Off the ground raised beds

ToledobendApril 19, 2012

I live in Louisiana (area 8b). My sunny area in my yard sometime floods for a few weeks (I live on a lake). This happens about every three years and sometimes lasts three weeks. My first bed is 4x13 and is two concrete blocks high. The first 8" is filled with masonary sand and then on top of that, I've got Mel's mix in the second stack. I figure if the sand is in standing water, my plants will still be okay but I'll have to wear rubber boots to get to the garden. After reading Mel's (new) book, I was thinking about staying with 4'x4' squares and having them raised off the groumd on skids. I am thinking about using either 4'x4'x3/4" plywood on top of 2x4 skids or in stead, maybe using a sheet of 4'x8' Hardi Board cut to 4'x4' on 2x4 skids. This way I'm above the water or I can move the whole planter to another area out of the water. I can also move a bed or beds to a shadier spot in summer if it too hot. (PS, I know about having drain holes.) Is anyone doing this and also, is there a problem in winter, since the cold air can also get underneath the bed?

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howelbama(7 NJ)


The raised beds will be fine off the ground, however, this turns them from being raised beds in to being containers.

Since they no longer sit on the ground, you do not get the added benefit of having the ground they sit on act as a wick, preventing any kind of perched water table...but if the ground in that area was very wet, that was not an advantage for you anyway. Also, the ground the sit on usually helps maintain temps better, preventing the soil from overheating, but the increased airflow from the space underneath should compensate for that.

The biggest difference will probably be in how you water and fertilize them. You probably want to follow more of a container fertilizing regimen... When you water containers, a lot of the fertilizer and or nutrients built up in the soil will run out the drain holes, so you will have to feed them more often.

Check out the container gardening forum for some good advice on growing veggies in containers...

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 8:51PM
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    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 6:03PM
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