Bench graft growout bed

So I was thinking of constructing a grow out bed based on a friends advice to raise my small trees. I was thinking about installing a fence to keep out deer and rabbits as I’ve done historically. I was considering plastic over metal fencing this time and looking for some advice on making the grow out bed. I already lined a 30x100’ area with railroad ties and added 1’ of organic material such as cow manure 10+ years old. I was considering burying soaker hose and using a water timer. Fencing as your aware is important so what do you think of this ? Weed control would be a nightmare on a grow out bed because of the rich dirt so would you use roundup between trees to control weeds? What would you do for spacing 1’? I was thinking trees will be grown out there for a year or so before being transferred to the field. Is there a downside to the method?

Looks like a good plan to me. I’m not sure if this option would help or not but I was wondering if the lower quality, less costly plastic weed barrier would be a viable option seeing that you only need it to last one or two seasons. Bill

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Considering your growing area size it would worth your time to look into preemergent herbicides. Snapshot is one I’ve used in a container nursery setting.

I can check the label then in regards to it’s use on in ground/fruit trees.


It is labeled for use on non-bearing fruit trees. This is a commercial grade product, something like Preen would be a more consumer grade product that is available at big box stores.


Great idea

That’s a good idea. I would need to install timers and soaker hose first. This was my basic idea for soaker hose

FWIW- We use a black plastic mesh around our veggie garden which appears to be about the same thing that you’re thinking about, and I’m surprised at how well it works at keeping out deer. It’s a little tricky to get it up and down every year, the “gate” is a little too informal, and securing it at the bottom, to keep out cats, has proven difficult, but those are design and execution issues you can overcome.

We made ours out of one continuous piece. The stuff is held to plastic poles with twist ties. We unrolled it out on the lawn and secured it to the first pole and rolled it back up, stood it up and stuck it in the ground. The following year we added pvc tubing driven into the ground to hold them straight, and that works. As we unrolled it around the bed we tied it in a couple of places to each post (you’ll need a stepladder). Went back later and added more ties.

In the fall you have to go back and reverse the process, but it goes pretty well. A little tricky to keep the roll tracking well on the post, but not too bad.

I think this year I might do shorter sections, maybe double up on some of the poles, and I think it makes sense to do something like that with the gate. You could staple batten strips to attach the bottom, and so on. You’ll figure something out!

I was surprised that nobody came along in the night and hooked an antler in it, but they haven’t. I think browsing deer don’t see it and have trouble figuring it out.

Oh, one particularly nice thing about it is that aside from the posts it often seems to disappear completely. All in all not a bad choice. You should get several years, at least a few, out of it.


I’ve used that deer mesh and it’s a nightmare. It’s super lightweight. It rips and snags and it’s hard to tighten because it just rips through.

If you have Tractor Supply near you they have a $40 a roll version that seems better.


We do have a tsc I will check that out. Thanks

I didn’t have that problem with the stuff I got at Lowes- this might be it but it might not be. Been a three or four years now:

But for only $40.00 I’d spend the money for the better stuff!

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Costco often has landscape fabric (weed barrier) at a good price this time of year.

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When I approach a project 30’x100’, I want to eliminate as much down the road work and heartache as possible. Deer, rabbits, and weeds will all combine to make that a money pit and a time eater. May I suggest a 20 rod roll of Redtop field fence, 48" chicken wire hog ringed to the bottom 36" of the field fence rolled outwards at the bottom, and weed barrier like Fruitnut has pictured in his greenhouse? For me this has kept chickens in, predators at bay, deer and rabbits out and my precious apples safe. Initially very labor and money intensive, but now I pitch a little roundup in and don’t fret too much about vermin in my apples. For irrigation that size, I want drip tape and layflat hose. Quality doesn’t cost, it pays. Do it right the first time and then you won’t have to do it right again.

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My TSC actually only carries one roll at a time and they are out. I will look next week and order a bunch if I like it.

That’s great advice and it’s what I normally follow myself.

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If you’ve laid out enough RR ties to surround 30’ x 100’ , you’ve already got a lot of cash and back breaking in it. Good luck and enjoy!

The railroad ties were free. A friend gave me about twice that many used ties. Manure is $20 per load since it’s only a mile away and the wood chips are free. I don’t have much money it. A friend came over with a bobcat and we put it in the same day. I stock piled supplies for a few months prior. We all just help each other out here and when we need something someone almost always has it. I bought a couple of peach trees for my friend with the railroad ties, brought him a few 5 gallon buckets of cactus, worked on a bunch of things at his house, robbed some wild bees for him a couple of gallons of honey, etc we are buddies. He was going to burn them if I didn’t use them.


Bobcats are a wonderous invention. Every man(wink wink) should own one.

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I would be careful about using the railroad ties near the garden. They are full of really toxic chemicals. I use roundup (Glyphosate) in the nursery carefully spraying at low psi very close to the ground. It is safe and effective even though the trees are a foot apart.

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