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raised bed question

Posted by jujustad 7B-8A (My Page) on
Sun, May 13, 12 at 16:10

I have put together large galvanized rectangular window wells to make raised beds. They are 2'deep x 3'wide x 6'long. I want to put them in a flower bed that has old landscape fabric under it. I would dig down to the landscape fabric and then set the structures in place. Since the structures are so deep and I have very limited space to pile the dirt I had not planned to remove all the dirt and so I would have limited access to the fabric in order to remove it. I will fill these with regular soil and compost...not a potting mix. Do you think that this will cause a future problem? Will these structures act more like a container than a raised bed? Thanks!


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RE: raised bed question

jujustad, the objective of a raised bed is to provide a volume of drained soil which would be a favorable medium for root proliferation.
Enclosing this volume on 4 sides with an impervious "wall" and lining the bottom with any kind of fabric will defeat this objective.
If it is worth it, you can drill (weep) holes in the sides of the wall close to ground level. This will facilitate drainage of the volume of soil above and provide a 'reservoir' of moisture in the volume below. This "stored" moisture can replenish the volume of soil above by capillary action.


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RE: raised bed question

Landscape fabric between two soil volumes will have a tendancy to cause water to perch above the fabric, in addition to inhibiting the natural wicking process through your medium, I would advise against it. Additionally, I would personally recommend using a variation of Al's 5-1-1 for your raised beds. Adding a second fraction of peat (or compost if you are so inclined) for a 5-1-2 will provide an excellent medium for that application. I am personally growing eggplants in a raised bed of this composition, and have never had better results.

PJ


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