MiamiGreen
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My New Garden

Took about a week (after work) to fully build. Its 8' x 8' by 8' and the sections are 2' wide. I built it over an existing sand bed. Right now it just has a layer of ballast rock. I will eventually fill it with soil and start testing my green thumb. I'm planning on planting all kinds of herbs and vegetables. I would really like to plant tomato, green beans, peppers (hot and green), onions, carrots, and any other suggestions you guys might have. Ill keep you guys updated on my progress

[img]https://i1024.photobucket.com/albums/y309/randywatson21/Gardening1.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i1024.photobucket.com/albums/y309/randywatson21/Garden2.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i1024.photobucket.com/albums/y309/randywatson21/Garden3.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i1024.photobucket.com/albums/y309/randywatson21/Garden4.jpg[/img]

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engineeredgarden
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Nice craftmanship! Being a builder myself, I can really appreciate the effort that went into the box.
It looks like you ended up with about 9" of depth after the gravel was put in? If so, you'll wish it was deeper later on...Just my opinion, as I tried 8" deep with mine and changed it to 14" deep later....

EG

MiamiGreen
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thanks for the hard work acknowledgment. There were some times that i wanted to quit, especially in the hot Miami sun. As far as the depth goes i will have about 12"-14" of soil coverage once i add the material. I think that should be fine.

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engineeredgarden
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Oh yeah, 12-14" should work like a charm. Again, I really like the bed...

EG

Shoontok
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looks really nice. Looks like those timbers are all doweled together. And you had to measure and drill a hole for each individual piece as u stacked em? If so nice job.

My only concern for the structure is what did you do to hold the corners together?

Typically a structure of that sort should of had overlapped corners, with corner dowelling.

Im not trying to be an edited. Just curious and don't want to see yer hard work blow out after a season or two.

If in fact all of those stacks of lumber are "individual stacks" and not tied in to the adjacent wall. You might want to look into strapping the corners or even some long lag bolts.

Shoontok
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Just had another idea. Just in case them corners arent secured and ya havent filled it with soil yet. You could get a few heavy duty 90 degree steel brackets and fasten them to inside of the corners with some good fasteners if you wanna keep the outside look clean cut.

Its all probably a moot point anyway, i bet ya got it under control with some secret trade secret i don't know ;)

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gixxerific
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First off nice design. I love the layout. It gave me an idea to change my planned (one day) raised beds.

But, sorry to be a critic here, I understand you probably put the rock in there for drainage. Or at least I assume that is why. I was just out in the garden myself when this post came to mind. I'm not so sure those rocks are a good idea, they may prevent roots or at least make it harder for them to make it through the rock level. Many plants can grow roots 2 - 4 feet straight down and even more on some plants.

That may be a strangling effect on your plants, just something to consider.

Good luck.

Dono

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rainbowgardener
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Shoontok wrote:looks really nice. Looks like those timbers are all doweled together. And you had to measure and drill a hole for each individual piece as u stacked em? If so nice job.

My only concern for the structure is what did you do to hold the corners together?

Typically a structure of that sort should of had overlapped corners, with corner dowelling.

Im not trying to be an edited. Just curious and don't want to see yer hard work blow out after a season or two.

If in fact all of those stacks of lumber are "individual stacks" and not tied in to the adjacent wall. You might want to look into strapping the corners or even some long lag bolts.
I built raised bed boxes out of 4x4 pine fence posts, pictured here:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=105961&highlight=raised+beds#105961

I think mine are held together similarly. I stacked them first, then drilled a hole down through the stack with a very long drill bit, then pounded steel rebar in the hole. But mine are stacked differently, with overlapping corners and rebar down through the corners as well as the sides. I did not use corner brackets or anything else besides the rebar. They are now 9 years old and still VERY solid.

(I should have moved the rabbit and welcome tile out of the way for the picture, but you can see the stack pattern more clearly in the rear one. Picture will enlarge if you click on it. )
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engineeredgarden
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gixx - i'd like to comment on your entry, if you'd hear it, and hopefully the Original Poster will get some use from it too. I'm sure that the OP had intentions of increasing drainage by putting the gravel in the bottom - but here's the thing about doing it that way...It doesn't help. I know this sounds crazy, but it's true.
All soil mixtures have the ability for differing amounts of water to be wicked up into it. The height at which it can lift it, of course, is dependant on the actual minerals, soil particles, and any other ammendment that it is comprised of - as well as their percentage used.
For some mixtures, the capillary action can be so great that is possesses what is referred to as a perched water table. A pwt is nothing more than a mass of water molecules that is suspended in the lower part of the soil mixture and just sits there - where it won't drain out, and consequently promotes root rot of the plant, as well as prohibit oxygen from getting to the root zone.

To the original poster - Since you have sand as the original base, i'd be inclined to remove most of the gravel, put down a good weed barrier on the inside, then fill the even deeper box with a soil mixture that had good drainage characteristics, would allow air to get to the plant roots, and also be able to retain a certain amount of moisture throughout the entire soil mass, from top to bottom. Potting mix (not soil!), perlite, vermiculite, small pieces of pine bark, sand, peat moss, and vermiculite are a few things you can use.

