I'm confused about regarding this is for the high-rise taller boxes is he recommends to do this you should use 8", 10", and/or 12" pieces of lumber instead of the 6" piece of lumber.

With making the box taller, do you use a 4 x 4 SFG box?

However with the the root veggies, he says to use a 1 x 1 SFG box, and says to make it either 6", 9", and/or 12" tall.


Can I just make a box of this height for root veggies using a 4 x 4 box instead of a 1 x 1 box, or does it have to be the 1 x 1 box if you're growing root veggies and making the box taller? If you can make this box 6", 9" or 12" tall and use this taller box with a 4 x 4 box, how?

Mel doesn't specify whether you can make a taller box for root veggies using the 4 x 4 or not unfortunately, so I could use clarification and advice with this.

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Re: deep boxes for root veggies

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 11/9/2011, 9:47 pm

If you want to dedicate an entire 4x4 to root crops, go for it. Make it out of 2 pieces of 12 inch wood if you like.

The 1x1x6inch boxes are extremely portable. You can rotate your crops much better, and the idea was to make these if you are only growing a square or two in a single 4x4 or 3x3 square.

Personally, I have a 1foot x 4foot hi-rise that covers one column (dare I say row?) of my 4x12 box. I can make more and I can grow carrots and potatoes in any column I wish.

I hope that makes sense. Someday, I'll get some pictures up again, but I've had a crazy computer virus battle the past day or two and lost most of what I hadn't already moved to Flickr.

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Re: deep boxes for root veggies

Post  Lavender Debs on 11/10/2011, 12:07 am

I have some deep boxes that go in (0r on) my boxes. For root crops like little finger carrots or beets, you do not really need them. For potatoes it helps me find my crop AND allows me to get stragglers that want to volunteer next year.

Not all deep boxes really make for pretty veggies....this is supposed to be a white carrot from a carnival mix....


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Re: deep boxes for root veggies

Post  Icemaiden on 11/10/2011, 4:16 am

I think it all depends on what you want to grow. If you only want a few carrots then you can make a sort of collar of wood which sits on top of your proper box, fill it with mix and get the extra depth like that. The collar can be just 1 x 1 or cover several sqaures, just as you like.

I've got two 4 x 4 boxes which are about 11 inches deep.

Carrots are one of my better crops so I had a total of 12 squares of them, and 4 of parsnips. And I grow broadbeans (?fave) in the deep boxes too.
I tried one square of Nantes carrots in a shallow box and they ended rather snubnosed and the exact depth of the mix Laughing

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Re: deep boxes for root veggies

Post  Kelejan on 11/10/2011, 10:58 am

The 1x1x6inch boxes are extremely portable. You can rotate your crops much better, and the idea was to make these if you are only growing a square or two in a single 4x4 or 3x3 square.

Personally, I have a 1foot x 4foot hi-rise that covers one column (dare I say row?) of my 4x12 box. I can make more and I can grow carrots and potatoes in any column I wish.

I hope that makes sense.



Makes sense to me. BBG. Very Happy

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Re: deep boxes for root veggies

Post  Feistywidget on 11/10/2011, 7:04 pm

The type of root veggies I'd be growing in the deeper boxes (either the 1x1, 3 x 3, or 4x4, I don't know which yet, haven't decided) would be.....

*onions (yellow, red)
*shallots
*garlic
*kohlrabi

*potatoes (Yukon Gold, red, and sweet; maybe the purple and blue varieties, but I'm not sure about those)

*red radish

*carrot (baby and the normal ones that are 6"-7" in length)
*beets (gold and the normal red)
*turnip
*daikon (giant asian white radish)
*parsnips

Mel says you can make the 3 x 3 and 1 x 1 boxes, unfortunately he doesn't say what size with the measurements you need for the pieces of lumber. He also doesn't specify how many of each root crop can be planted in a 1 x 1 box and/or a 3 x 3 box.

Not to be rude, but I could really use actual precise measurements with the length of the boards you should use for the deeper 'high-rise' 4 x 4 boxes.

The book doesn't give this information, and unfortunately nobody here has either. Can somebody please provide measurements with the size of the lumber for the high-rise, deep 4 x 4 boxes and what size lumber you need for the 1 x 1 and 3 x 3 boxes? Clarification with this would be much appreciated.

