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Another Raised Bed Gardening Idea?

daveomak

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I have gardened for a few years and raised beds is a technique I have used many times. I have read many posts and haven't come across this idea.

 

A few months back, a vehicle took out 90 feet of fence on our road frontage. I cleaned up the mess and stacked the material out back. Walking by it the other day,
 why not use it for raised bed gardening?


 

The fence was made of white plastic PVC (2"x6"x16' approx) UV stabilized and fairly strong. It can be purchased at your local "box home" store for about $1/foot and can be cut with a hand saw and drilled easily. Your box store may even cut it to length for you?
 

pineywoods

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That should work great be sure to post some pics when you get it built
 

TulsaJeff

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I planted a garden in hay bales last year.. as a sort of raised bed.

It worked great until I went on a short vacation to visit my parents that turned into a 3 week vacation due to "drama" at my parents house that resulted in me helping mom move out.. long story.. but anyway, the garden was overtaken with weeds when I got home and became an eyesore that my wife won't let me forget


Ever heard of anything like that? (The hay bale garden.. not the drama
)

Edit: Here's a picture of what it looked like just before I planted. I laid soaker hoses along the top attached to a timer so it would be automatically watered every day.

 
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alblancher

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I made the mistake of using hay as a mulch one year in my garden.  The hay was placed over a weed barrier.  I pulled grass out of the beds for two years after that mistake.  Now days bark mulch, pine needles or black plastic weed barrier.

Can't say anything one way or the other about the plastic fence.  Can't see why it wouldn't work, if it's not being used may as well give it a try!
 

TulsaJeff

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I made the mistake of using hay as a mulch one year in my garden.  The hay was placed over a weed barrier.  I pulled grass out of the beds for two years after that mistake.  Now days bark mulch, pine needles or black plastic weed barrier.

Can't say anything one way or the other about the plastic fence.  Can't see why it wouldn't work, if it's not being used may as well give it a try!

This was supposed to be "weed free" hay and I paid extra for the kind that had been especially treated x number of times to make sure there were no weeds or seeds.. yeah, right!!


It was a fun project while it lasted I must admit.

Regarding the plastic fence for raised bed gardening.. I am a big fan of raised bed gardening in general and whatever is safe and works is a good thing in my opinion.  "repurposing" an old fence makes it even better.
 

Dutch

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I'm looking forward to Spring so I can try the DIY EarthBox gardening method. EarthBox gardening is a self-contained, raised bed gardening concept that several SMF members use to great sucess.  Here is a link to EarthBox Gardening  
 

daveomak

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jmk, Tell me about the blue containers? The raised beds. That looks sweet
. No bending. Do you leave them up all year? I have got to do something to cut down on the weeding and bending etc. Dave
 

Dutch

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Dave, Those blue containers are self watering gardening containers also known as earthboxes.  Here is a link to EarthBox Gardening    
 

Bearcarver

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I planted a garden in hay bales last year.. as a sort of raised bed.

It worked great until I went on a short vacation to visit my parents that turned into a 3 week vacation due to "drama" at my parents house that resulted in me helping mom move out.. long story.. but anyway, the garden was overtaken with weeds when I got home and became an eyesore that my wife won't let me forget


Ever heard of anything like that? (The hay bale garden.. not the drama
)

Edit: Here's a picture of what it looked like just before I planted. I laid soaker hoses along the top attached to a timer so it would be automatically watered every day.
Having been partially raised on a farm, I know about weeds & grass growing in hay bales.  


It was a good idea though!!!

Bear
 

Bearcarver

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JMK,

I too love that "no bending over" method !!!!

Bear
 

scarbelly

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JMK those look great. The idea of not having to bend over is very appealing to me too
 

roller

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I always garden in the ground and I hate that bending over thing also. I like the that bale idea. 
 

smoking b

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I made the mistake of using hay as a mulch one year in my garden.  The hay was placed over a weed barrier.  I pulled grass out of the beds for two years after that mistake.  Now days bark mulch, pine needles or black plastic weed barrier.
I use hay every year to stop weeds in my garden & have never had any trouble with it. I use the loose hay & "chaf" that is left on the barn floor after unloading 10 - 13,000 bales each summer. I plow up the garden with a cutting disc first (every other year I use a plow instead of the cutting disc) then follow up a couple days later with a finishing disc & then finally run over it with a harrow. After that I cover it with the hay at least a foot deep. After it gets a rain or two it packs down nicely & makes a great weed barrier. At the end of the year it gets plowed back into the garden. Works great for me & it also helps hold moisture in the ground but I wouldn't do it if I had to buy the hay - it takes A LOT to do it right. If you put it on too thin it actually encourages weed growth. I found that out the hard way one year lol.

    

   


Those are the only pics on that memory card - I have pics of the whole garden somewhere if I can track them down...
 

smoking b

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Sorry guys I just noticed I posted this in the small spaces section - I just saw alblancher's post about the hay causing him grief & wanted to post that I haven't had that trouble in all the years I've used it. If anyone wants to slap me for not paying attention feel free to do so!    
 

daveomak

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Jeremy, morning.... Nice looking garden....   Does the hay cool the soil ???  I live in the high desert and need soil warmth.. that can take until June here.....  Dave
 

kathrynn

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We have re-purposed some old fence parts to make a raised bed this year.  My sweet Husband is calling it the Burial Ground for now. He is teasing and saying a bunch of my gal pals will be buried in there if they don't quit picking on him.  
 (and that included me!)  Anyhoo....by the time we got the thing built...we had the 100000000 degree temps here (being silly) and it was just to danged hot to plant and water things.  I am going to amend the soil some this Fall and Winter. The dirt was left overs from when the City dug a trench thru our yards.  Will have plenty of rocks and such to get out too. Any suggestions on ammending the red Alabama Clay?  The guy that is bringing the apple wood said we can have all the pine straw we want from his yard.
 

daveomak

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Kathryn, morning...  I would not use pine straw because of the resins in it.... Find old rotten hay or straw that has been in the rain overwinter...  till or disc it in the soil.... add ammonium sulfate.... The sulfur will break down the clay/lime and the nitrogen will break down the hay/straw....  Add horse manure also.... it has less weeds than steer and it is full of organic fiber from their diet....   Then, wood ash, in smaller quantities, is good for micro nutrients....  If you have a sub soiler, run that through the garden spot too...  forcing organics, nutrients and air into the sub soil is good..... 

Here is an interesting link.....

http://www.hgic.umd.edu/content/documents/hg42_002.pdf      

Have a good day.....   Dave
 

smoking b

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     Hi Dave - Thanks! I'm not sure how to give you the proper answer as to whether the hay will cool the soil or not. I do know that ground that has been opened up will warm quicker than if left alone. Spring corn crops can always be planted sooner in plowed ground than if using no-till methods. I would think that the hay would act as insulation to help hold the heat in the soil but at the same time it may work against you as well by acting as a barrier to the warming effects of the sun.

      Sorry I can't give you a real answer right now but what I can do is monitor soil temps for you come spring & check both uncovered & covered sections & then I can give you a proper answer...
 

daveomak

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I know chopped hay insulates the garlic and keeps it from frost heaving.... and it grows all winter under the hay... even at zero deg.... I just covered my garlic today with some alfalfa bales that didn't dry.... I use a straw chopper I built from an IH chaff chopper from a combine that works very well ..... here is the chop on the garlic....  if I don't remove it in March or April, depends on the temp, the garlic will rot in the ground.... I have used it to mulch tomatoes and they won't grow... I guess the high desert has me buffaloed.....  I need an 800 sq ft green house that has hydro and heat.  HAHAHA

 

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