Featured My Raised Veggie Beds

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

  1. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    WOW! Letsgo, what an amazing bounty!
    All that fantastic food must be like manor from the gods.

    re your exploding cabbage.... they just grow like that when the heart is growing too fast for the outer leaves covering the head to keep up. So the head breaks apart as the heart keeps pushing up & out.
    A bit like instant cole slaw! :D
     
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  2. letsgo

    letsgo Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Thanks for that info, explains a lot. Hee hee growing too good. I had the watering system on while we were away but then we got lots of rain as well. When I'm home I turn off the water if there is rain.
     
  3. OskarDoLittle

    OskarDoLittle Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Great to see your update Kate. We also went away for winter...came back to VERY overgrown tomatoes - mostly leaves, but now getting good fruit - and cauliflower (so disappointing given how long it takes to grow). Our neighbours hedge has now grown to about 6m so unfortunately I think the veggie patch isn't going to continue to produce in winter...not enough sun
     
  4. OskarDoLittle

    OskarDoLittle Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    This is pretty amazing coming out of winter! Very late to replant cauli I suspect...might bolt a little as the heat kicks in, but hey, looking at this crop, it's worth having a go!
    Does anyone have recommendations for tasty heritage tomatoes? I've tried green zebra, Black Russian and beef steak...to be honest I didn't think they tasted as great as I'd hoped. Not sure if that's to do with factors I control like soil/water/nutrients just happened to get duds.
     
  5. letsgo

    letsgo Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Thanks Oskar, yeah the cauliflower didn't really do anything, they got some tiny heads which we did eat. I spent yesterday sorted out beds and planting some lettuce, and sweet spuds, basil etc

    Still have the big covered bed to do which has the cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage etc as they have gone too seed.

    Hopefully you will still do ok with your veggies despite the hedges.
     
  6. Sharann

    Sharann Member Premium Member GOLD

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    This looks great! I will be anxious to see how things grow and what troubles if any you run into with time. I have three raised beds, I really like them but they seem to need much more water than our garden as they dry out quickly. Mine are wooden, so maybe the steel will help with that? I changed mine from vegetable gardens to one strawberry patch, one is a rhubarb patch, and one is for lettuce, spinach, and small onions for early picking.
     
  7. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Sharann, humus is what holds moisture in soil or growing medium.

    If the medium you are using doesn't have enough humus in it, then it dries out quicker as the plants use the moisture or it evaporates from the surface & the sides where the sun heats up the structure, or the wind dries out the surfaces.
    The microbes that turn organic matter into food for the plants, eat the humus which is why it disappears from the growing medium.
    Sometimes it goes quicker than others depending on the type & quality of the growing medium & what sort of plants were grown in the container or raised bed.
    Imported soil that is piled up into an above ground (raised)bed will loose its life force fairly quickly unless it is resupplied with good compost regularly. The compost contains the humus. I have found it necessary to resupply with compost as often as every 6wks in containers that are growing hungry plants.
    You will know the humus & the life is being consumed because the level of the growing medium drops. Some of that decrease in top level can be attributed to compaction of the soil but most is due to the plants consuming the humus. So the medium needs to be replenished by the amount it has dropped by. Also the humus prevents the soil or medium becoming compacted in the first place.
    If the beds are filled with potting mix, there would not be much life in that type of medium so the microbes will die fairly fast & the plants will not thrive. The potting mix will begin to dry out very quickly & become hydrophobic.
    Potting mix needs to be topped up with compost frequently to keep it alive until it becomes a living entity in its own right. The other method of treating bulk potting mix is to water it with lucerne, compost or seaweed tea to restore the microbes.
    Those teas are brewed in rubbish bin sized containers for a few days with air pumped through. It supports microbial life & when watered onto the bed along with the addition of quality compost, will make an excellent bed that will hold moisture well.
    For all raised beds, lucerne tea is an excellent additive a bit like using seaweed solution. It boosts the microbial lode & the humus to feed the plants.
    I'll find the link & post it in a new thread about to how to make lucerne tea using the aerator.
     
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  8. letsgo

    letsgo Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    No issues with soil drying out. I keep the beds well mulched and have the drip irrigation on a timer that comes on for several times a day but for short about of time like 5 to 7 min. So I water more often but for less time. Not lots of water at once. Helps keep moisture there theough the day. The amount of times I water and time depends on the weather. So more in summer less in winter. But lately with the rain it’s been less from me which has been great.

    Only issue with them still being relatively new is the soil dropping and need topping up the amount needed will settle over time and won’t be as big an issue when my own compost is going.

    So far everything grows really well in them.
     
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  9. Bea

    Bea Active Member Premium Member

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  10. Bea

    Bea Active Member Premium Member

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    wow, these beds are beautiful. I am truly envious.
     
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  11. Sherry Robitson

    Sherry Robitson Texas Bluebonnets Premium Member GOLD

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    Wow, so nice!
    wow, so nice!
     
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  12. Sharann

    Sharann Member Premium Member GOLD

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    This set up is beautiful and well thought out.
     
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  13. letsgo

    letsgo Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Thanks Sharann and Sherry, I’ve let some beds empty over the summer period, will just have a couple with cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce and some herbs as it just gets too hot over our summers to grow and work the beds.
     
  14. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Yes, as Clissa and Kate have stated the key to preventing the growing medium (soil) drying out too quickly is compost and mulching. Adding animal manures also helps to hold water whilst being a fertiliser as well of course...

    I remember about 8 years ago I added too much horse manure to one of our raised beds and found it became too wet and boggy! So, I had to remove half and add in more compost and soil to make the medium better draining.
     
  15. Daniel.Mav

    Daniel.Mav Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Wow fantastic layout and design. Definitely getting ideas...
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2018
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  16. SharonC60

    SharonC60 Member

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    Thank you so much for documenting the progress of your raised garden beds. I am in the process of planning my own, very small raised veggie garden and your thread has been invaluable.
     
  17. letsgo

    letsgo Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Thanks Sharon, it's all been left over the hot months. Keen to get it all up and running again just have to get over an injury first :)
     
  18. Janine

    Janine Active Member Premium Member GOLD

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    I am so impressed and now, apart from raised garden envy, will mimic similar to what you have done in the area I want to encourage
    Thank you for such a thorough blog and pictures of relevant stages. Much Kudos to you.
     
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  19. letsgo

    letsgo Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Thanks Janine, It's all had a big rest over the summer period and then I had to help family out for a while, we have just come back from 3 weeks away too. So not much has been done for a while. Topped up the beds, mulched them all ready for planting this week :)
     
  20. Janine

    Janine Active Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Well, I have measured everything up so that is a big start. . Still deciding whether I want lower or higher beds... But then aging knees are beginning to dictate the answer to that one!! I'd like automated watering system so still learning about that
     
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