raised bedsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I'm intrigued by all the talk on raised beds, but I'm wondering how practical they are for a garden about 50 X 75. Is that too big for this method to be an economical use of time, soil, labor, etc. How about corn, where you need large blocks of it for good pollination? thanks for any advice. Glynnis
-- glynnis (email@example.com), January 06, 2000
Glynnis, my garden is about 40'x60'. I am planning to do just a few raised beds this year because our soil is so poor and clay. I plan mostly to do small crops such as green peppers, strawberries, green beans, etc. this year in raised beds. Will still have corn, potatoes, tomatoes in rows as usual this year. I would think raised beds would work for corn though if they were big enough because as you know they are better polinated in a block. If the raised beds work good, I may try more next year. Great thing about gardening, there is always next year! Barbara
-- barbara (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 06, 2000.
I had soil on one of my homesteads that was heavy clay, the first year I planted carrots, they pushed up out of the ground because they could not grow down. I built raised beds, filled them with sand, horse manuer, sawdust all mixed together then, covered them with black plastic in late summer and let it all cook. The following spring I had a head start with warmer soil and everything grew well. Also I had a compost pile enclose in welded chicken wire, that was wrapped in black plastic as well. Now we have raised beds made of redwood, they are thigh high and easier to work because you don't have to bend over so far. Our sweet corn is grown on a regular plot along with beans & potatoes, you do need the space for those crops, (I need it anyway) we are fortunate to have very good loamy soil with fine stone and I use a tractor mounted tiller to work it all up. In the raised beds we just turn it all with a spading fork. If anything, the soil in the beds is too porous and takes a lot of water. We have a 550 gallon tank and ues a gravity, drip irrigation system, as well as hand watering. With all that siad, we grow all of our produce and much for the rest of the family, as well as raise 3-4 steers, 4 hogs and chicken a year for eggs and meat. The chickens and pigs get left overs from the garden & orchard.
-- Mudlover (email@example.com), January 06, 2000.
Elsewhere on this forum you'll find my comments on French Intensive Gardening. It works, provides great yields and kills your back and we won't mention how much time it consumes. We feel that we have found an alternative method which works better than raised beds if you are short on back muscles, stamina and time. Used to be when I wasn't digging beds or pulling weeds I was fixing my tractor, it's rotovator, the tiller or the shredder. Don't do that anymore. Spend most of my time finding new ways to prepare the year-round bounty and play with the grandkid. Good luck, John and Pat
-- john and pat james (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 08, 2000.