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Raised bed veggie garden


wherebee

Question

Thinking of building a raised bed veggie garden that will let me grow veg without breaking my back every year.  I am fine on building it, but what should I do to the base to aid water retention?  In's dry here a lot of the year, and the natural water table is about 300 feet down. o.O

 

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On 11/12/2019 at 19:27, spunko said:

Interesting mix, should work with most soil types. Courgettes take up a lot of room unless grown on canes etc though....

I've also got shityloads of lemon trees and olvie trees, which helps with the compost - both produce way too much to eat so natural compost material abounds.

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On 09/12/2019 at 22:28, spunko said:

Weed blanket is that black plastic membrane to stop weeds growing through from below. If your raised beds are going to be more than 30cm deep then I wouldn't bother, because most weeds will not grow through that (and the ones that do, like mares tail, will grow through weed blanket anyway, and if you're got mares tail, then get the blowtorch out and forget the raised bed idea altogether).

The best thing you can do is add SOIL and compost to the raised beds. Most people think compost alone will work fine, but it won't. Once compost has dried out, it's a real bastard to make it moist again. Adding soil also contains loads of organisms that you won't get in compost alone, so it's better for the plants. Depending on what you're planning to grow, I'd say 25% soil to 75% compost is good. You could also add sand.

Finally, depending on budget, you could add water retainers like perlite if the raised bed is quite small (these are those little white dots you find in potting mix).

 

What are you planning on growing in the raised bed - what veg?

sweetcorn, lettuce, tomatoes, courgettes, cabbage, onions.  No potatoes - aussie potatoes are cheap as chips (hah!) and lurvely, and whilst I can grow potatoes easily they take up a lot of room.

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reformed nice guy

I built raised beds for my polytunnel and put a lining of weed blanket at the bottom. I then put in some freshly cut wood, manure then the soil on top. That way it has some moisture retention but not too much.

It is probably better to not lock in water completely or you could have problems with mould, rot or similar. Good soil is water retentive, so that should probably be your priority

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Weed blanket is that black plastic membrane to stop weeds growing through from below. If your raised beds are going to be more than 30cm deep then I wouldn't bother, because most weeds will not grow through that (and the ones that do, like mares tail, will grow through weed blanket anyway, and if you're got mares tail, then get the blowtorch out and forget the raised bed idea altogether).

The best thing you can do is add SOIL and compost to the raised beds. Most people think compost alone will work fine, but it won't. Once compost has dried out, it's a real bastard to make it moist again. Adding soil also contains loads of organisms that you won't get in compost alone, so it's better for the plants. Depending on what you're planning to grow, I'd say 25% soil to 75% compost is good. You could also add sand.

Finally, depending on budget, you could add water retainers like perlite if the raised bed is quite small (these are those little white dots you find in potting mix).

 

What are you planning on growing in the raised bed - what veg?

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3 hours ago, wherebee said:

sweetcorn, lettuce, tomatoes, courgettes, cabbage, onions.  No potatoes - aussie potatoes are cheap as chips (hah!) and lurvely, and whilst I can grow potatoes easily they take up a lot of room.

Interesting mix, should work with most soil types. Courgettes take up a lot of room unless grown on canes etc though....

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3 hours ago, wherebee said:

I've also got shityloads of lemon trees and olvie trees, which helps with the compost - both produce way too much to eat so natural compost material abounds.

Where do you live, Greece?!

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Long time lurking
4 minutes ago, wherebee said:

Thinking of building a raised bed veggie garden that will let me grow veg without breaking my back every year.  I am fine on building it, but what should I do to the base to aid water retention?  In's dry here a lot of the year, and the natural water table is about 300 feet down. o.O

 

Me thinks you are asking people from the wrong part of the world when it comes to that one

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On 11/12/2019 at 05:04, wherebee said:

sweetcorn, lettuce, tomatoes, courgettes, cabbage, onions.  No potatoes - aussie potatoes are cheap as chips (hah!) and lurvely, and whilst I can grow potatoes easily they take up a lot of room.

Yeah, avoid potatoes, you need to grow them in special bags with holes in the side for access to the potatoes, and then at the end of the year you have to get rid of the soil else next year your potatoes will be full of nasty wormy things. How the hell to get rid of 30kg of compost that you literally cannot use again........ The council bin men won't take it.

Beans and sprouts always work well, one bean plant will give enough for you and all your relatives for months, they're bonkers. We had 3 plants a few years back, everytime we harvested them we had two large buckets full, had to cut them up, par boil and freeze them as well handing them out to anyone who'd have them.

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12 hours ago, Snark said:

Yeah, avoid potatoes, you need to grow them in special bags with holes in the side for access to the potatoes, and then at the end of the year you have to get rid of the soil else next year your potatoes will be full of nasty wormy things. How the hell to get rid of 30kg of compost that you literally cannot use again........ The council bin men won't take it.

Beans and sprouts always work well, one bean plant will give enough for you and all your relatives for months, they're bonkers. We had 3 plants a few years back, everytime we harvested them we had two large buckets full, had to cut them up, par boil and freeze them as well handing them out to anyone who'd have them.

Beans have been my most productive and reliable grower - both runner and french beans - still getting the garden  sorted so have been restricted to growing a small number of crops in what I think were salt lick tubs, strong and great for growing in and about the size of a lorry tyre which held a bit with drying out but they are very thirsty plants. With the climate Ginger, Turmeric and Okra and others that are well worth looking at.

As well as putting in the beds probably a good idea looking into collecting and storing water that is available (if space is not too constrictive). 

Rob Bob is in the right climate, uses wicking beds, did know but forgotten the gist of exactly how these work should be plenty of pointers in his vids for water usage/retention and bed structure.

https://www.youtube.com/user/bnbob01

 

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On 15/12/2019 at 00:39, wherebee said:

'Straya

Well this changes everything. Why not grow some mangoes and bananas :D

I lived next door to an Aussie a few years back, he used to love regaling me with stories about how they can grow everything there "the plumpest juiciest mangoes you ever tasted". Yeah yeah, bet you can't grow fucking turnips though.

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