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Hot pepper raised beds?

Posted by cjohansen none (My Page) on
Sat, Mar 2, 13 at 20:21

At some point I'll need to move my seedlings outside. I have a fairly small garden, and figured I'd go for a raised bed. As far as I understand, peppers can be planted 12 inches apart in rows 10 inches apart as long as the rows are offset. This means I can house my 50 plants in a reasonable amount of space.

Question now is: What do I fill these with? I don't have my own compost, but I can buy it relatively cheap. I guess that will be the bulk of it? Do I need to add anything to improve drainage? Any powdered nutrients etc go into this? Please be gentle, I know next to nothing about gardening. I'm getting the impression that vermiculite and perlite is used - I think those are not easily accessible where I live.

Any help appreciated!

Bonus question: Is one foot deep enough for the peppers? I'm planning to dumpt the raised beds on top of my lawn. 1 foot is low enough to save me the work of digging up the lawn.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Hot pepper raised beds?

Not that I have any real knowledge on the subject, but, if it were me, I'd get a 50/50 mix of top soil and compost. In bulk, not bags...that would be way expensive! I assume there will be no barrier between the lawn that is there and the raised bed. If that's the case, 1ft would probably be fine. Wouldn't hurt to break the ground up a bit first though.


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RE: Hot pepper raised beds?

Thanks. "Top soil" - is that whatever "flowerbed soil" I can get at the garden center, or something more specific?

I'm in zone 6 (not sure about a/b, Oslo Norway). Can I expect to be able to grow chile outside (in a raised bed, south wall) at all or is some sort of greenhouse required to be successful in my climate?


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RE: Hot pepper raised beds?

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 3, 13 at 12:11

Top soil is "Top Soil". I is basically just plain dirt. It doesn't usually have any amendments to it. You can buy it over here relatively cheap in bags at the garden centers or you can buy it in bulk (dump truck load) for a lot less if you need a lot.
Bruce


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RE: Hot pepper raised beds?

I'm not familiar with the products you have available in Norway. But, yeah, it's plain dirt. Here you can get it a most nurseries in bulk either by weight or the cubic yard.


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RE: Hot pepper raised beds?

Does anyone have any experiences with growing chile outside in my zone? @tsheets and @esox07, I see you guys are in zones 4 and 5 - those are colder than zone 6 right? Do you grow outside? If so, how?


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RE: Hot pepper raised beds?

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 4, 13 at 9:44

cjohansen:
Yes, we grow outside. I start my plants indoors in about February and then start getting them outside during warm sunny afternoons in about April and then they go outside permanently for the summer in May. I usually end my outdoors growing in October.
Here is my grow blogs from last year and the prior two years, chronicled by date and complete with photos.

2011 growing season: http://pepperpikker.tumblr.com/
2012 growing season: http://2012pepper.tumblr.com/
2013 growing season: http://2013pepper.tumblr.com/
Bruce


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RE: Hot pepper raised beds?

several years ago I got tired of all the weeding and decided to go with raised beds. I have 20 now and would never go back. All of mine are filled with compost and I've had the best seasons ever since I went with raised beds. After the first year I use MG shake and feed and have had even better results.
Pam


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RE: Hot pepper raised beds?

When you build your raised beds fill them with whichever compost and/or topsoil is available to you. Then later, to keep them productive and fertile, i suggest you read a bit about lasagna gardening, see link below. You should have no problem keeping your beds going for many years.
For growing peppers in your climate, check fatalii.net, a finnish grower who does wonders with various methods.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lasagna gardening


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RE: Hot pepper raised beds?

Thanks you guys - that's a lot of really useful information. Bruce: You've got my attention for hours to come :) Starting reading your 2011 log now, this is some seriously useful information, thank you so much. Too bad I never came across it on Google.

Pam: MG is Miracle-Gro right? What's "shake"?

teyo: Thanks for the links, I'll be reading. Luckily I have another month or so before I need to start constructing, so there's lots of time for research.

I worry most about the weather around here - it's very unstable. Some summers can be good, but the past few years there's been a lot of rain and cold weather that I doubt the chile are going to enjoy. Crossing my fingers for a friendly season weather-wise :)

Now, off to reading tons of material on chile growing. I am also reading http://www.amazon.com/The-Complete-Chile-Pepper-Book/dp/0881929204 but I find it to be a little skimpy on details.


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RE: Hot pepper raised beds?

"Top soil" generally means the best available local soil from the top layer. Supposedly the top layer has lots of naturally composted vegetable material in it, but no- necessarily - the "top soil" in some areas just sucks. You want something that drains well and doesn't compact too hard, and has a reasonable pH.

Assuming that you don't get snow in July, the only thing I'd really worry about re: the weather is rain where your soil remains saturated for extended periods. This depends as much on the soil and bed drainage as it does on the weather.

Go to your garden center and ask the guy who knows gardening about how well tomatoes do in your area. Peppers and tomatoes are closely related and what works for one generally works for the other.


