16 inch raised bed too high?

joewormOctober 28, 2011

Thought it'd be a good idea to make em' high so the roots that intrude from the bottom into the raised bed wouldn't be a problem.

Any ideas? Don't want to put a weed barrier down as it will keep worms from coming up into the beds.

Any suggestions on what the best soil mix would be for the raised beds??


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Use heavy cardboard as a weed barrier--does a good job and the worms love it. Then, toss in what you have as in compost bin.

As for soil, do be careful if you buy--some I used set up like concrete and it took several years of serious cover cropping to get it even reasonable.

16" sounds excellent--mine are 12" and wish they were higher to sit on the edge rather than kneel & reach.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2011 at 4:05AM
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I just finished filling the first raised bed, 4'x9'x16", with 1/3 topsoil(good stuff),1/3 pine bark fines, and 1/3 compost.
That was a lot of material for one bed and a lot of work mixing it. Getting a late start for the fall/winter planting but better late than never!!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2011 at 4:48PM
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16 inches of good soil might be more depth than you really need, unless you're growing big daikon, but the height will give you a good load of nutrients, and make working the bed easier (less bending). Most salad crops can thrive with relatively short root systems.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 10:09PM
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I used the following mix in equal parts (20% each):

Horse Manure
Leaf Compost
Vermiculite (coarse)

Amazing mix. Grew everything!

I dig in a mix of peat and horse manure annually. My supplier throws in some chicken manure too sometimes.

I am currently at 12 inches; thinking of moving up to 18 this year.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 12:02PM
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I am going to build my raised beds higher this year for several reasons.

One is because the soil level in my beds is rising due to sheet composting and mulch. Two, because I am getting older. Three because my back hurts.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 11:34AM
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I built Ours 24" high and 5X10 and 4X8 love em. I put a 2X8 on top for a seat and you can sit and do what you need to as well as makes for a very comfortable height.. 1 time expense and really worth it.


    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 6:25PM
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nanelle_gw(9/Sunset 14)

But does it keep roots out? And for how long? Mine are about six years old and 12 riches deep, and the redwoods are winning. Overtime I think I can beat them, I look up at them, and realize it is futile.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 3:56AM
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If the problem is tree roots, they'll follow the water and nutrients right up into the bed. I have a couple of beds I have to dig deep every year to get my neighbor's tree roots out. I dig a trough along one side of the garden and cut them off, and then pull out the big ones - a real pain. Every spring when I start planting, the roots are always back.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 1:03AM
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If you are building a large raised garden, I would suggest the following: 1. use uncolored cardboard or a double layer of black and white newspaper as your bottom layer (root barrier) (worms love it), 2. Visit your local transfer center (if they provide free composted leaves) and put a 6 to 8 inch layer of leaves on top of the root barrier, 3. Fill the remainder with a mix 1/2 compost and 1/2 top soil or garden soil.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 1:57PM
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The tree roots can travel up into the bed easily. My compost bin is just a 4x4 fenced in "pile" and tree roots usually move up into the bottom foot or so every year. Thats after I put down several layers of cardboard in the spring. You might want to put down a fine meshed screen at the bottom of those puppies. Cardboard wont keep them down long. Its good for weed suppression, but not tree roots!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 3:19PM
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Hilary McDaniel

We are making keyhole gardens. We've done 2 so far. I'm tired of bending over so we are changing methods. We are also setting up a large hydroponic bed. No more bending over.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 4:56PM
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Hilary49: What is a key hole garden?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 5:22AM
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