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Soil Strategies for 3 foot (3') Raised Bed

Posted by vhraider Zone 7 (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 14, 14 at 21:07

I am looking for strategies to minimize the amount of soil I need to add to some moderate sized but fairly tall raised garden beds. (3 ft tall and 72 sq ft - 8 cubic yards each).

We will be planting vegetables in these beds. The beds are tall for decoration, convenience, and to attach benches to the beds to accommodate social gatherings.

My concerns (no particular order):

- Weight at the bottom of the box for soil 3' tall.
- Leaching (if using plastic products as a filler).
- Cost

Lumber will be 2x12 Redwood or Cedar on the box. Boxes are framed in concrete with dirt bottoms. Bottom board will be submerged about 1 inch below concrete for support. I also have posts submerged in concrete about every 4 feet for support of the box.

Thanks for any insights and recommendations you may have.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Soil Strategies for 3 foot (3') Raised Bed

The following is from Wikipedia; you might find it interesting (might not!). Logs are take-up-lots-of-room bulky and intact masses of wood react much differently in the dirt than do smaller chunks like sawdust.


The practice of making raised garden beds filled with rotting wood It is in effect creating a Nurse log, however, covered with dirt. Benefits of hügelkultur garden beds include water retention and warming of soil. Buried wood becomes like a sponge as it decomposes, able to capture water and store it for later use by crops planted on top of the hügelkultur bed.

The buried decomposing wood will also give off heat, as all compost does, for several years. These effects have been used by Sepp Holzer for one to allow fruit trees to survive at otherwise inhospitable temperatures and altitudes

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