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Re: deep boxes for root veggies

Post  Icemaiden on 11/11/2011, 5:11 am

@Feistywidget wrote:

The book doesn't give this information, and unfortunately nobody here has either. Can somebody please provide measurements with the size of the lumber for the high-rise, deep 4 x 4 boxes and what size lumber you need for the 1 x 1 and 3 x 3 boxes? Clarification with this would be much appreciated.

Hi. That is a very hard question to answer!

When the boards are screwed together they need to overlap a little. So, if you want to end with a box which has an inside hole exactly 1 foot x 1 foot then each wooden board will need to be 12 inches-plus-the-thickness.

If you look at this picture (which shows the top view of a box) you can see that the dashed red line is a bit longer than the solid red line.



Mel's book recommends using timber for a shallow box which is either 1 by 6 inches or for a sturdier box 2 by 6 inches.

If you want to have a perfect 1 foot by 1 foot box then you need: four lengths of wood which are 1-foot-plus-1-inch long, 1 inch thick and as wide as you choose to give the depth you want.

If you choose to have a stronger box from wood which is 2 inches thick then each piece would need to be 1-foot-plus-2-inches long.

A 3 x 3 box would need four bits of wood, each 3-feet-plus-1(or 2)-inches long, 1 (or 2) inches thick, and how ever wide you choose.

I hope that is clear, because now it could get complicated Laughing

In the real world you will probably want to factor in the cost so you might settle for something less than perfect.
The world will not end if the inside of the box is 11 inches x 11 inches. So if you have timber which is 4 feet long and you cut it into four pieces then it will be fine and your carrots will hardly notice the difference. But the inside of the box will be 11" by 11".

The width of the timber you use is up to you. I used 2" by 6" and then for the deep boxes I stacked one frame on top of another so the total depth was 12". That worked out cheaper than paying for 12" wide timber.

People on here are using all sorts of timber in various thicknesses and widths. Some people are using bricks instead. What matters is that you fill it with the right mix and then add a grid so that you can think in squares when you are planting.

If you scroll down a bit on this link http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t5273-extra-deep-boxes there is a good picture of the sort of mobile extra depth box which many people use.

I hope someone else will pick up on your vegetable list and advise you. Some of the things you list won't need an extra deep box. I'm sure they won't mind either, but if you want to save on materials you could plant some in a normal box.

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Re: deep boxes for root veggies

Post  plantoid on 11/11/2011, 11:27 am

Instead of using lumber ( timber ?? ) I managed to get hold of several 24 inch 1/4 inch walled diameter grey plastic pipe/tubes that were the inside spindle of four foot diameter cable drums . Standing at 30 inches on end they make fantastic bottomless deep boxes .



You could use any round big internally smooth bore tube such as the big wide rain water underground pipe that are 2 foot to 3 foot across .

The benefits are that the tube being strong and round do not collapse , You can sterilize the tubes after use , they last for many years without maintenence and you can grow the crops to a depth of over a three feet or more long if you so choose .

Presently we grow our new season potatoes in our tubes , starting off at four inches of soil on the concrete slab then a potato covered by two inches of soil . Then they and are carefully back filled as soon as the potato starts to poke their heads green leaved tops three inches above the soil till only the top leaves are visible then repeat as needed till the soil is level with the top of the tube . Potatoes will form along the majority of the stem growth . For lots of main crop potatoes i used to resort to big cultivsated beds but as age and injury takes over i've moved to the easire way for just a few decent potatoes and we buy the rest in that wee need.

The tubes sit well on the soil as well especialy if tied together in groups of four for the longer tubes by using a ratchet tensioner strap.Imagine using this idea with four potato plants producing 60 pound or more of potatoes from just 16 square feet of ground plus a few salad bits etc round the bases as well .

We are also hoping to use such tubes to grow three or four jerusalem artichoke plants as well next year , not only to contain the tubers easily but to make harvesting them far easier than me having to dig a two foot diameter hole 15 inches deep in very heavy clay soil to ensure we have all of them and don't leave stragglers behind to inconvieniently self seed next year..



I've drilled holes four 6 mm holes three inches apart , 180 degrees apart around the top rim of the tubes then made them rope lifiting handles .

All that we do to harvest ( me and my gal ) is lift the tube off on a wooden broom stick between us. Then the stack of potatoes is there for easy harvesting and putting the used soil back in one of our three " Dalek " composters as a soil layer, it's far easier than me digging them out a bed I can tell you.

