Featured My Raised Veggie Beds

Discussion in 'Fruit & Vegetable Growing' started by letsgo, Sep 5, 2016.

  1. letsgo

    letsgo Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Yeah my raised veggie beds are finally made and I’m excited. :yahoo:So grab a :tea: and sit back and have a read, it’s long and has lots of pics. For those that don’t know, we live on ¾ acre in SEQ north of Brisbane.

    Veggie-Area.jpg

    Area the veggie bed is going.

    We have been here for a little under 2 years, when we came here the place was in need of a great deal of work inside and out. Some of these jobs took higher priority over doing a veggie patch area, including getting some chickens and native bees. We have been very busy little bees, weekends are very busy around here, my hubby, Chris, reckons he goes to work for a rest.

    Chooks.jpg

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    He took several days off around the Ekka (Brisbane Show) public holiday to give us a good 5 days in a row to get the beds made. We had all the bits we needed ready to go.

    We did use one of those days to go to our sons and take up the gravel/rock mulch he had in a back yard. They didn’t want it due to little kids and we did to put at the bottom of our raised veggie beds. Took us the whole day after 5 trailer loads of back breaking work we came to the conclusion we should have just bought some gravel. But our son and family are thrilled it’s gone. So really we had 4 days to build the beds.

    Gravel-pile.jpg

    We bought some new corrugated iron off Gumtree for $10 a sheet, sizes ranged from 2.4m to 3.8m. These were off cuts from a roofing contractor. I wanted raised beds as its better on the back, and I’m not getting any younger, we plan on being here well into our old age. So the beds are made out of corrugated iron with 2 of the beds with timber around the top.

    Construction.jpg

    There are 3 rows of beds laid out as follows. 9m x 1.2m x 80cm (9000mm x 1200mm x 800mm) high long bed, a row of 6 round corrugated 1.2m diameter x 80cm (1200mm x 80mm) high beds. Grouped two together with approx. 80cm gap in between each two. And a 9m x 1.2m x 40cm (9000mm x 1200mm x 400mm) lower bed. This bed it lower as it will be for the climbing plants, which we will put a permanent trestles up in the middle of the bed.

    Timber.jpg

    The 9m beds are built as one but are divided into 3 x 3m long beds, treated as if separate beds, fully divided off from each other. In the middle of each 3m length there is some extra cross bracing support to give strength and stop from bowing outwards. The crossing bracing is in the bottom half of the beds so not to interfere with growing the veggies. They were built slightly differently in the 800mm high beds.

    Support-lower-bed.jpg

    Support.jpg

    The beds sit straight on the ground, levelled out side to side, so not dug in at all. They follow the slight slope downwards of this area, keeping good drainage. Due to the Poinciana tree, bamboo, mulberry in chicken pen and some palms we did cut down we were concerned about tree roots running under the bed and then growing up into the beds, looking for all the lovely nutrients in the veggie soil. I had a small 400mm bed and one of the round beds here that we had been using and when I did move them I found several tree roots growing in there. So we decided to run some thick black builders plastic under the beds.

    Mulberry-Tree.jpg

    Black-Plastic.jpg

    On top of that we put 50mm or so of the gravel we had collected from our son to keep good drainage.

    Gravel-in-bed.jpg

    Gravel-big-bed.jpg

    On the 400mm high bed I put some shade cloth over the stones to stop them mixing with the veggie soil.

    Shade-Cloth.jpg

    Then the higher beds, 800mm long bed and the 800mm round beds were part filled with palm fronds and logs.

    Logs.jpg

    Round-bed-fill.jpg

    Then each higher bed was topped up with some cheaper but still good fill soil to the 400mm mark of each of the higher beds leaving 400mm approx. for the good veggie soil.

    Shovelling-dirt.jpg

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    By now our 5 days are up, we are thrilled and totally stuffed with all our hard work.

    Hubby went back to work for 2 days before 12m3 of good veggie soil arrived. He decided in that 2 days that his back, our backs couldn’t handle shovelling 12m3 of soil so he hired a little digger to move the soil.

    Still-cooking.jpg

    Which made short work of it and we got it all done in a day. Phew

    Soil-done.jpg

    Next day Chris started putting the timber around the top edges, on the cnr joins and to hide the side joins of the corrugation. Looks great, protects my arms etc from the top of the corrugation and gives me a little ledge to put things on when planting.

    He finished it off the following weekend and I put some artificial turf in-between each row and around the round beds.

    Timber-edges.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
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  2. letsgo

    letsgo Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Part 2.

    Next was installing the irrigation. I’ll give a more detailed description later of what we did, in the post I started on irrigation a few weeks ago. You can see some of the roots we encountered when digging the trench, these are small roots, we did come across some bigger ones.

    Roots.jpg

    Each bed has its own irrigation that can be unclipped and taken off to work on the bed, or just unclipped to stop that bed from being watered when nothing is growing in there. We decided to do this using a 12mm hose connector and stop, mainly because it worked out cheaper.

    Round-beds-drip.jpg

    Stop-connector.jpg

    We used Mazedrip which has drip holes every 30cm of the hose, drips 2L of water every hour.

    Mazedrip.jpg

    The water filter we used is more like a household water filter as the watering system is hooked up to a water tank. The small filters that are normally used on the poly pipe aren’t recommended on water tanks. We will also have an automatic timer put on, once we find where we put it.

    Filter.jpg

    I also put in 2 worm towers, one in each of the long beds. Eventually I’ll have one in each bed once we get some more cheap or free pipe.

