19

Cedar is the most commonly available rot resistant wood. There is another solution which lacks aesthetic qualities but adds years to the life of wood. Wood rots when it is constantly moist. Here's how to avoid this and use any wood you can get that is not treated: dig a trench about 3 inches wide and six inches deep around the perimeter of your bed. add ...


15

@kevinsky's answer is very good if you want to keep edged raised beds. Another thing to consider is that "raised beds" don't need any kind of edge. They're mainly for aesthetics -- which might be important to you, but aren't necessary for the plants. Unless you have a need for very high beds, you can simply mound up the soil. My garden doesn't have edges ...


11

What is the diameter of the planting bed in relation to the drip line of the tree? If you raise the soil grade one foot around the tree you will kill the roots in that area that the tree uses to exchange air. It is not advised to cover much more than forty percent of the surface of the tree from the drip line to the trunk. I have seen many trees near new ...


10

Your hardware store guy is right — chemically treated wood will leach into the surrounding soil. Lumber is typically treated with Chromated copper arsenate (CCA) to preserve it. The oxides and salts of the three metals — chromium, copper and arsenic — together provide as an effective fungicide and insecticide and also as a barrier against termites. From the ...


10

Mdf tends to fall apart in the presence of moisture. After a while exposed to wet soil or soil with a clay component it returns to being wood chips and paper. What happens to the formaldehyde resins that bind it together and the urea formaldehyde that is slowly released is a good question. This detailed article from Fine Gardening explains that since 2003 ...


10

Check out juniper! It lasts longer than cedar or redwood without any chemicals, plus it is an invasive species in Oregon. Cutting it helps to restore the grassland ecosystem -- no old growth forests need be clear cut to obtain this stuff!


10

I've seen it done with one row of blocks laid right on the ground -- gives you the same height that a single 2x10 plank would. Two rows might work ok without cementing them together if you do some prep work for a foundation (coarse sand or stone, 4-6" deep). At three rows, you'll definitely want to do foundation work and tie them together. If I were doing it ...


10

The bulk of the root systems of most annual vegetables is in the top foot of soil, so 12" (30cm) of soil will be sufficient. Root vegetables will want more -- you may have a hard time growing good carrots or beets in a 12" deep container. Since you're going to "seal" the bottom of the raised beds, you're essentially creating a container for growing. With ...


10

You'll never get it completely flat before you use it, though it will tend to flatten over time. To get most of the curl out, unroll it "upside down" so that the wire on the end bites into the ground. Put a couple of cement blocks or something heavy on that end. Roll out the rest of the fence, putting weights on it wherever it wants to curl back up. Leave ...


9

It appears your beds are pretty deep. At least a foot deep by my estimation. Most edibles you'll plant won't need to be that deep. 4-6" is enough for a lot of plants except for root vegetables but you can always add an extension in those areas. You don't have to make the whole bed deep just for a few potatoes or carrots. Since you have that much depth what ...


9

An important thing that many people miss is that if a cover crop produces fruit and seed (beans in your case) it is no longer a cover crop or green manure, but a crop, which depletes the soil rather than rebuilding it. That is, all the nitrogen a legume has put into the soil during the growth stage, is consumed by the plant during the fruiting stage. So if ...


9

I'm by no means an expert, however I am pretty sure that, at least for Zucchini, Cucumber and peppers 1% more light = 1% more growth. Thus in order to increase growth, maybe you should start moving these into full sun.


9

There are two possible problems that could come from using manure on root vegetables, one of which only applies to fresh manure and the other is more applicable to fresh manure also. The first, and the most obvious, is the potential for contamination. If you're putting the manure into the soil, the part of the vegetable you eat is growing in direct contact ...


9

There is a big difference between manure from ruminants (e.g. cows) and non-ruminants (e.g. horses, chickens, etc). Non-ruminant herbivores produce poo which is relatively bulky and contains a lot of undigested plant material. This material is degraded rather quickly by bacteria, but until that happens the manure is traditionally described as "hot", and ...


9

This looks like blossom end rot. Here is another source of info. According to the second link, which is from Clemson University: After tomatoes are planted, gardeners can minimize the potential for blossom end rot by doing the following: Once transplants become established, encourage the production of a large root system by keeping plants a little ...


