Raised or Container SFG

Lauren328May 12, 2014

Hey friends. I have an elevated cedar situation for my SFG. It is 2' x 8' from Gardeners website. I bought it last year and had a massive failure using Mel's Mix. I made my own and followed directions. From posting on here, I realized that my little garden was BAKING on my dark back deck. We have since moved to a new house and I relocated the garden apparatus to a great spot in our back yard. It is completely empty. I don't have the money to do Mel's Mix again. I'm wondering if the fact that it is super elevated makes this, essentially a giant "container"? If yes, can I get away with potting soil and some amending? I spent sooooo much $ on this set up last year. The raised bed, the Mel's Mix, etc and ended up with NOTHING. So, I am not completely discouraged but feeling cautious.

Here is a link to the garden set up I have:

http://www.gardeners.com/8-Elevated-Cedar-Raised-Bed/8586748,default,pd.html?start=6&cgid=ElevatedGardening_Cat

Attaching a pic of where mine sits too. Please ignore the jungle-esque situation. We've only been here two weeks and cleared 5 feet toward that back fence line...of VINES. I look like i've been in a knife fight!

Thanks for any help! I'm in Gadsden, AL. -Lauren

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Lauren328

Here is a closer photo of the elevated raised bed.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 12:34PM
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valeriegr

One really cheap option for such a large/tall container that may make up for some of the frustration is to grow potatoes in straw. You start them at the bottom and then occasionally add 4-6 inches of straw as they continue to grow through the season.

Here is a link that might be useful: Potatoes in Straw

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 1:56PM
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manda99(5a)

I have four raised beds that I use for SFG. They are on their 4th year. I gave up on trying to find the ingredients for Mel's Mix the first year and just filled them with a mix of garden soil, mushroom compost, and some peat. The soil level drops several inches each year and I have just been topping off with compost and maybe a bit of soil. I've had excellent results from this. Did you thoroughly wet/mix your Mel's Mix before putting it in the box? I know that's a common downfall when using any peat-heavy mix.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 4:00PM
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JoppaRich(7b)

If it's not directly touching dirt on the bottom (IE, dirt-to-dirt), it's not a raised bed, it's a container. And Mel's mix isn't particularly suitable for container gardening, it just doesn't drain well enough.

The dirt-to-dirt connection basically acts as a wick, and pulls moisture out of the bed, so Mel's mix is geared to hold a lot of moisture.

Typical container mediums are bark, peat, and perlite... much faster draining than compost, peat and vermiculite.

Replacing all the soil is probably a non-starter at this point, so I'd suggest putting some wicks in place to pull some moisture out. You can probably read about wicks in the container forum.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 4:21PM
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Lauren328

I don't eat white potatoes and this is my only garden spot. I bought it to keep my dogs out of it! I agree that is essentially a giant container.

I am just gonna rock potting soil and jazz it up next year with compost etc.

Will keep y'all posted!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 10:21PM
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