raised beds

Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:12 am

hello, I am planning out some of my garden area for next season, and what I want to do is install raised beds. my question is what would be the best matieral to use. I was thinking of treated timbers, but I am not to sure of useing that with something we will be eatting.what what you use? the area I plan on raising up in beds is about 30' x 30', I plan on making the beds to be about 4' to 6' wide. I want to put my strawberrys, rhubarb, horseradish, in that section, everything else will go in another garden and right in the ground.
thanks Jack

Re: raised beds

Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:56 am

Stuff that spreads does well in raised beds. Good move with the strawberries.
Also, consider putting things you pick over and over throughout the season (like beans) into raised beds.
Treated lumber works very nicely.

Re: raised beds

Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:23 pm

Jack wrote:I plan on making the beds to be about 4' to 6' wide. I want to put my strawberrys, rhubarb, horseradish,
I would only go 4 feet wide. That way you can easily reach in from both long sides of the bed. I would use the bed for annual vegetables.

Rhubarb and horseradish pretty much take care of themselves. Like asparagus, once started a bed will last for 15 to 20 years. I would plant them in an out of the way corner and not use my raised beds for them.

Re: raised beds

Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:26 pm

Do not make your raised beds more than four feet wide. If you do, you'll have to crawl into them to plant, maintain and harvest. Mine are 4 X 8, made from two untreated 2 X 12 X 12's.
Last edited by Don McCombs on Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: raised beds

Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:57 pm

thanks guys, 4 ft is what I will make them.

Re: raised beds

Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:06 am

Maximum width should be less that twice the length of your weed pulling arm.
For framing material i have used rough sawed hardwood and small diameter logs. Depends on the look you are going for. I, personally, would shy away from treated lumber. But I have heard that arsenic will put a nice tang in you rhubarb.

Re: raised beds

Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:04 pm

Check it out but it seems to me I read that treated lumber manufactured after a certain date is safe to use....But to be sure you should research it....I have 5 of those tiered aluminum strawberry beds...The are 6 feet around and I only used two of the three tiers and are pretty inexpensive....I was impressed at the results we had this year...The rhubarb is in a corner of the regular garden and is happy there and minds its own business ...The wife has wooden squares 3 feet square for all her herbs and 5 of the 1/2 whiskey, wine barrels for her experiments none of which have worked :lol: ....Everything else is grown in the 2 major gardens....Good luck...Sounds like it will work out well for you....Dave :D

Re: raised beds

Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:00 pm

I have two sections to my garden, each are about 30x30, one section is where I plant my vine crop,(watermellon, cantalope, butternut sqush) and the other section is where I want to make raised beds, inbetween the two sections I have a small orchard and my blueberrys. Strawberrys are out in the middle of the yard in a round bed. I have my horseraddish in wiskey barrels, they do pretty good in there. Im not sure where I will plant the rhubarb

Re: raised beds

Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:21 pm

Plant your rhubarb in an area of moist, fertile soil. It doesn't like wet feet, but it doesn't like dry soil either. It doesn't spread like horseradish, so keeping it confined is easy.

Re: raised beds

Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:56 am

Don McCombs wrote:Plant your rhubarb in an area of moist, fertile soil. It doesn't like wet feet, but it doesn't like dry soil either. It doesn't spread like horseradish, so keeping it confined is easy.

Thanks Don, I will keep that in mind when they arrive and plant them.
The only rhubarb I could find was the Victoria

Re: raised beds

Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:59 am

I like the look of weathered pine and rusty steel. My favorite is 1x12 pine from a sawmill, with steel corners and a couple steel rods across so the sides don't bow out. Usually the untreated pine goes 10-12 years. We have a few made with treated lumber, they last at least twice that long, but I don't like the look, at least the first year. Personally I don't like the image of chemical treatment in my vegetable beds.

Re: raised beds

Wed Sep 11, 2013 3:05 pm

There is an amish sawmill close to my place, so that is where I will get the 2x12x12s at. I plan putting in 6 beds to start.
What do you think of a 50/50 mix of topsoil & mushroom manure to fill the beds with?

Re: raised beds

Wed Sep 11, 2013 3:45 pm

Jack,

Take a look at this FactSheet http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/1641.html for some answers that you may find helpful.

Bill

Re: raised beds

Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:03 pm

Jack wrote:What do you think of a 50/50 mix of topsoil & mushroom manure to fill the beds with?

That is exactly what we used and it has worked very well. We put pervious landscape fabric under the mix to help with weed control. Just remember that the raised beds will need more supplemental watering than a ground level garden would. Also, as the mushroom soil rots down, you will need to make up that volume.

Re: raised beds

Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:33 pm

Bill Hudson wrote:Jack,

Take a look at this FactSheet http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/1641.html for some answers that you may find helpful.

Bill

Thank you Bill, very interesting