Noob multi-questions

GhostRed7April 18, 2013

I've searched and read tutorials here and all over the internet, but without humans to answer specifically....too many contradictions out there.

Here's my situation (graphically as best as possible): Only have a limited area to put my box (making a raised bed). This area is in front of the house ~2-4' away from the wall. This area gets ~5-8hrs of direct sunlight per day right now. There is a tree in front that has me a little worried about blocking the sun when it grows out....really won't know for another month on that. I want to do a veggie & herb garden. I also want to "bury" soaker hoses. Now, one thing I really haven't seen much of is mulch vs. no-mulch in veggie gardens. Should I make raised rows for the plants and mulch in between the rows? No mulch at all? Cover the entire thing? I was thinking to do raised rows for the plants, run the soakers between the rows, and mulch in between the rows...but not sure if it's a good idea or not. Is why I turned to you expert folks :P

Here's a mock-up. North is essentially at the 10-11 o'clock facing the house/yard. Sun hits completely covers the area where i want the bed by 3P EDT with the first light hitting it ~12-1P.

(EDIT: the bed would be closer to the right edge of the house....the site doesn't like my txt drawing)

: :
: :
:____________edge of house _______________:
:===========: :----------------------------:
:===========: :3.5' x 8-10' raised bed:
:===========: :----------------------------:

Thanks in advance and pardon the noobness.

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zackey(GA 8b)

I would definitely mulch! Saves alot of weeding time. We use old grass clippings. They are free and they work really well. If you are planting transplants, I would suggest you mulch around them right after you plant them. With seeds you need to wait until they have at least their second set of leaves to mulch, IMO, so they can get enough water. Not sure about burying soaker hoses. They clog up easily from what I've been told.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 9:46PM
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Can't help with soaker hose information, but I sympathize about trees blocking the sun and limiting your options. We don't have any trees in our own backyard, but our neighbor to the west has three trees that are beginning to block the sun to our main vegetable gardens as they get larger. The previous owner had the trees trimmed regularly so it wasn't a problem for years, but the new owners don't even clean up storm damage when big limbs come down. (My husband and I finally just went into their yard and did some trimming ourselves since their fallen branches were damaging our fence.)

My advice would be to take notes to see where the sun is in various seasons. The 5-8 hours of sunlight you get now in the spring may turn into 10+ hours in the summer. OTOH, We have one bed that we built in May in full sun, only realizing months later that it's actually in shade from October-March. No problem for summer veggies, but it does mean I can't use it for fall/winter plantings. (On the plus side, by tracking the sun more carefully, we realized there are spots that are in shade from the neighbor's trees in the summer, but get plenty of sun autumn through spring, which would be a fine location for a cold frame.)

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 10:33AM
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Thx both.

I'm actually thinking of setting up my camera on a tripod and timelapsing the area. Haven't paid attention to this area since I just got the "greenthumb" this year.

All I know right now is that the front edge of the area gets sun around 2/230p and the entire area is covered by 3p. Been cloudy so hard to say when it stops getting sun. I suspect right now I'm only around 4hrs direct.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 8:10AM
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