8

The raised bed is for convenience more than anything, so as for how high to make it, it's really up to you. The higher it is, the less you need to bend over. But also the more materials and effort that will go into building it. You definitely want to avoid any sort of treated lumber, or creosote railroad ties or the like. Cedar would be a good bet. There'...


8

Most tree roots are within six inches of the surface where there is air and water that is freely available. Any kind of tilling or compacting will have a negative effect on the trees health. Most mature trees like it just the way it is and changes to their environment must be done slowly, if at all, to give them time to adapt. See your other question for ...


8

Dog pee once in a while on the ground won't hurt anything, especially with the amount of rain you likely get - but if it's happening a lot then it can "burn" your plants with the excess nitrogen and alkalinity. And, if you have low hanging fruit and the dog pees on that, well, I think none of us would find that appetizing, even if it wasn't necessarily ...


8

First a question. What is going to be underneath your raised beds? Garden soil, lawn, patio, other? If you're going to get into raised bed vegetable gardening I strongly suggest you look into Square Foot Gardening. It makes a lot of things easier when it comes to raised bed gardening and can also save you a considerable amount of money. For one thing, you ...


8

Normally with cover crops you want them to grow as long as possible, where possible is influenced by: When you plan to plant the actual crop (including some time for breakdown of the cover crop residues.) Is the cover crop about to set seed and become a weed through self-seeding? The tops/leaves are also valuable material - you can either incorporate them ...


8

My potato bag is one square foot in diameter, and just under 2 foot high. You have 16 square feet in your bed so you could potentially plant one seed potato ( or part of one with at least 3 eyes ) per square foot. One foot deep is about the minimum you can go. Assuming you have good drainage, and you're using a well fertilized soil, you can plant each ...


8

Topping with compost is always a good idea, it should be an annual fall event, however it won't hurt to do it in the spring when you move in. In any case it's always good to bring some samples from each bed to your agricultural extension office and get a full test done. It will tell you what the soil has and what it should be amended with.


8

The answer really depends on how much space you have to grow tomatoes. The reason most people choose to start with tomato seedlings or plants in areas that are not tropical is that the growing season is relatively short. By the time your volunteer tomatoes start to give fruit (about 100+ days after they start growing for a lot of the short-season varieties, ...


8

Just wash them all in clean tapwater - the hardest are the leafy greens, so the way to do that is immersion in a sink full of water, then picking out the leaves and running them directly under the tap, at the same time as inspecting for eggs and caterpillars. Then a salad spinner if you've got one, or just leave them to drain down in a colander. You may need ...


7

Constructed 3 large raised containers 5 years ago using green oak and have found this to be a successful material. I was looking for a very solid and long lasting material. The raised boxes are 4' x 10' x 2', using 2" thick cut material. A few problems I found with green oak included the weight and the density of the wood. So make sure you have access to ...


7

The mix needs to contain three basic types of ingredients: something to retain water (the peat moss in your recipe), something to provide nutrients (the compost in your recipe), and something to provide drainage (the vermiculite in your recipe). If you make a mix of just peat and compost, it may not drain well enough. Here are some ingredients that you ...


7

After a week of observation and some supplemental watering with a regular spray nozzle, I ended up buying more hose and running two down each bed between the rows. The water wasn't reaching the outermost edges of the beds with only one hose. When I water now, the entire bed is moist. Side note: It turns out that a regular spigot has problems with supplying ...


7

We went with galvanized water troughs. Mostly 2' tall. Easy to sit on the edge and don't have to bend as far. No digging holes for corner/side supports for the wood boxes that the dirt can bow out. We designed the garden like this. Layer of hardware cloth 1/2"x1/2" (We have lots of gophers) A layer of gravel (3-4") for pathways, etc. Bought several size ...


7

Cement blocks will work but are likely to make your soil alkaline. By adding cement you are definitely going to adding a chemically active compound to your bed. Why not use rebar or T-Bars to stabilize your wall? Also, from a structural point of view, unless you prepare a bed of crushed stone to a depth of 6" or more that has been compacted cement will ...


7

I'd be worried that the cardboard will act as a root blocker and the corn won't be able to develop the deep roots it needs. As for the grass...like any weed, you'd need to pull it out. Corn is a grass too, so unless you planted round-up ready corn, you likely don't want to use any grass poisons (not that you'd want to use poisons on your garden anyways). ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible