[Homestead] Tis the Season
genegerue at ruralize.com
Tue Nov 15 08:33:37 EST 2011
On Nov 14, 2011, at 1:32 PM, Raymond Zentz wrote:
> My knees don't allow me to do the constant bending and kneeling, so I am planning on high raised beds. Trying to decide whether or not to use wooden frames, or concrete. I realize that I would have to replace wooden frames rather often, unless I use pressure treated wood. Any problems with the chemicals leaching into soil? Would you all recommend concrete frames?
Ray, here was my answer a couple years ago. This raised bed is near perfect as well as aesthetically pleasing:
but it was a lot of work. So for the next bed I am building thin ferro "planks" two feet by eight feet, building them on top of foundation forms sitting on concrete block supports so I can work at waist height. I've been drawn from that project by an addition to the house, but it is a good, simple, long-lasting design, though not nearly so pretty. The biggest challenge has been moving the finished planks from the work area to the garden bed area. So I think I will move the construction site to the side of the bed.
I will add that the big ferro bed is this winter topped with a simple hoop cover, with carrots, spinach and other salad stuff planted. Once high wall are built, adding a hoop cover is easy.
I would not use pressure-treated anything in my garden. The other eight beds are a combination of logs and planks, all expected to rot away, to be replaced one at a time as I perfect the ferro wall approach. I like logs but they make for thick walls that must be reached across to tend the plants.
Each garden is unique in climate, weather, soil, drainage, solar, critters and other challenges, such as walnut trees killing plants via juglone, which is why I made a concrete floor in this first ferro bed. So, too, each gardener's abilities and funds budgeted to the garden. Do what feels right for you.
> Also, I have read some works by mittleider, regarding "growboxes". Are any of you familiar with his work? if so, what are your thoughts?
> The lot has a big, totally overgrown apple tree that produced lots of fruit this year. I will be rather severely pruning it this winter. The big grapevine has grown right into it, so that needs serious cutting back, as well.
> There is a peach tree, as well, but no fruit was on it. We did have a late frost last spring, so that may have done it in.
> I am planning on 3 additional peach trees, 2 apricot, 2 cherry, 2 plum, and 3 more apple trees. Maybe a pear or two, as well...
> a small orchard, but tending fruit trees does not require as much bending and kneeling... ;-)
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