Preparing A new garden bed 24 feet by 8 feet- Method

Discussion in 'Soils, Fertilizers and Composting' started by Durgan, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    25 September 2008 New Garden Bed 24 by 8 feet

    http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?TFABK A new garden bed 24 feet by 8 feet

    A new garden bed (24 feet by 8 feet) was made on the 24 and 25 of September 2008. The procedure was; Remove the sod, hand spade the soil, rototill the large spaded chunks, wood chips added for fiber and rototilled in, sod put through a chipper shredder to kill the grass roots and blown back onto the bed and worked in, a layer of vegetative compost added and mixed with the underlying soil. Total time about 12 hours of labour.
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    I wouldn't dig in wood chips. I would loosen the soil, plant suitable selections and mulch after planting with wood chips. If I wanted to grow something different than existing soil would support I'd probably just dump suitable soil on top and plant.

    But I plant mostly trees and shrubs. Herbaceous plants are better able to make use of highly organic rooting environments. And they are probably better off without wood chip mulches near them.

    Do not amend soil with wood chips; use them only as a topdressing

    http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/~Linda ...ral Myths_files/Myths/Wood chip pathogens.pdf
     
  3. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    Wood chips are a bit controversial. My view is the chips are available, and anything to aerate the soil, and reduce compacting, and allowing water to penetrate to the roots is a plus. The chips decompose rapidly and in less than a year few chips can be found. The area is not saturated with chips, but if the chips are composted a bit, I have no scruples about using them. Until there is sufficient evidence that worked in chips are harmful, I will continue using them. The area depicted is for vegetable crop plants.

    Competing for nitrogen in my case seems not to be an issue. I do add the vegetative compost, and am of the view that there must be plentiful nitrogen present, since compared to other places where I have gardened some of my present plants are bigger than life. If in doubt about nitrogen a bit of urea worked into the soil in the Spring will probably correct any shortfall.

    The wood chips as mulch are totally beneficial in the vegetable garden, and reduce watering requirements considerably. That is really my main use of chips.
     
  4. JanR

    JanR Active Member

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    Very interesting Durgan. I have put some tarps on the grass where I plant to put some more raised beds. The grass doesn't appear to be dying any either, so maybe too much light is getting through. Maybe some black plastic would work better. I would like to kill the grass as I don't want it growing up through the garden. I enyy you your tools. I don't have a sod lifter or a shredder. What are your plans for your new garden bed?
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    While the soil is covered with tarps or plastic the soil system is being smothered, so I'm not wild about doing that either.
     
  6. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?TNKZN 26 September 2008 Completing New Garden Bed
    Mini ties have been installed to have support walls for the raised bed. Total time one hour.

    http://www.durgan.org/ShortURL/?IWBAU Summary: Making a new garden bed.

    The tarp for killing grass can save a lot of work, since if the sod is killed it can be spaded under. Two weeks would seem to be sufficient time to achieve this aim. But make sure the cover is light proof. The sod in the area, which had wood chips on the tarp, was completely killed.

    This new area will probably become a vegetable plot. I want corn next year, since the farming industry and the researchers have completely gutted corn. It is lousy in taste, and the cobs are always too mature. It would make pig food, not human.
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    I don't always enjoy the hyper-sweetness that has been bred into corn. And it's certainly true that if you grow your own you can be sure of its freshness. But otherwise, sweet corn like sweet cherries are not the most efficient crop for small home gardens - the yield is comparatively low for the amount of space used.
     
  8. JanR

    JanR Active Member

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    I love home grown corn. Unfortunately, this year my crop was a total failure. I just couldn't get it to sprout. I had to plant it 3 times and when it finally sprouted it was too late. I am not a fan of the supersweet corn that they grow. I much prefer the older varieties like Peaches and Cream. There are probably better ones. Do you have a variety that you prefer?
     
  9. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    My original is Seneca Chief for which I now have seeds, and I have information that Incredible is supposed to be great, so will get some seeds for that type.

    Don't even think of planting sweet corn unless the ground temperature is about 20C.
     
  10. JanR

    JanR Active Member

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    Thanks Durgan. I see that Dominion Seed House sells Incredible, but I can't find Seneca Chief anywhere. There are lots of other Seneca varieties, but not Chief. :( Any suggestions for sourcing the seed?
     
  11. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    I will look around. My seeds were bought 2 years ago, and I will have to test to see if they germinate. I notice there are variations of Seneca. I will have to sort that out. They are all hybrids and possibly the market for the seeds is small, so the seed growers have cross-pollinated into the other types of Seneca.
     
  12. JanR

    JanR Active Member

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    Thanks Durgan! Was Seneca Chief not a hybrid?
     
  13. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    Yes, Seneca Chief is a hybrid. I assume the seed producers still produce this breed from the original parents.
     
  14. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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  15. JanR

    JanR Active Member

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    Thanks Durgan! I will have to try and get some for next year.
     
  16. Loulou

    Loulou Member

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    Hi there- - -This may be a little late, but in case you are still working on your beds......

    Here is another suggestion for creating a raised or level bed of any kind you want to make in a grassy area: Simply outline the border outline (shape) with a garden hose, then lay down about 8 sheets of wet newspaper (black and white/not glossy or coloured) all over the area....do not worry - the grass beneath the newspaper will definitely rot and contribute to the nice flower bed you are making. After piling on the newspaper, put on compost and topsoil. Voila - you have a new flower bed. Without a lot of unnecessary labour too, although I cannot promise that it won't also take a few hours.
    I did this procedure about 7 years ago with my yard and it was/and still is a very beautiful planting area. I have many lovely plants there. No weeds either. This bed is where I had tried unsuccessfully for the previous 5 years to build a raised up bed, bounded by timbers even, and had no success as all sorts of weeds kept popping up. It was a nightmare!

    The other procedure with newspapers is definitely the way to go.
    L.
     

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