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What do you wish you had done differently when you built bed?

Posted by ilovemyroses 8 Dallas TX (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 28, 13 at 21:57

Hoping to learn from your mistakes!! Too wide of a bed? Wrong soil? Too wide or narrow walkways? Too deep? Not deep enough? Help!!! I'm just starting and would love a few lessons learned!


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RE: What do you wish you had done differently when you built bed?

The only wish I have is that I started with SFG as soon as my beds were done.
I spent years building the soil, now that I found this program I love it.
My first planting was last week and it was so refreshing working in the mix..


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RE: What do you wish you had done differently when you built bed?

  • Posted by arley 7b/8a SC (My Page) on
    Thu, May 2, 13 at 13:08

I made several boxes, 5 feet by 15 inches (they looked like hobbit coffins) and lined them up in fifteen foot runs. My idea was that if I got tired of using them for veggies, I could put them here or there in the yard as planters for irises or whatever, and the weight wouldn't be too bad so one person could move them.

However, having boxes like that makes it hard to run a soaker hose under the soil surface. You either have to loop the soaker hose above the end walls of the boxes, or drill holes to run the hose. If I were to do it again, I'd use 16 foot 2x10 or 2x12 so I could have an uninterrupted run of hose. I'd also securely affix a small vertical pipe to the inside of the box with a female garden hose fitting poking out above the surface, and a male garden hose fitting under the surface attaching to the completely buried soaker hose. That way if anyone pulls on the supply hose it doesn't disturb the soaker hose.

Why sixteen feet? Because that's the length of the cattle panel I use for a trellis; or, as you can see in the picture, you can bend three of them into Gothic arches to make 'a cathedral of tomato worship'.


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RE: What do you wish you had done differently when you built bed?

I would have been more aware of how shadows change with the seasons. My first raised bed had full sun all summer, but in the fall and winter was shaded by the house.

Here is a link that might be useful: SFG basics


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RE: What do you wish you had done differently when you built bed?

Im in Texas too and I would have made sure they had afternoon shade. The sun scorches here in July drying out the soil super fast and making it too hot to grow much. If you're planting in full sun in Texas plan for you're water bill to sky rocket and water almost every day! I've taken to parking my vehicles on the west side of my beds in the summer!


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RE: What do you wish you had done differently when you built bed?

I wish I had made mine 18" deep. It would have cost me three times as much but the thermal mass and water holding volume would have saved my veggies in the summer.

And I should have added a drip irrigation line as I was having to water three times a day in August.


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RE: What do you wish you had done differently when you built bed?

From watching a friend have beds made, there are some definite pluses I want in the beds I'm planning!

Not more than 4' across, for sure. Easy reaching even to the center for weeding and planting.

TALL is GOOD! About the only beds I wouldn't do this way (ie, 3-4 feet in height) would be those planned for indeterminate climbers like some tomatoes, beans, peas, and vining/climbing melons and cukes.

DEFINITELY lay the weed blocker down good and solid before you put the bed on the ground, same with gopher wire. Very well worth doing, based on how much of a pain it is when you don't !

Plan for worms, and plenty of them, and with those, lots of manure and leaves in your beds to feed them. Makes a huge difference in performance as well as in need for supplemental fertilization.

Anything shorter than 12" (and I lean toward 18-24") deep is not worth putting in.

Hope that helps!


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RE: What do you wish you had done differently when you built bed?

I wish I wouldn't have been so excited about doing this that I didn't really look at the pictures very carefully because instead of having 12 squares in my garden I only have 9. Had I bought the dividers I may have caught it. Oh well. I'll get it right next time. lol

This post was edited by valentine21463 on Sat, May 25, 13 at 20:08


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