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Re: deep boxes for root veggies

Post  Luci Dawson on 11/11/2011, 1:30 pm

Do you have a picture to share that shows your cable spool insert for potatoes?

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Re: deep boxes for root veggies

Post  plantoid on 11/11/2011, 1:57 pm

It's really nothing special.

Look here in the bottom left hand corner .. there is an empty tube.



The tubes were emptied to facilitate major landscaping work and building of the new raised beds .

We have had major laying of new foul and rain water drains right through the property to not only stop foulwater leakage ( they had collapsed and blocked up but to get some decent drainage in the heavy blue clay soils. we have also put in deep run outside 100 amp 240 volt supply of electricity and a hand full of data cables to the old office cabin & garage plus a piped water supply etc.. they are now all under three inch thick concrete wide pathways .



I'll go back through a few thousand pictures and try and find some much better pictures with plants growing in them .

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Re: deep boxes for root veggies

Post  Icemaiden on 11/11/2011, 2:30 pm

@plantoid wrote:Instead of using lumber ( timber ?? )


Embarassed Embarassed What can I say? Two countries divided by a common language Laughing I just wrote timber and hoped for the best!

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Re: deep boxes for root veggies

Post  Luci Dawson on 11/11/2011, 3:21 pm

No hurry on more pics...I get the idea!

And thanks

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Re: deep boxes for root veggies

Post  Feistywidget on 11/11/2011, 6:16 pm

Okay this is the excerpt from square foot gardening about making the boxes extra deep:

Making boxes extra deep means they're extra dramatic. I know I've told you that 6" of MM is enough for all plants, but your garden becomes much more dramatic when the container is extra tall. If you decide to build your box taller, just use 8", 10", or 12" lumber instead of the normal 6".

The question I have is about this......

If you decide to build your box taller, just use 8", 10", or 12" lumber instead of the normal 6".

When it says to use the 8", 10", or 12" pieces of lumber instead of the 6" is it referring to the length and the width of the lumber or the height? I'm assuming if the box is 3 x 3, you'd use a piece of lumber that is 3' long, and 8", 10", or 12" w/length and then for the other part it would be 2"?

The reason I'm referring to the 2" measurement is because it says to build the 4 x 4 box you need to use lumber that is.....

"Make sure you've got all you need: four 4' by 2" x 6" boards, 6 four foot wood lath boards"

What are the wood lath boards for, just the grids?

The one last thing I have a question about regarding this, is it says you can layer or stack boxes......

it says here.....

"if you're going to do multiple layers for your garden boxes, fill any space below 6" with just ordinary sand".

Does that mean to do the deeper, taller boxes, you have to do more than one box? Or, to make the deeper boxes, can you just build one?

Does anybody have a photo of what the 'high rise, deep boxes' are supposed to look like? It doesn't show in the book.

I would be interested in doing the deep SFG boxes that look like a stair case. Here is a link to give an idea of what I mean. It's for raised beds, but that's basically what I'd like to do with the square foot beds. It would either be all of them 'stacked' with the same size for each 'step' or a 1 x 1 box for the upper level, 2 x 2 for mid level, and 3 x 3 for bottom level. The first looks like a stair case, the 2nd looks like a pyramid.

http://webecoist.com/2010/03/17/good-things-in-small-boxes-urban-garden-tiny-footprint/

http://www.naplesnews.com/photos/2008/aug/27/75552/



Regarding the idea of using the tubes for root veggies, I don't know if it's something I'll do but I'll keep it in mind. Do you have a list of materials and instructions with how to build them?

If you could give instructions that use photos/pictures it would just make it easier to understand. I'm not trying to be picky and fussy about it, it's just easier for me to learn something new if it's 'told' to me visually; I'm a visual learner, that's just how I am.

You could use any round big internally smooth bore tube such as the big
wide rain water underground pipe that are 2 foot to 3 foot across .

I'd like to use container gardening with the tubes for stuff that has very deep roots.....rutabagas, parsnips, and daikon, and artichokes. I'd prefer the depth to be 2' to 3' deep for these veggies, because I know how long the roots get. Would the depth be this deep using the tubes?

The other stuff, I have no problems using the deeper square foot boxes.


The
benefits are that the tube being strong and round do not collapse , You
can sterilize the tubes after use , they last for many years without
maintenence and you can grow the crops to a depth of over a three feet
or more long if you so choose .

Feistywidget

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