raised beds and containers

avalenMarch 14, 2009

I'm not new to gardening, just new to gardening in Arizona.

I have a very small yard next to a mobile home and the space

is also shared with my little dogs. I want to use raised

beds and large containers in order to prevent my dogs from

contaminating my vegetables. When making raised beds, how

do you do this? other than using 2X6's, what do you use for

the bottom? How do you prevent the wood from rotting? or

being attacked by termites? With containers I worry about

the outside of the container being too hot for the roots,

is this a legitimate concern? My neighbor has styrofoam

around his pots, says it keeps the roots cooler and I hadn't

even thought about that until he mentioned it. Any thoughts

or advice is appreciated.

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lva57(Z13 Phoenix, AZ)

Hi! I use the big, square (12 x 12 or larger), flat stone pavers & stand them up next to each other using a paver to cap the ends. You need to bury about 2 inches into the soil of the garden to stabilize them. Depending on the amount of pavers, you can make a long rectangular bed or just one square one. I then fill with a mix of soil & compost to about an inch from the top. My tomatoes are growing like crazy in these! For insulation in the hot or cold months, wrap the sides of the raised beds (or around the containers) with bubble wrap, the kind with the big bubbles. Not very attractive, but it does the trick!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 11:13AM
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thank you, hadn't thought of the pavers, but yes, that would work, and the bubble wrap is also a good idea.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 3:25PM
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lva57(Z13 Phoenix, AZ)

You're welcome! I too am fairly new to AZ gardening; moved to Phoenix a year ago from Philadelphia where it's a little easier to have a green thumb. I had to re-learn everything I knew about gardening, plus learn a couple of new things (and kill some plants!) along the way as well.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 10:37AM
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i used 2x12's. you can shape however you like. i dug about 2" down on the inside to retain water in the garden. (no bottom) however when i first built it, i used all garden soil from the store and since it drained so well, it dried out even better. i had to add about 40% native soil before the plants were content. but now its great. also in the winter when my plants die i use the garden for a compost bin. ive never had a problem with wood rot here, or termites. it's pretty dry here. but a 2x12 would be easy enough to replace in 4-5 years. as for the pots thats definatly a legitimate concern. any time i leave a plant in its store bought contaianer, it fries. maybe if you double up one would shade the other? worth a shot. good luck!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 12:09PM
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softmentor(z9/sunset13 CA desert)

personally I think raised beds are far too much work and expense. You can get a small decorative landscape wire that will keep a small dog out. It's available in colors like green and white, and comes about one foot high. Just use that to separate the dog and garden areas and plant in the soil. Much less expensive. I also recomend a good mulch about 4 inches thick on top of the soil. Mulch can be anything, leaves and such. Just beware of Bermuda grass trimmings as they will make a weedy mess.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 7:59AM
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