Advice on raised beds for a newbie

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Smudgeboy

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Advice on raised beds for a newbie
« on: February 07, 2007, 22:03 »
Hi all

First time poster and recently fulfilled a long-held ambition of having my own garden!

I have an interest in gardening from watching me ol' Dad over the years, but he was never much of a veg grower, which is the bit that fascinates me. I have a load of questions and I'm reading up first but haven't found an answer to the following question:

If I want to create a couple of small (10ft x 6ft) raised beds in an area that is currently wild grass, can I do it without digging up the grass - ie, by starting with heavy duty groundsheet of some type and dropping soil in on the top?

Ta

Smudge
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Bigbadfrankie

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Advice on raised beds for a newbie
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2007, 22:11 »
depending on your soil, I would not do raised bed myself but if your soil is heavy (clay) it might be worth while. it always seem like loads of unnecessary work to me.
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Jake

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Advice on raised beds for a newbie
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2007, 22:12 »
erm, I suppose that could work, depending on the depth of the bed :?

would it be so bad to dig it over? Weeding aint that bad.
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muntjac

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Advice on raised beds for a newbie
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2007, 22:12 »
if the grass is couch twitch etc it may well come thro8gh and love the new soil . poison it first is my advice .roundup should sort it , or use a sheet of something , but it will need to be waterproof and may well then let weeds come up through it , others may have some more tips ,, and welcome to the gang smudge  :)
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John

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Advice on raised beds for a newbie
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2007, 22:19 »
First, I'd make the beds 4' wide so you can access easily without stepping on the bed.

I wouldn't go for a membrane as the idea of a deep bed is to have deep soil and the membrane limits that. If you can't get the couch roots out, then use glyphosate weedkiller, let them die off and then dig over.
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Bigbadfrankie

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Advice on raised beds for a newbie
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2007, 22:21 »
I am big on burning all these funny named weeds :D bit of petrol and in with heavy plant(machinery)

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Smudgeboy

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Advice on raised beds for a newbie
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2007, 22:23 »
Quote from: "john"
First, I'd make the beds 4' wide so you can access easily without stepping on the bed.


I have very long arms :D

That's some quick replies - cleared up a misconception or two nicely and all! Many thanks all.

I think I'm gonna like it here.

More questions will inevitably follow - especially around what to do about my shady, north-facing garden.

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Salkeela

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Advice on raised beds for a newbie
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2007, 22:34 »
You could try this:

(Copied from my post on another forum.... around Dec.)
As recommended to me in an earlier thread... and in keeping with my desire to grow veg for the family next year.

The project begins...

.....this is the first little corner to be trialled with the cardboard and compost technique!



Son put to work









Finished....



Just debating covering it with black material... I have a roll, but it's only a metre wide - may investigate wider stuff.

Apparently it's best to grow spuds in this first year.  I'll probably have to do something to stop the grass creeping in from the side.....  (but OH will be in charge of that project.)

What do you think! :)
Sally (N.Ireland) Organic as far as I know!

Plant plenty.  Celebrate success.  (Let selective memory deal with the rest.)

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Jake

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Advice on raised beds for a newbie
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2007, 22:38 »
Impressive.

I have heard that the cardboard can eventually make the soil a bit acid. I said eventually but something to keep in mind.

Looks like a great place you've got there Salkeela.

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Salkeela

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Advice on raised beds for a newbie
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2007, 22:38 »
Later update:

Boards were added round the first bed before Christmas.

And today OH took a notion to make a second bed (narrower this time -we decided the first was probably wider than optimum).

Horse manure on this one straight out of the stable (although the stable hasn't be occupied for some time so there was some maturing in situ!)





In fact since then I have added a bit more stuff to the top..... more horse manure - this time mature stuff.  

I'm lucky though we do own a couple of the original suppliers of the manure!

I should say this is all a little experimental!  Sorry for hijacking your thread Smudge!

Sally

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Bigbadfrankie

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Advice on raised beds for a newbie
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2007, 22:39 »
Hell what a task  :shock:

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Salkeela

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Advice on raised beds for a newbie
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2007, 22:42 »
Thanks Jake.  The place belonged to my gran before we moved here.  And apart from being a bit windy (we are fairly exposed) it's a great spot.

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Salkeela

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Advice on raised beds for a newbie
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2007, 22:47 »
Quote from: "Bigbadfrankie"
Hell what a task  :shock:


Hmmmm at the outset I thought it would be less work than digging.... now I'm not so sure!

 :lol:

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John

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Advice on raised beds for a newbie
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2007, 22:56 »
I expect you need to think of it as an investment - harder work this year for less work over the next ten. Looks a lovely place.

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Wobblymoo

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Advice on raised beds for a newbie
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2007, 23:31 »
Raised beds and north facing gardens, sounds like my house  :lol:
Denise

Quote from: "Smudgeboy"
Quote from: "john"
First, I'd make the beds 4' wide so you can access easily without stepping on the bed.


I have very long arms :D

That's some quick replies - cleared up a misconception or two nicely and all! Many thanks all.

I think I'm gonna like it here.

More questions will inevitably follow - especially around what to do about my shady, north-facing garden.



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