Garden Bed Construction

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Kansas Community Garden Conference
July 7, 2014
Mr. Ward Upham

Raised beds are becoming a more popular form of gardening. We will cover the advantages and disadvantages of raised beds, special situations where they can be helpful, raised bed alternatives, constructing raised beds and using soil mixes.

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  • See how much better the raised bed drains?
  • “Closer spacing”: Plants can be put closer together as you can work from the side and don’t need “aisles.”
  • Vegetables tolerant of juglone include lima beans, snap peans, beets, sweet corn, onions and parsnip. Sweet peppers moderately susceptible.
  • The planting on the right has raised mounds for planting. It would be difficult to work the garden, but the plants should be OK.
  • Serious home gardener will sometimes us these.
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  • Vegetables that produce fruit (tomatoes) require the most sun followed by root producing crops (potatoes, onions) followed by leafy vegetables (lettuce, spinach).
  • For wheelchair access, about 24” to 30” would be good.
  • Use decking screws + a flat corner brace. Or you can use lag screws.
  • Stake nailer
  • Nailed boards with stake and reinforcement
  • Electrical conduit and conduit clamp
  • Closeup of conduit and conduit clamp
  • Show model.
  • Show model.
  • Drill through the top one until you mark the second. Remove the top layer and finish drilling.
  • This is all based on the Pythagorean theorem.
  • Filter is usually 120 mesh or 120 openings per linear inch.
  • Garden Bed Construction

    1. 1. Raised Beds Ward Upham K-State Research & Extension
    2. 2. What We Will Cover • Advantages and disadvantages of raised beds • Special situations where raised beds can be helpful • Alternatives to raised beds • Building raised beds • Soil mixes
    3. 3. Advantages of Raised Beds • Excellent drainage • Good aeration • Less compaction • Easier access after a rain
    4. 4. Advantages of Raised Beds • Excellent drainage • Good aeration • Less compaction • Easier access after a rain • Elevated raised beds are easier to work without bending over • Closer spacing • Some people prefer the “neatness” of a raised bed
    5. 5. Disadvantages of Raised Beds • Expense of building • Difficult to work with power equipment • Dries more quickly • Width set and plants may overgrow bounds (think vining crops) • More difficult to reuse land for another purpose
    6. 6. Special Situations • Growing tomatoes near walnut – Walnuts give off a natural herbicide detrimental to tomatoes and to a lesser extent, sweet peppers – Line bottom of raised bed with landscape cloth • Calcareous soil – Calcareous soil have a high pH than cannot be changed – Use raised bed with “brought in” soil mix to grow plants that require lower pH
    7. 7. Alternatives to Raised Beds • The advantages of aeration and drainage can be accomplished in other ways • Berms or mounds
    8. 8. Alternatives to Raised Beds • Berms or mounds
    9. 9. Alternatives to Raised Beds • The advantages of aeration and drainage can be accomplished in other ways • Commercially
    10. 10. Alternatives to Raised Beds • Bed Shapers
    11. 11. Alternatives to Raised Beds • Garden Bedder
    12. 12. What Do All These Provide? • Excellent Drainage • Excellent Aeration
    13. 13. In Other Words, the Roots Can Breathe • Healthy root system means strong, vigorous plants • Strong, vigorous plants means more production
    14. 14. Where to Build? • Full sun; at least 6 to 8 hours of sun for sun- loving plants • Close to water as raised beds dry out more quickly • Where they are easy to observe. More likely to catch small problems before they become big problems.
    15. 15. How to Build: Size • Narrow enough so can reach middle from either side (4 to 5 feet wide) • Short enough that you can easily get to the other side (8 to 12 feet or more) • Depth: 8 inches up to a couple of feet or more
    16. 16. How to Build: Materials • Wood (treated or untreated) – Landscape timbers – 2 x 12 boards – Old railroad ties (no fresh creosote)
    17. 17. How to Build: Materials • Wood (treated or untreated) – Landscape timbers – 2 x 12 boards – Old railroad ties (no fresh creosote) • Concrete blocks
    18. 18. How to Tie Together • Wooden Boards
    19. 19. How to Tie Together • Wooden Boards
    20. 20. How to Tie Together • Wooden Boards
    21. 21. How to Tie Together • Wooden Boards
    22. 22. How to Tie Together • Wooden Boards
    23. 23. How to Tie Together • Landscape Timbers – Use rebar driven through the top and bottom timbers and into the ground (12 to 18”)
    24. 24. How to Tie Together • Landscape Timbers – Use rebar driven through the top and bottom timbers and into the ground – Timbers should be overlapped
    25. 25. How to Tie Together • Landscape Timbers
    26. 26. Can Add a Railing If You Wish
    27. 27. How to Make Sure it is Square • Set a line
    28. 28. How to Make Sure it is Square • Set a line • Mark the corner and mark 3 feet down 3 feet 3-4-5 Triangle
    29. 29. How to Make Sure it is Square • Set a line • Mark the corner and mark 3 feet down • Use two tape measures to measure 4 feet at right angles to the line and @ the 3 foot mark • Where 4 feet & 5 feet meet is your other corner 3 feet 3-4-5 Triangle 4feet
    30. 30. How to Make Sure it is Square • Set a line • Mark the corner and mark 3 feet down • Use two tape measures to measure 4 feet at right angles to the line and @ the 3 foot mark • Where 4 feet & 5 feet meet is your other corner • Now it is square 3-4-5 Triangle 4feet
    31. 31. How to Make Sure it is Square • Can double check by measuring corner to corner 3-4-5 Triangle 4feet
    32. 32. Soil Mixes • Topsoil brought in • Topsoil mixed with peat moss or other organic amendment (1/3 peat to 2/3 soil) • Bagged potting soil
    33. 33. • $80 for 4’ x 4’ x 10” deep • Interlocks and can make as long as desired • Water stored in walls transferred to soaker hoses underneath Garden Wizard Raised Bed
    34. 34. Watering a Raised Bed: Drip Irrigation • What needed – Tubing with emitters – Filter – Pressure compensator – Backflow preventer – Fittings
    35. 35. The End

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