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Country Discussion Topics
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Special for Susan re raised garden beds
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Bluebird    Posted 07-13-2001 at 14:38:49       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Susan, I used to garden strictly conventionally (in rows) but started using raised garden beds due to our soil when we moved to a new location. I won't go back to conventional gardening now EVER except for sprawling vegetables like cucumbers and squash, melons or corn that take up too much room. I have a bad back and hip and raised bed gardening (once the beds are made) is so much easier! I do Intensive Bed gardening (although my hubby always said it put him in Intensive Care to make one of the beds!) You fill the bed with everything organic you can when you make one. There is no compaction of soil - it is always soft! There is no irrigating - you can get by with a hand held sprinkler while plants are little, and use a bubbler in the bed when they are bigger. I weed one time in the spring once the veggies are big enough and generally don't have much of a weed problem thereafter so there is no hoeing. I get double the amount of produce because I plant Intensive Beds (the amount of space between plants in all directions is the same as when you thin normally; ie: 2" between radishes, etc.) My beds are 4' across so I can reach the middle from either side, and 21' long. I had 16 tomato plants in two beds a few years ago and got more than 200 lbs. of tomatoes out that year - and I live at 7200' elevation so have to use Wall o' Waters! One year, I had 48 lb. of beets out of one bed - after they were topped! I used to use 12" boards to make the sides of my beds out of and put chicken wire on the bottoms to keep out gophers but the boards will rot out and let go the wire in a few years time so I am in the process of switching over to concrete block beds that will serve me better. So, go for it! You won't regret it! If you would like to talk more about the beds, feel free to e-mail me.


Doc    Posted 07-13-2001 at 18:08:20       [Reply]  [No Email]
Would like everyone just to think for a moment about about not using railroad ties and treated woods for raised beds and around food. As you know railroad ties contain creosote which is a carcinogen; preserved woods contain poisonous chemicals. Could they just possibly leach their carcinogens into the soil and be absorbed by the food that we are growing to eat? Do not want a lawsuit from these folks but it is my thoughts only that this just may can happen. Best Regards, Doc


J-P    Posted 07-19-2001 at 02:27:29       [Reply]  [No Email]
Check the UK Creosote Council Web pages.
They seem to be of the opinion that creosote doesn't leach, and is perfectly OK for raised beds.


Susan    Posted 07-14-2001 at 06:07:54       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thanks so much everyone, great ideas! As to the railroad ties, I'm undecided about what leaches and what doesn't but I'm fickle enough not to use anything chemically treated. My husband works in a lumberyard. There are three different things folks use to building outdoors. One is pressure treated and the other two are just plain old sturdy wood (one is cedar I think). We're using the plain old wood. However cement block is a cool idea. You can salvage old ones around here, made before the sizes were standardized. I can build a box out of odd sizes I think.


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