Decado
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The Helpful Gardener wrote:My raised beds aren't boxed, so I can plant the sides with lettuce, onions, and such. The extra space is making a big difference in crops this year....

HG
This is exactly why I would prefer mounds over boxed in, because the curvature gives you that extra space.

The Helpful Gardener
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Yeah, Dec, lots more surface area with the mounds, whilel boxing just raises the same amount of surface up some...

HG
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I take the point (not adaptable to my boxes sitting on my concrete patio, unless I want the patio covered in mud, but in general makes sense). But don't the mounds tend to wash away and flatten out over time? Entropy always works to turn a peaks and valleys system into a flat system. But planting the sides too, would help to hold all the soil/compost/etc in place, so that's a win-win.
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Decado
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rainbowgardener wrote:I take the point (not adaptable to my boxes sitting on my concrete patio, unless I want the patio covered in mud, but in general makes sense). But don't the mounds tend to wash away and flatten out over time? Entropy always works to turn a peaks and valleys system into a flat system. But planting the sides too, would help to hold all the soil/compost/etc in place, so that's a win-win.
This is my first year mounding so I can't really say if they wash away or not, but I imagine with planting and mulching it doesn't wash away too much.

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Sage Hermit
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Do it properly and they will solidify to a certain degree. Yes there will be some washing away but its hardly a big deal when you have plants dumping nitrogen or phosphorus into your mound at the optimal surface area rate. Correct me if I am wrong. ...
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Sage is right; fungal hyphae and bacterial polysaccharides will knit and stick the mound together as long as we aren't tilling it. A mulch of hay stops erosive conditions. Gravity is still in effect and there will be some downward motion as we water, but if we are building with hay and compost every season it will not be even noticeable...

And if we are using annuals like lettuce, purselane, lambsquarters, chard, marigolds etc. (just naming my cast of characters but it can go on and on) and leaving the roots in we will add yet more anti-erosive holding power, and more carbon throughout the mound. Our soil improves instead of dissapating...

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Scott Reil

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I have to go back and watch the [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQmPT6jfttc]video[/url] again.


Was wondering where everything should be placed exactly (where do I place marigolds vs onions top bottom middle? I would just assume it matters only slightly.) Right now I have only my 10 foot experimental bed and its all raspberries for now. Its working its wonders and I don't have a problem with the hay blowing away anymore. After I took the sticks off the top and it rained a few times it matted down. Its really a remarkable bed. One thing though I could hear some type of rodents inside the cardboard. I need a cat or something.
You can solve all your problems in a garden/laboratory.

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I have moles and occasionally chipmunks inside mine. I don't worry since neither of them typically cause any significant damage.

I would position the marigolds and onions based on height and light requirements. I think EH usually put hers along the edges. It seemed like she sectioned her beds in what I call the argyle pattern, and planted the main crops inside the diamonds and "edge" crops in the low flat equilateral triangles along the sides.

I just finished planting all my leek seedlings (late I know, but they were just too puny to plant any earlier). I'm hoping since they can be overwintered under mulch, that they'll be OK. I put some between tomatoes along the outside edge and some between hot/sw peppers along the outside edge, and some between the last of the lettuces that are in PM shade/bottom of the sloping bed & moist location and has lasted into the heat. My celery are planted there too so that should be a good combination.

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All of the ones I just listed are side of the mound dwellers for me; the tops are reserved for more cherished veg like tomatoes, peppers, squash and cukes...

Onions grow srtight up no matter where you plant them, as do most of the rest. My secondary cast of characters are not finicky about growing condtions and will do with a bit more shade (from the primary cast of characters) and are all pretty short rooted so not competitive for root space...


And indeed in rbg's situation sitting on concrete it wouldn't work, but my bale gardens would...

:mrgreen:

HG
Last edited by The Helpful Gardener on Sat Jun 19, 2010 4:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Scott Reil

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I've found that mulches do help a mound to stay together better than just bare soil.
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