This looks like a great area. It’s easier to create new beds too once soil borne diseases take hold.
It’s very interesting.I never think raised bed is pretty,but I think this looks better. Can you really grow veggies in pile of wood chips?
The chips are the frame of the bed along with the mesh. Soil is in center
sorry I didnt get back to you! I try to send a photo.can’t seem to get a photo to load here. But it’s a very simple build- we had boards left over from building a deck. 36" high, by 12’ long,by 4’ wide.
We have a farm, so we filled them with barnyard dirt. I have them set in a ‘u’ shape, with about a 6’ center opening, to get my wheel barrow and lawnmower in.
I rotate crops and turn soil over every spring.
If anyone has cedar trees or other invasive tree roots near the garden spot, my Air Gap project may be your solution! I recently finished the boardwalk around my Raspberry bed completing the Air Gap perimeter around the raised bed. Now I have a 2" Air Gap below the bed and a 2’ Air Gap completely around the bed to keep cedar roots out and raspberry roots in!
You may not have heard about this root invasion strategy to keep roots of different plants separated. In my back yard I inherited a three foot diameter Westen Red cedar that is about 114 feet high! It roots extend well into my main garden space. When I first planted my raspberries about 1994, I knew I had to keep them in a container so I built the 6’ x 20’ x 1 foot deep box. They did very well for the first year or two but then each summer I noticed that watering had no positive effects but the adjacent western cedar tree was very healthy. So I dug up several plants to discover that the tree roots had filled my box! Disappointed, I removed all plants and soil, stripped out the cedar roots, and lined the bottom and sides with black poly. I Had good success but last year again we noticed that the more I watered, the less healthy the raspberries were. So again I discovered that cedar roots had completely penetrated the black poly liner and filled the box!
Now I was frustrated, no desire to take out this huge tree, but not willing to give up, I decided to invent a process called “Air Gap” which had worked several years ago to keep tree roots out of my lawn, and from my raised bed Tomato boxes in the picture by my boardwalk around the Raspberry box. This time however, I needed an air gap completely beneath and around the Raspberry bed. A lot of work but I decided it would be my only way of growing anything next to a cedar tree.
So last fall I again removed all plants from the bed, dug out the hole inside the box to three inches below the bottom of the box sideboards. I Stripped out cedar roots to a perimeter of two feet out side the box. Lined the bottom of the box with rows of clay bricks to support the weight of my soil. I then placed corrugated poly sheet roofing on the bricks which kept a 2”-3” air gap between the ground and my sheet roofing. I then lined the box sides with black poly to keep Raspberry roots in the box. The picture shows a section before I placed the roofing sheets showing the air gap in and under the outside perimeter of the box. The concept is quite simple- roots don’t grow through air! Eureka, when I finally figured it out I decided that the idea is worth sharing.
That looks nice! How often do you add mulch to the walkways?
We’ve probably done the chips 3 times in 8 years, so every 2 to 3 years. We put down a layer of cardboard first and put a pretty thick layer of chips. But the thistle …
Six years in the making, but our raised beds are almost finished. A few repairs, a walkway around the outside. and a fence and I’m officially retiring from raised bed construction! The beds themselves are dry stacked 8"x8"x16" concrete blocks, reinforced with internal rebar driven vertically into the ground, and filled with compacted stone. Each wall sits on a 6-12" deep by 12" wide stone footer that drains into a french drain system that runs down the center of each aisle. The original design did not include footers - if you look at the far left bottom bed of the first overhead shot, you can see why footers are a must (that’s the last remaining bed without a retrofitted footer). There are companion plants in the hollow areas between each level: lavender, marigolds, chives, yarrow, dwarf sage, etc. We believe they are doing more good than harm…with the harm being our continued effort to keep them trimmed to avoid overcrowding the main plants.
We grow pretty much everything and have had a lot of success with the beds. Tomatoes, brambles, strawberries, cucumbers, squash, garlic, sweet potatoes and greens have done very well. Potatoes and watermelon seem to be the least happy with this setup.
Wow. And no thistle overrun. We have plenty of slopes to work with.
The only problem with these… They are not in my yard!
Very nice setup! I have 12x4 raised beds,set in a “U” haoe,with a wide enough area in the center,to get a wheelbarrow in. The beds are 36" high, so i can garden with a bad back. We raise beef cattle. So there is always well composted manure to switch out,year to year…
Nice looking beds @Tim_inMD6b ! Specially because they are on a hill, I bet it was a challenge. For us that we have flat land should be easy but we straggle to find the best way to build them.
I do have a question, where did you get the wire panels from? ( I’m using your pic as reference of which one I’m talking about )
Thanks! Don’t worry, we have plenty of thistle elsewhere to make up for it!
Thank you. It was a much larger challenge than I anticipated, but the end result was worth it. That panel is 1/3 of a 16’x48" sheep/goat panel from Tractor Supply. The grid is a bit smaller than the cattle panels, so it’s much better for keeping small squash and watermelon from falling through. The trade off is that the panels are 2x or 3x as expensive. The vertical tomato and cucumber/Tromboncino trellises are the less expensive cattle panels.
I love using cut pine. No one wants it bc u can’t burn it… its all over with big FREE signs.
Sturdy. Soil builds. Also great to sit on and rest yr beverage (its hose water in there, not shine … u may be a redneck if thats yr choice of hydrating )
Its very rustic looking, so its not for every taste.
Interesting about pine. I guess it all depends on what’s growing around you. Out west we don’t have much in the way of traditional hardwoods (oak, maple, etc) so folks burn pine. A few folks buy eastern hardwood cord wood that some dealers will truck in, and a few landscapers have the occasional maple or oak from someone’s yard in the city as firewood, but it’s mostly pine.
It’s amazing how much longer hard woods will burn. Personally I try to get hardwoods from the landscapers, as I like to keep the fire going overnight.
Totally, longer burn so much less creosote
Building a couple each season…
Random pic of the Veggie bed half of the garden
Looking across veggie beds to the strawberry beds (still in progress)
Random Pic for a friend.
From the Blueberry Bed (in progress) perspective
More recent side view of Veggie Beds.
How has the roofing worked out for you? Im thinking of doing that as opposed to wood which rots out
Wonderfully! The two 2.5x12’x12" high vegetable beds are great. They just need the top put on and the irrigation setup; still gathering materials. On the 2’x24’ strawberry bed, I built them taller at 24" at the lower end and about 15" at the higher end to keep them level and realized too late I did not put enough vertical supports and so it bows more than I’d like it to.
When I build the last two 24’ I’ll use a vertical 2x4 every 3’ to help support the walls and the top. That was the first bed I did. When I did the vegetable bed, I used a 2x4 bottom frame to hold the up right supports in place at 3’ apart which works nicely.
Already did the rough draft \ plan in Visio to see how it looks. I’m a Visio addict so I use it as a poor man’s Auto CAD.