    Worm-Farm.jpg

    Worms.jpg

    Then covered it all in sugar cane mulch. All done :D

    Done.jpg

    I did take some video along the way that I might post at a much later time. I also kept a tally of all the costs which I’ll work out later. We may still have to cut down the last palm standing in that area, just depends on what time of the day it shades the beds in winter. Sorry it’s so long but I thought everyone would want all the details.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
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  3. OskarDoLittle

    OskarDoLittle Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Wow, that's impressive! They look fantastic too - love the timber edging. Just a little disappointed there's no timber circle on top of the round garden beds (lol kidding!!) Obviously all your planning and research has paid off. Now the $64 question...what are you going to plant first?
     
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  4. letsgo

    letsgo Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Well the dirt is supposed to sit for a month or two according to the guy we bought it from. And with us approaching the warmer part of the year I might not be able to plant a lot. But I will certainly be looking into what I can plant :) In saying that I got some sweet potato plants from Bunnings on the weekend and planted them today in one of the round beds :) and a couple of splits I took.

    I said the same thing to my hubby about the timber in the round beds :D
     
  5. OskarDoLittle

    OskarDoLittle Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Oh my god, I could never wait 2 months with those beds sitting there!! I'd be beside myself...little packets of seeds in hand! I can't even restrain myself enough to do progressive planting!
     
  6. letsgo

    letsgo Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Hee hee I hear you. I think it will be the short growing time before summer that will stop me planting a lot. But I'll be researching what I can. It's had 2 weeks that's enough hey :p
     
  7. OskarDoLittle

    OskarDoLittle Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Absolutely! Two weeks is heaps...clearly the landscaping dude knows nothing! :sneaky:
     
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  8. letsgo

    letsgo Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Ha ha :hysterical: :hysterical:
     
  9. letsgo

    letsgo Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    I still might try give it a little bit longer before I plant too much.

    Looking up on the net it says tomato, cucumber, capsicum, asparagus, beetroot, carrots, lettuce, herbs, silverbeet, Chinese veggies, zucchini, can be planted now. I have sweet potato planted and planted some pumpkin seeds planted somewhere else. I also have some spuds coming to give a try even though it could be starting to be a but too warm for them.

    @Mark what do you suggest that can be planted now? I'm sure there was a post you had started a while ago where you lists what to plant when but couldn't find it.
     
  10. Sasha Bushell

    Sasha Bushell Active Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Oh. My. God.

    Thankyou!! I will be showing this to my nathan.
    Please replicate. Hehehe

    A huge thankyou to you for taking the time to share all of this with us, i cant imagine how your body is feeling after all of that.

    One thing i am really excited to see is how much this had cost you and what your thoughts of it are after time. The whole thing looks absolutely fan-flippin-tastic, and i gotta tell ya im suffering from patch envy.
     
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  11. letsgo

    letsgo Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Thanks Sasha, I've waited many many years for something like this. We talked about doing some raise beds in the last place we owned 7 yrs ago but it never happened, then we rented for a while. So it's been a long time in the making and lots of thought gone into it. And yes lots of back breaking work, took several weeks for my back to settle back down.

    It wasn't cheap doing it all at once like we did but building it like we did was certainly lots cheaper than buying raised galvanized beds that high. Still to work it out.

    You are doing really well using the space you have.
     
  12. Sasha Bushell

    Sasha Bushell Active Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Ah cheers :)
     
  13. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member

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    ok... now I look at my yard and get depressed... hah just joking... this is awesome! Great pics/blog! A fair bit of work but looks like good planning so the future is all set up :cheers:

    Looks like I better go do some planning for my place
     
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  14. letsgo

    letsgo Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Thanks Stevo, yep lots of work but it was always going to be doing it in one hit. Rather than a bit here and there. As you said all done with the plan on it being very long term for us here :)

    Just planted some seedlings to get things going :)
     
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  15. letsgo

    letsgo Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    I've planted some seedlings in the new beds and a herb garden the rain is great.
     
  16. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    What an amazing raised bed garden setup! :shock:

    You can plant most crops in our area in spring time... cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, brassica, beans etc... I would plant seedlings though (rather than sow seed) to quicken maturity before summer hits.

    Don't bother with onions but spring onions are perfect for this time of year.

    I wouldn't bother "resting" the beds... get stuck into growing already! :p
     
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  17. OskarDoLittle

    OskarDoLittle Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    See, impatience is a gardener's virtue!
     
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  18. Sasha Bushell

    Sasha Bushell Active Member Premium Member GOLD

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    I did have an issue with my new bed in the start with everything growing soo slowly! Its only a month old now and with enough blood and bone, seaweed fert and pellet fert... good as gold
     

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  19. letsgo

    letsgo Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Looks good Sasha :)

    I am I am I am :) I've planted all those items you have mentioned Mark and a few more.

    I grown veggies very successfully before but not on this scale and it was a while ago I have a rough idea of what to plant when but have to say when you see seedlings being sold in places like Bunnings and the like that can't or shouldn't be grown in my part of the world at this time it makes you question and double check if you can .

    I've looked up several online gardening calenders and there can be some contradictions. It will be a bit of success and failures as I learn along the way. This site and the people that are on it willing to share their experiences is great.
     
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  20. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Yes correct... and everyone's garden climate is slightly different plus saving your seed will breed plants slightly better adapted to your garden. Give it time :)

    Seriously, your raised garden bed set up is terrific - I haven't seen better to be honest and it's certainly better planned than my patch!

    It's so worth the effort and start up costs building your own vegetable garden like this - I mean I can't overstate how good it is to grow most of your own vegetables and the benefits go way beyond saving money on food.
     
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