Proximity of raised bed to the wall

gmanar(7 CLT-NC/ HZ 7)April 18, 2013

Hi All,

I just built and installed a raised bed - it is against the brick wall (with slab foundation).

My Question: Should i be moving it away from the wall - will it cause damage to the brick or foundation. what about Mold , termites etc increasing because of the bed.

Please advice.

Thanks and regards

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Immediately, no, you'll not have a problem, might even help as the warmth of the house heats the bed and keeps the temperature stable.

As the wood breaks down/rots, you *might* have mold problems, you can counter this by using some damp proof membrane or flat polystyrene between the wall and the bed - membrane might be easier to install now you've got the beds up and running, you might be able to gently lever the bed away enough to slip a sheet down.

Just be careful you dont have to reach too far over to the squares next to the wall when the plants on the outside are in full flow.

You might want to consider either painting the wall white or putting white painted boarding up too, it'll help the plants get more light, especially those ones next to the wall.

Lovely looking beds by the way, look like they'll last for ages.

Best of luck.


    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 2:18AM
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gmanar(7 CLT-NC/ HZ 7)

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the comment.
I am thinking I will leave it in this year, and next year move it a foot or so away from the wall and put some pathway stone in that space - so i can access it easily too.

I have a few other questions - I have a slight slope (up hill) on one side of the yard which I want to use for 5 3'X6' beds - should i level ? it is not a big up hill - so I am thinking I will level it ... what do you suggest ?

Also I have medium vermiculite - is it ok ? or should I only get the coarse one ? coarse was hard to find and also expensive. Medium was considerably cheaper. Are there any down sides to using the medium one ?

Thanks so much in advance !

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 1:16PM
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gumby_ct(CT it says Z5)

Knowing N, S, E & W directions would help immensely.

May I ask why you placed it so close to the wall?

That down spout would be a great place for a rain barrel.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 11:17PM
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gmanar(7 CLT-NC/ HZ 7)

The wall is on the north side of the bed, the bed actually gets a good 10 hrs of sun. I can't really say why I put it so close, it was my first bed .... so didn't think about it. But once I put it in, I put some seeds and started to water .... that is when i felt may be I should have left some space.

I dont think I am going to do the rain barrel - I know the value - but I will have to check with my HOA first. I am still waiting to see if they react over this bed and other beds I am going to put up over in the next week or two.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 1:50PM
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gumby_ct(CT it says Z5)

Ok so sun is good.
What are the dimensions of the beds?

For me I like to kneel down then add 1ft to the space needed for me to kneel down. That gives me enuff room at about 3ft.

That space becomes a problem when the beds are long and you can't reach completely to the back from the front of the bed.

This post was edited by gumby_ct on Tue, Apr 23, 13 at 15:17

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 3:16PM
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gmanar(7 CLT-NC/ HZ 7)

the beds that i currently have the squares on 2 sides are 3 X 3 and the long one in the center is 6.5' X 3 .

The depth is 3'. The new ones i am building are going to be 6 X 3 and will be placed in the same direction as the existing one.

It is on a slight hill, so I am going to dig and level it ... and put a cardboard under the bed and water it well and fill with compost+ peat+ vermiculite.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 3:59PM
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gmanar(7 CLT-NC/ HZ 7)

Attached is the layout I am aiming for.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 4:13PM
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gumby_ct(CT it says Z5)

Even if the 6.5ft bed was the only bed, I think it would be just too difficult to get to the middle parts of the beds unless you could get to the backside (wall side).

So to me if you want to keep it that close to the wall do two 3x4ft beds with 4ft part along the wall and go with 4ft no less than 3ft between the 2 beds. Does that make any sense?

Some will argue and say 2ft. but I like 4ft between my beds. Certainly not less than 3ft if the extra foot wasn't available but in this case it is, so I say use it.

BUT I also Do NOT like growing grass right up to my beds either. Grass is a perennial weed that invades my vegetable garden. Not only that it is impossible to mow right up to the bed frame w/o leaving some portion of it behind to go to seed. Plus the mower just blows weed seeds into the beds.

I like the walkway and perimeter to be mulched about 3-4ft away from the frame. No competition for the water and nutrients for your plants.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2013 at 4:33PM
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gmanar(7 CLT-NC/ HZ 7)

Hi Gumby_ct

Makes sense, for sure, I understand what you are saying and I am starting to face it, It is really difficult to reach some places in the beds as they are now. So next season... I am going to make adjustments and move them so that I can reach from both sides.

Also are there any suggestions for pathway stone ?
or may be I should post in some other forum ?

Thanks so much,

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 10:38AM
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You will be watering your beds which arer agains the house. There is one potential longterm problem, if you have a basement on that side of the house. Beneath the wall foundation, there is ussually a french drain. Over time (about 30 years) it fills up with silt and allows water to enter the basement. If you do not have a basement, then the problem may cause settling in your foundation.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 9:18AM
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gmanar(7 CLT-NC/ HZ 7)

Thanks for the comments Charlie, I am surely going to move it out a foot or two away from the wall - at the end of this season.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 12:27PM
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