To gixx - Although roots that are allowed to grow down into the native soil below a raised bed certainly provide the ideal growing situation, there's no reason that the OP has to allow it. As long as the soil depth is at least 12-14"and the plants themselves aren't too crowded, excellent results can be achieved by allowing the roots to grow down to the bottom - then sideways. Oh believe me, that's the way my garden is right now, and I wouldn't do it any other way. Besides, the crabgrass below in the native soil is completely overwhelming, otherwise.

EG

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rainbowgardener
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Re growing into the native soil below the beds. You will note that the two beds pictured are sitting on concrete patio. No soil below them. I grow tomatoes, carrots and all kinds of stuff in them and it all seems to do fine. So while growing into the soil below them may be an extra bonus, it is not necessary, for most things, unless you are growing trees.
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gixxerific
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Thanks EG and RBG.

No I just don't know what to think.

I know RBG has hers on concrete and does fine. So what about all the talks we have had about taproots and their possible 4 foot and more growth. And than there is the talks about weeds having beyond 10 ft of root growth bringing up needed nutrients from far below even the subsoil. Where does this fit into all this?

I'm not saying you are wrong, just a little confused that's all. Maybe in a perfect world the depth matters but how much would that be?

HG where are you I know he could put into words what I'm unsuccessfully trying to spit out. :?

On a lighter note I love the u shape you have made. I have been thinking about doing something like that in my garden. Mine is a rectangle that I wanted to make raised beds laterally from short side to short side. Which would mean several rows with walkways between each one. But with the somewhat U-shape I could do would give me more planting room at the fence side. Still allowing me access from the yard side. I hope this makes sense to you it does to me. So basically it would be several u-shape raised beds in a line. That would net me roughly an extra 5-6 sq ft of gardening space per walking path.

Aright I'm done babbling. Now where were we? :lol:

tedln
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MG,

Nice bed! I appreciate the difficulty of building straight, neat beds with landscape timbers. I typically would buy a load at Home Depot. If I didn't have them in place and strongly retained within a couple of days, they would twist up like a pretzel.

I think technically, I would have to agree with the comments on the rock at the bottom. If I was building the bed however, I would probably do it the same way with the rock. I have always had a problem with putting stuff into my beds in exact layers. I prefer having some irregularity between layers. With the soil filling the gaps and low places in the rock, you will get the irregular interface I like. I've always had a problem with the water finding the easiest way to escape from the bed over a growing season. It doesn't seem to take long for the water to create channels in the sub surface after it finds the easiest escape route. After the water develops escape channels, you wind up with wet spots and really dry spots in the bed. The irregular interface seems to delay development of the escape channels. That isn't scientific. It's just an observation.

Good luck and happy gardening.

Ted
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MiamiGreen
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Shoontok –
The corners are held together with a thick gauge tie wire. Each level has a nail tied to the rebar on the adjacent member. I am pretty confident that the structure will hold. Thanks for your suggestions tho.

Gixxerific –
Upon talking to a couple of local gardeners here in south florida this appears to be a great way to achieve successful drainage of the planting bed. If it doesn’t succeed those guys will definitely hear about it, took about 20 wheel barrels of ballast rock to fill.

EG –
Thanks for the comments, I will definitely take them into consideration.

Ted –
Thanks for the post. I will def keep my eye out for “dry and wetâ€

garden5
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One word: NICE!

That looks great and really shows off all of the thought you put into it.

Do you know yet what your going to plant it with? If not I'm sure the members here can give you more than a few suggestions :wink:.
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rainbowgardener
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gixxerific wrote:Thanks EG and RBG.

No I just don't know what to think.

I know RBG has hers on concrete and does fine. So what about all the talks we have had about taproots and their possible 4 foot and more growth. And than there is the talks about weeds having beyond 10 ft of root growth bringing up needed nutrients from far below even the subsoil. Where does this fit into all this?

Like I said, I know it isn't perfect and I have to add nutrients (compost and mulch) to make up for what isn't being brought up from soil beneath. My point is just if it's what you've got, it works and my veggies grow there just fine.
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MiamiGreen
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Right now im looking to plant the following veggies and herbs

Herbs:
Cilantro
Basil
Thyme
Sage
Rosemary
Parsley
Chives

Veggies
Tomatoes
Onions
Garlic
Carrots
Peppers
Lettuce

I just don't know which ones i can start from seed and which ones i should buy thats already grown

tedln
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Its kinda hard to suggest which to grow from seed because you are planting to grow through my winter. I'll give it a shot, but you will get a lot of different opinions.

I think you would have good luck growing all the herbs from seed except sage and rosemary. If my memory is right, sage and rosemary are slow germinating and slow growing from seed.

All the veggies can be grown from seed, but the garlic is better grown from bulbs planted in the fall and harvested in the late spring. I always grow my onions from seedlings, but a lot of folks on the forum grow them from seed. Lettuce is grown commonly from seed, but is more of a cool weather crop. It may do well for you growing in the winter.

I think the rule of thumb may be it simply takes longer to grow from seed, but with seed you have the ability to grow varieties you may not be able to find as seedlings.

Ted
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garden5
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Garlic: Go with seed-cloves.

Tomatoes, Peppers: Start seen indoors (if you go the seed-route with them) about 6-8 weeks before you plant them outdoors.

Onions: You can buy pre-started sets from the store (short-day type for your location) or you can grow your own starting about 2 mo. before you plant them outside.

Other stuff: Just go ahead and direct-sow :).

I'm not certain just when your planting dates are in the south, so that's why I listed the "weeks before you plant out" time for the indoor seed starting.
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