jlock274
Full Member
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:19 am
Location: West Chicago, Illinois

Getting the beds ready...

Did this yesterday. Felt good to get a start on the beds.

Image

Image


Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
I planted my Wheat Pennies three weeks ago... and nothing???

gumbo2176
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3065
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:01 am
Location: New Orleans

Sure looks good jlock. I see you put down some weed blocker fabric before mulching. Is that leaves or some type of bark you used for mulch?

My only concern is how deep are the raised beds going to be. By the pics, it looks like you have already mulched the bed bottoms. It also looks like about 7-8 inches deep from the top of the wood to the mulched bottom. If only that deep, it will make it harder for larger plants to get a good footing. Many of the larger plants do better if deep rooted, especially tomatoes.

If it were my plot, I'd remove the mulch, dig the soil in the boxes to turn it over a bit then add the garden soil to fill the boxes, especially where larger plants will be grown. Where you are planning on things like lettuce, spinach, chard etc. you can get away with the shallower boxes.

jlock274
Full Member
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:19 am
Location: West Chicago, Illinois

I have only laid the beds, fabric and wood-chips. I did not put any fabric inside the beds. In the beds right now is just the ground that was there before the beds were placed. I still have to dig down the ground inside the beds. Everything you see I did in one day. I didn't have time to dig down the middle of the beds yesterday. I am going to have around 30 beds all together so I still have a lot of work to do... :D
I planted my Wheat Pennies three weeks ago... and nothing???

jlock274
Full Member
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:19 am
Location: West Chicago, Illinois

Does anyone know about when the last frost is in the Chicago Area?
I planted my Wheat Pennies three weeks ago... and nothing???

User avatar
Halfway
Green Thumb
Posts: 600
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:48 pm
Location: Northern Rockies

jlock274 wrote:Does anyone know about when the last frost is in the Chicago Area?
https://www.almanac.com/content/frost-chart-united-states

Check a usda chart as well. This seems a bit early.
Zone 4a.

gumbo2176
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3065
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:01 am
Location: New Orleans

jlock274 wrote:I have only laid the beds, fabric and wood-chips. I did not put any fabric inside the beds. In the beds right now is just the ground that was there before the beds were placed. I still have to dig down the ground inside the beds. Everything you see I did in one day. I didn't have time to dig down the middle of the beds yesterday. I am going to have around 30 beds all together so I still have a lot of work to do... :D
Industrious bugger you are!!! That is a lot to get done in 1 day. Thirty beds, makes for a lot of dirt hauling to fill them assuming you'll be hauling in dirt from a nursery or similar place to top them off. Do you have access with a truck or will you have to wheelbarrow all that topsoil in yourself?

With that many raised beds, you should have a heck of a crop of vegetables going by mid summer. What you've done so far looks good.

jlock274
Full Member
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:19 am
Location: West Chicago, Illinois

14 done 16 more to go...

Image

Image
I planted my Wheat Pennies three weeks ago... and nothing???

garden5
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3062
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:40 pm
Location: ohio

Wow, you are going to have a great garden. You really have gotten a lot done in a little time.
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!

jlock274
Full Member
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:19 am
Location: West Chicago, Illinois

gumbo2176 wrote:
jlock274 wrote:I have only laid the beds, fabric and wood-chips. I did not put any fabric inside the beds. In the beds right now is just the ground that was there before the beds were placed. I still have to dig down the ground inside the beds. Everything you see I did in one day. I didn't have time to dig down the middle of the beds yesterday. I am going to have around 30 beds all together so I still have a lot of work to do... :D
Industrious bugger you are!!! That is a lot to get done in 1 day. Thirty beds, makes for a lot of dirt hauling to fill them assuming you'll be hauling in dirt from a nursery or similar place to top them off. Do you have access with a truck or will you have to wheelbarrow all that topsoil in yourself?

With that many raised beds, you should have a heck of a crop of vegetables going by mid summer. What you've done so far looks good.
I will be having a company bring me in a garden mix of top-soil. Probably looking at getting a 20 yard dump truck full... Made 6 more beds and installed a solar flood light today. Using every day off work to work on this. Even in the rain as it did today... :)

Having a blast and getting a lot of exercise.
I planted my Wheat Pennies three weeks ago... and nothing???

tedly
Cool Member
Posts: 70
Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2011 7:38 am
Location: Cheese mines of Wisconsin

jlock274 wrote:Does anyone know about when the last frost is in the Chicago Area?
I'm about 90 miles away in Wisconsin and the average last frost date here is May 1-10. I wouldn't count on it being more than a week before that for Chicago.

Yogas
Cool Member
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:59 am
Location: Chicago

Frost date

The date you are looking for is May 15th for the Chicago area. Some people play it safe and use May 30th as their date.

I live in Woodridge, where are you getting the soil from? I would like to buy some also.

Yogas
Cool Member
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:59 am
Location: Chicago

Frost date

The date you are looking for is May 15th for the Chicago area. Some people play it safe and use May 30th as their date.

I live in Woodridge, where are you getting the soil from? I would like to buy some also.

jlock274
Full Member
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:19 am
Location: West Chicago, Illinois

Dupage Topsoil is the company I called and got a quote from. The Garden Mix cost about $400 for a 20 yard truck full. Which is a full dump truck. You can order much less that that for way cheaper though.
I planted my Wheat Pennies three weeks ago... and nothing???

