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Old May 3, 2009   #1
Amigatec
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Default Building a Raised Tomato Bed

What are your thoughts on building a Raised Bed just for Tomatoes?

I have 3 other raised beds now. 2 for Garlic and the other will be for herbs.

The 2 Garlic beds are made from treated 2X8's (I know treated lumber can cause problems, but It works for me.) I plan to do the same thing with the tomato beds.
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Old May 3, 2009   #2
Amigatec
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The space I have layed out will be 40 feet long.
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Old May 3, 2009   #3
kevokie
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A few years ago, when I lived somewhere else, I had four 2x12 raised beds for tomatoes and it worked great. The area that they were in had really horrible rocky soil. The plants all looked really good and made really good maters. It sounds like a good idea to me.
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Old May 3, 2009   #4
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If you have good soil as it looks like you do, I wouldnt waste my time.

An option would be to put a border around the garden and just add compost to it every year.

The reason I say this is because in my area a raised bed invites root growth from the trees and once the roots are in the beds the only option is to romove the beds and get rid of the roots.
I cant even set a planter on the ground without out the roots from the elms growing into it.

If you do, put something down first to stop the outside roots.

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Old May 3, 2009   #5
Amigatec
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Here is the area where I want to place it. It is a low spot and grows really thick grass and weeds.
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Old May 3, 2009   #6
huntoften
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Nice greenhouse...is that the Harbor Freight kit?

As for raised beds...I've almost got my entire garden turned into raised beds now. Some are 10 foot long, some are 14 and some are 16 foot. My paths are covered in landscape fabric and a layer of mulch...I refresh the mulch a little each year.

I haven't fired my mantis tiller up once this year. The only time I plan on using it is for the remaining section of the garden I still have in the ground and walk on. All of the beds have amazing soil...a huge worm population, light, fluffy, very fertile soil. All I do is remove the mulch, run a rake over it and I'm ready to plant.

Having as many beds as I do makes it easy to rotate crops from year to year. Beds are dedicated to a particular group of plants each year and I never have to plant the same thing in the same bed from year to year.

They are a lot of work to install and fill, but once they are established...they are extremely low maintenance and highly productive. The only changes I can see me making to them is to raise the height over the next few years...as I get older, it would be great not to have to bend over so far

If I had that big patch of yours next to your greenhouse, I'd have it covered in 3-4 foot wide raised beds!
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Old May 3, 2009   #7
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I am another raised bed gardener. It is easier to improve the soil in raised beds & not walking in them keeps the soil from becoming compacted. I admit I am greedy for the growing space, though. My raised beds are 5 ft wide separated by 3 ft walkways. The width is at the upper limits for being able to reach comfortably into the middle of the bed from each side. Any narrower & I am fighting the various squash & melons constantly for growing into the aisles & sometimes they win!
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Old May 3, 2009   #8
Amigatec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huntoften View Post
Nice greenhouse...is that the Harbor Freight kit?
Yes it is the 10X12 version.


Quote:
Originally Posted by huntoften View Post
As for raised beds...I've almost got my entire garden turned into raised beds now. Some are 10 foot long, some are 14 and some are 16 foot. My paths are covered in landscape fabric and a layer of mulch...I refresh the mulch a little each year.

I haven't fired my mantis tiller up once this year. The only time I plan on using it is for the remaining section of the garden I still have in the ground and walk on. All of the beds have amazing soil...a huge worm population, light, fluffy, very fertile soil. All I do is remove the mulch, run a rake over it and I'm ready to plant.

Having as many beds as I do makes it easy to rotate crops from year to year. Beds are dedicated to a particular group of plants each year and I never have to plant the same thing in the same bed from year to year.

They are a lot of work to install and fill, but once they are established...they are extremely low maintenance and highly productive. The only changes I can see me making to them is to raise the height over the next few years...as I get older, it would be great not to have to bend over so far
What did you fill it with? I was planning on using Peatmoss and Steer Compost, and maybe some potting soil.

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If I had that big patch of yours next to your greenhouse, I'd have it covered in 3-4 foot wide raised beds!
That is my Giant Pumpkin patch.
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Old May 3, 2009   #9
robin303
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When I build my my raised beds I put down newspaper 20 pages thick then what ever bags of leaves I have then several inches thick of the peat moss water in real well then I buy all the broken bags of Garden soil and Garden Mix from Homer and Lowe's with several bags of Black Kow. This is one of my established beds of two years.
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Old May 3, 2009   #10
huntoften
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Robin...love that rock work! Eventually I'd like to do the same with the native limestone on my property...eventually.

As for filling them. I till the existing soil...it was grass at one point in the past. Then I cover with a layer of compost...I buy it by the yard from recycled yard waste...leaves, sticks, grass etc. Then I till it again to avoid a stratification layer. Then I fill the rest with a 8-1-1 ratio of compost/perlite/vermiculite.
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Old May 3, 2009   #11
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Thanks huntoften. The reason I do what I do is it is weed and disease free.
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Old May 4, 2009   #12
feldon30
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I love raised beds. I know they are not cheap to build unless you can get the materials recycled.

I would do multiple 12-16 foot long beds. I would not do a 40 foot bed or you'll drive yourself nuts having to walk around it to get to the other side.
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Old May 4, 2009   #13
creister
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Raised beds are great. I also like them, as you only have to concentrate your efforts and amendments in a small area, as opposed to one giant chunk that doesn't always grow stuff.
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Old May 4, 2009   #14
Amigatec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feldon30 View Post
I love raised beds. I know they are not cheap to build unless you can get the materials recycled.

I would do multiple 12-16 foot long beds. I would not do a 40 foot bed or you'll drive yourself nuts having to walk around it to get to the other side.
It would next to the fence, so a walk around to the other side would take several minutes.
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Old May 4, 2009   #15
newgardener_tx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feldon30 View Post
I love raised beds. I know they are not cheap to build unless you can get the materials recycled.

Sometimes in the lumb cutting area in HD there are sales. Most time it is the a little off sized piece maybe from a wrong cutting. Once I saw at least 100 2'x6'x6 for $20. Since we are not make furnitures we don't care if it 5 feet 8inches ot 6 feet 2 inches! Just have to check regularly.

I would do multiple 12-16 foot long beds. I would not do a 40 foot bed or you'll drive yourself nuts having to walk around it to get to the other side.
If your bed is onle 3 feet or 4 feet wide you can jump over! I remember when I made my first raised bed I was planning to make a 4x6 then I figured If I can extend only 1 feet wider and two feet longer (5x8) I can almost double my planting area. It is a pain to try to reach the middle of the the bed
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