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Raised Vege Garden - Questions please..

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[OP]
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Feb 9, 2012
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Raised Vege Garden - Questions please..

Would like to build a raised vege garden this weekend.

Size - Probably about 8' x 3' - Is that size ok? What about the height? Is a foot or foot and a half ok?

Wood - Is cedar ok to use? Or is there anything else cheaper?

Soil - What should I fill it with? What mix of soils?

Thanks!!
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Apr 22, 2014
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Given the size of wood that is sold, you may find 8x4 easier, but 8x3 is fine. You'll have some scraps.
Cedar is best. Pressure treated has chemicals in it. Is it bad? Maybe.
Any dirt that veggies will grow in. Compost is nice.
Cover the bottom with landscaping fabric though.
It's not rocket surgery, it's just a garden in a box.

We are starting with two boxes but only growing in 1 1/2 of them. There's a pile of compost at the end of the other 1/2. I mix that up periodically with dirt and keep covered. Don't need rotting fruit sitting out! Every day I throw our veggie cuttings on the pile and turn it under. In the winter they get stored in a regular compost bin. Not a lot going on there in the winter.
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Dec 19, 2011
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+1 to what eldeejay said.

Also, look up Square Foot Gardening. It's a way of maximizing the area of your raised bed by grouping companion plants close together to increase yield per sq/ft and resist pests.

Good luck! And get started soon, planting season is now.
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May 12, 2004
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+1 on the 8x4 instead of 8x3 idea if you have room. Much less waste.

What are you planning to grow? That will give you a better idea of size. It's addictive...youir 8x4 will be 12x4 next summer...then 12x8...then you'll start looking for a new house with bigger yard...slippery slope! :razz:
[OP]
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Thanks for the tips!!

Will make it 8x4 as that obviously makes more sense :)

Looking to grow tomatoes, herbs, peppers, not sure what else... Want a garden for kids to learn as well.

What height (from the ground level) should the bed be?
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Apr 14, 2015
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Tsuu T'Ina, AB
Why do people always recommend landscaping fabric under the bed? Don't you want the plant roots to be able to go down further than just the height of the bed?
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Dec 31, 2005
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We put 2 8x8 beds in the front yard...while this may not seem the ideal size, we did it for ease 8x8 were relatively inexpensive and I wanted more garden space. If I had been so inclined, I would have done 8x4 not 8x3
Used cedar
No did not use landscaping fabric....didn't feel any need and one of the best is partially sunk do to unloved ground
Used Triple Mix
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cessnabmw wrote: Thanks for the tips!!

Will make it 8x4 as that obviously makes more sense :)

Looking to grow tomatoes, herbs, peppers, not sure what else... Want a garden for kids to learn as well.

What height (from the ground level) should the bed be?
I wanted a herb garden, my 6 year old wanted to garden as well.

We chose 8x1x8 planks as they were cheap....sure they may not last as long as 8x2s but far less costly....
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Any suggestions how high the bed should be?
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cessnabmw wrote: Any suggestions how high the bed should be?
Mine is about a foot (2 - 2x6 thick)
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May 4, 2014
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cessnabmw wrote: Would like to build a raised vege garden this weekend.

Size - Probably about 8' x 3' - Is that size ok? What about the height? Is a foot or foot and a half ok?

Wood - Is cedar ok to use? Or is there anything else cheaper?

Soil - What should I fill it with? What mix of soils?

Thanks!!
You'd want at minimum a foot off the ground. Try to dig up or at least loosen the dirt another 6-12inches below ground level(this will be the back breaking part). Most vegetables thrive best with 18-24inch depth to grow roots.
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I too do not understand why people put fabric down in a raised bed. I have two of them, one for herbs and peppers and one for tomatoes. Most of my herbs come back each spring, I dont think they would be so hardy with fabric.

I used bricks for mine. I used to have wood but it started looking bad and I wanted something that over time would look great, 11 years now and they look same as the day I put them in.
That's my 2cents worth
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Nov 19, 2004
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We did ours 11" above ground (2 - 2×6) and dug a little under as well. Triple mix soil. 8x4 ft boxes. We used cedar but may eventually use brick or stone, but for now the cedar works. Square foot gardening is the way to go to get the most out of your space.
[OP]
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Thank you all! I think we will do our 11" off the ground too (2 - 2x6).

How much soil will i Need for a bed that is 8'x4'x2'?
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cessnabmw wrote: Used this - http://www.gardeners.com/how-to/soil-ca ... /7558.html

And came up with 1.2 cubic yards.

Would it be cheaper to have this delivered or buy in bags from HD?
That is about 920L of soil. Rough cost of triple mix from a garden center is $25 per cubic yard + $50 for delivery.

Not sure how much a bag of triple mix is so you'd have to do the math and then decide if it is worthwhile and if you are willing to transport the number of bags you need. You are probably looking at 30+ bags and roughly $3 per bag ( you might find a better price).

So a bulk delivery from a garden center seems the best route depending on what you find. Even get a little extra for other gardens or lawn repair.
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cessnabmw wrote: Used this - http://www.gardeners.com/how-to/soil-ca ... /7558.html

And came up with 1.2 cubic yards.

Would it be cheaper to have this delivered or buy in bags from HD?
I'm pretty sure there is something wrong with your math there(or maybe the calculator?)... 8'*4'*2' is definitely more than 1.2 cubic yards.

8*4*2 is 64 cubic feet.

1 cubic yard = 27 cubic feet
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For the soil, you might want to wait for sales this coming weekend. All the big box stores should have $1 bag of top soil. Get some manure and peat moss and mix your own 'triple mix'. You'll probably need like 60-90 bags, so its best if you have a friend with a truck :)


I find soil deliveries not worth it unless you get more than about 5 cubic yard, mainly because of delivery fees. Not to mention they dump it all over your driveway and you got to slowly shovel/wheelbarrow it to your new raised bed.
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Thanks for all the help. Managed to get the raised bed built yesterday.

Now need soil. I don't want to have to shovel soil from the driveway. Called a garden centre nearby and they quoted $85 for a yard of triple mix. $120 for 2 yard.

How many bags to a yard? Thinking it may be better to just get bags from HD or garden centre and not have to wheelbarrow stuff.

So.. I guess I need triple mix for the vege garden.

What should I use to reseed a few low spots in the lawn?
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cessnabmw wrote: Thanks for all the help. Managed to get the raised bed built yesterday.

Now need soil. I don't want to have to shovel soil from the driveway. Called a garden centre nearby and they quoted $85 for a yard of triple mix. $120 for 2 yard.

How many bags to a yard? Thinking it may be better to just get bags from HD or garden centre and not have to wheelbarrow stuff.

So.. I guess I need triple mix for the vege garden.

What should I use to reseed a few low spots in the lawn?
Approximately 765L to a cubic yard. Depends on the size of bag you get. That is about 31 bags at 25L/bag.

Either way you are going from your driveway to the garden. Just whether you want to carry bags or throw the soil in a wheelbarrow.

I assume the garden centre price included delivery. Seems a little high to me, but that might be the cost in your area. HD seems to have 28.3L bags at $4/bag (shop around for better), so that is 27 bags for one cubic yard which would cost $108 (plus tax) and you are likely making multiple trips.

You can also look at those companies that bring in all in one of those large cubic yard bags (usually ~$100 per bag) if you don't want a pile on your driveway, but you are still shoveling unless somehow you can convince them to bring it into your yard and set it nearby but most won't do that because of access issues and possible damage to the lawn.

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