User avatar
jal_ut
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7480
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

We are about the same North latitude and it seems about the same frost dates. I like to get started planting the early crops April 1 or as soon thereafter as the ground is dry enough. You won't need all of your beds ready by then, but if you get some ready you can get started with the early crops any time now.

I don't know that its even necessary to dig the beds before putting in your soil. Plant roots have an amazing ability to penetrate soil. Most plants will send roots 3 feet deep and many will go as deep as 8 feet. No one ever tills or digs that deep, yet the roots can go there.

Take a few minutes to look at this [url=https://www.soilandhealth.org/01aglibrary/010137veg.roots/010137toc.html]Study from the University of Nebraska[/url]
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

Dixana
Greener Thumb
Posts: 727
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 3:58 am
Location: zone 4

I must confess, I'm a bit jealous! What a beautiful area you're turning that into! So neat and organized and goodness how easy to keep out weeds!
If you lay a few sheets of newspaper in your boxes before adding the soil even less weeds!
How big is each box and what are they made of?
What are you planting this year?
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
-Gandhi

Odd Duck
Senior Member
Posts: 114
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:34 pm
Location: DFW, TX

jal_ut wrote: Take a few minutes to look at this [url=https://www.soilandhealth.org/01aglibrary/010137veg.roots/010137toc.html]Study from the University of Nebraska[/url]
Awesome link, jal_ut! Just lost myself for about 30 minutes (I'm such a nerd!).
Sharon
USDA zone 7b/8a (depending on the year and microclimate :-)), AHS heat zone 8-9, Eastern Crosstimbers/Grand Prairie ecozones

jlock274
Full Member
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:19 am
Location: West Chicago, Illinois

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Here's more update pictures... :)
I planted my Wheat Pennies three weeks ago... and nothing???

hit or miss
Green Thumb
Posts: 354
Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 8:57 pm
Location: central Kansas

Nice! I'll be looking forward to more pics as the season progresses!!

jlock274
Full Member
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:19 am
Location: West Chicago, Illinois

Here is what I did today March 27th 2011.


Image

Image

Image

Image
I planted my Wheat Pennies three weeks ago... and nothing???

jlock274
Full Member
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:19 am
Location: West Chicago, Illinois

I have been doing a lot of work in the garden this week...

Image

Image

Image

Image
I planted my Wheat Pennies three weeks ago... and nothing???

User avatar
SPierce
Greener Thumb
Posts: 732
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:57 pm
Location: Massachusetts

wow, looking lovely!!

The Mad Hatter
Senior Member
Posts: 165
Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 5:49 pm
Location: Lincoln Nebraska

Very nice. I wish I had gotten my raised beds in this year. Maybe next year. With my son graduating this year and beginning his adventure of becoming a Marine we have been pretty busy. Plus the crappie are starting to bite to hehe. Very nice beds so far. Can't wait to see em all filled up.

T.M.H.

User avatar
donworden
Cool Member
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:01 pm
Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan
Contact: Website

I am just so jealous..... (hanging head in shame)... Those are some great looking gardens. I only wish I had enough energy and stamina to do that kind of work in my yard.
USDA Zone 5
Sunset Zone 41

User avatar
Spicy Chicken
Senior Member
Posts: 118
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:56 pm
Location: Wisconsin

Very, very nice ace!
Hard work, dedication, creativity, and perseverance.
The midsummer morning walk throughs will be great!
Cheers.

gardenvt
Green Thumb
Posts: 302
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 3:21 pm

I am curious about the size and depth of the beds. Also, what kind of wood did you use? It really looks great!

We put in 5 raised beds this year (3- 3x8x19" deep and 2 4x8x12" deep). We initially planned the deeper beds for ease on my aging back but had more soil than needed so made two more. I also use containers for many of my plants including tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. My garden area is only 25x30' so every inch counts.

jlock274
Full Member
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:19 am
Location: West Chicago, Illinois

The beds are not very big. Used 4ft 4X4 landscape timbers 2 deep and dug down to get extra depth... Made 16 - 4X4 and 4 - 4X8. I'm planning on putting any vine plants in the back of the 4X8 beds to let the vines hang over the back and meander. Planted a lot of hot and sweet peppers. I'm going to get a lot of exercise this year...

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
I planted my Wheat Pennies three weeks ago... and nothing???

Canoe
Full Member
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:42 am
Location: South Louisiana

Nice looking area, seems to have come a long way. I think you have done real good job. :clap: It gives me a few ideas as well. Thanks

Canoe
Zone 9a / beginner

BP
Senior Member
Posts: 246
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 7:54 pm
Location: Swartz Creek Michigan

jal_ut wrote:We are about the same North latitude and it seems about the same frost dates. I like to get started planting the early crops April 1 or as soon thereafter as the ground is dry enough. You won't need all of your beds ready by then, but if you get some ready you can get started with the early crops any time now.

I don't know that its even necessary to dig the beds before putting in your soil. Plant roots have an amazing ability to penetrate soil. Most plants will send roots 3 feet deep and many will go as deep as 8 feet. No one ever tills or digs that deep, yet the roots can go there.

Take a few minutes to look at this [url=https://www.soilandhealth.org/01aglibrary/010137veg.roots/010137toc.html]Study from the University of Nebraska[/url]
Thankyou for posting this link. I have saved one to my favorites the one you posted by Cornell University a few weeks ago.

jlock274
Full Member
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:19 am
Location: West Chicago, Illinois

Video of my garden creation...

Here is a video of the creation of my garden.

[url]https://youtu.be/-AE2KqktUTc[/url]
I planted my Wheat Pennies three weeks ago... and nothing???

Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”