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RE: Hot pepper raised beds?

The composted soil in my raised beds is too fertile for peppers, and I end up with too much leaf at the expense of fruit. So I grow peppers in 3 and 5 gallon containers using less fertile soil. I also use 15 litre plastic water bottles (bottomless) as cloches over top the containers. If the weather is bad I move my containers into the garage or sometimes into the house. Peppers in containers can give you more versatility in cooler climates.


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RE: Hot pepper raised beds?

cjohansen yes, it's Miracle Gro, (guess I should have capitalized the name) it's Shake and Feed. I use the regular one for most and the one for tomatoes for the tomatoes and peppers.


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RE: Hot pepper raised beds?

the past few years there's been a lot of rain and cold weather that I doubt the chile are going to enjoy
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The nice thing about raised beds is you can modify the soil so that it drains nicely.

Bonus question: Is one foot deep enough for the peppers?
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Yes.


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RE: Hot pepper raised beds?

Today I put the finishing touches on the raised bed. Will be filling it with peppers the coming two weekends (I'm hardening off in batches for laziness reasons). Thanks for all your help - I've learned so much since February. This is 50/50 top soil and compost.


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RE: Hot pepper raised beds?

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Tue, May 21, 13 at 14:46

Excellent looking bed there. That should work fine for you.
I am jealous.
Bruce


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RE: Hot pepper raised beds?

Nice!

I've noticed a lot of people raised beds is sometimes laying down newspaper or carpet first to kill grass, then rip the grass up. (Hope you did that). Then they loosen the native soil 6-12 inches down. Then they lay down a few inches of brown leaves. Then they do the soil. Of course, if you have rodent problems, the hardware cloth is attached prior.

I'm with Bruce. I'm jealous. I wish I had that much open space in my backyard to build a few.

Kevin


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RE: Hot pepper raised beds?

Cjohansen,

Looks great!!!! you could always make a quick and easy hoop house to throw over that bed to extend your season if you are conserned with the weather. Some pvc pipe to make the "hoops" and a roll of cheap plastic, and your in business!


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RE: Hot pepper raised beds?

Kevin, I opted for a simpler solution. I laid the bed directly on the grass, but the inside is clad with some construction fiber cloth. It drains water, but I'd be surprised if my week lawn grass makes it through.

Howelbama, a hoop house to go on top is under construction :) will post updates.

Attached picture shows the lining in the bed.


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RE: Hot pepper raised beds?

That looks great! Keep us updated!


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RE: Hot pepper raised beds?

Getting close to planting. Final batch hardening off now - today is the first day all of the plants will stay out permanently. Will put them into the bed as soon as I have time.

I have a question: We're seeing lots of rain - pretty much everyday we have showers, and then half the day we have great temps and sun. It's very frustrating, and I've been hesitant to plant in the bed before getting my greenhouse/roof ready under these conditions. How much rain will the plants take before it starts getting a problem? I think the bed should drain pretty well (so far I've had it covered in plastic, so I haven't really tested).

I looked over all my plants today, and they're really appreciating being outside - I counted at least 150 peppers already (54 plants)!


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RE: Hot pepper raised beds?

It's after Memorial Day, now, so time to open the pool!

We're getting so much rain that there are flood warnings in the area. I keep expecting my in-ground plants to turn yellow any day, but, they're hanging tough so far. I don't think you'll have any problem in the raised beds. They may be wetter than they like, but, I don't you'll hurt them.


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RE: Hot pepper raised beds?

Ah, cool. Will start planting tomorrow then - the plants in the smallest cups are very unhappy, so getting them in good fertile medium will do them lots of good.

We have had flood warnings for the past week as well. There have been some floods around southern Norway (my area), but luckily I don't live near flooding water, so I'm only bothered by all the rain and clouds being in the way of chili pepper-producing sun rays :)


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RE: Hot pepper raised beds?

It's on! The season just started for me as I moved 42 plants to the raised bed. Now all I can do is cross my fingers and hope the weather shows its best side until I get the detachable greenhouse roof that goes on top. Very excited!

More pictures and details on my grow (b)log.


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RE: Hot pepper raised beds?

You got some serious foliage there, bo'. (That's a Southernism, something like "bubba".) What dirt do you got them in?

Dennis


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RE: Hot pepper raised beds?

Thanks, Dennis :) I'm hoping I've seen the last of pale and yellow foliage (more and more present in some of the more severely root bound plants).

The bed's filled with 50/50 top soil and compost. I also lightly dusted each hole with bone meal. Up until now they've been in a mix of potting soil and perlite. The white stuff on the picture is a little bit of perlite from the pots that followed along with the planting.


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RE: Hot pepper raised beds?

Looks great! That's a LOT of plants!


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RE: Hot pepper raised beds?

awesome pepper garden! :-) I have about 15 peppers (mix between Jalapeno and Bells) in one of my raised bed.

Bed also contains 8 tomato plants, and shallots currently... waiting to sow some bunching onion seeds soon.


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