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High Yield Gardening: starting a boxed veggie garden

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Forum: High Yield GardeningReplies: 11, Views: 174
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kapr
Foreston, MN

January 10, 2008
5:45 PM

Post #4384004

I want to start a boxed veggie garden this year, like with raised beds, and am wondering where to get the soil to fill the boxes. I don't want to pay too much for it. Any suggestions?
tucsonjill
Lincoln, NE
(Zone 5a)

January 10, 2008
5:52 PM

Post #4384014

How big are your boxes going to be, kapr? How much soil you're going to need might make a difference in what your options are.
kapr
Foreston, MN

January 10, 2008
5:56 PM

Post #4384018

two boxes about 4' x 4' x 1' = 16 sq ft
and one of about 3' x 8' x 1' = 24 sq ft

This message was edited Jan 10, 2008 12:38 PM
tucsonjill
Lincoln, NE
(Zone 5a)

January 10, 2008
6:03 PM

Post #4384037

So, a total of 32 sq ft for your small beds and 24 sq ft for your large, for a total of 56 sq ft. Yep, that's a lot of bags, isn't it...

I don't know of a whole lot of options other than shopping around your local garden outlets for the best deal, but I'm betting someone will chime in soon with some good info. Good luck!
Dean_W
Central Texas, TX
(Zone 8b)

January 10, 2008
7:43 PM

Post #4384360

I know here in Texas we have a place called Gardenville that sales compost. They also sale other mixes you might try landscaping supply outlets.
CapeCodGardener
Mid-Cape, MA
(Zone 7a)

January 11, 2008
3:03 AM

Post #4385799

I agree with Dean_W that contacting a landscaping company would be a good way to acquire this large an amount of soil (56 square feet, helpfully calculated by jusconjill .) You want topsoil and some compost, if possible. If you can go pick up the soil you can avoid delivery charges--but lacking a truck, you might find it easier just to have the company deliver.
Dann_L
San Tan Valley, AZ
(Zone 9b)

January 11, 2008
4:14 AM

Post #4386010

That's 40 cubic feet to fill them to the top. There are 3 cubic ft bags of soil at most garden centers and if you ask for the damaged bags you can usually get them for half off. May not get all you want at once but saving a buck here and there starts to add up!
Crick22
Asheville, NC

January 13, 2008
6:26 PM

Post #4396237

I got the new "Square Foot Gardening" book by Mel Bartholomew for Christmas and plan to try it. He gives a fairly inexpensive formula for box soil. Not sure if I would be allowed to include it here but it is only 3 ingredients, including compost as one. Oh well, the other 2 are peat moss and vermiculite. He makes it all sound easy. It is an entertaining and informational book so I would recommend it to you. I am just a regular person, not affiliated with Mel or the book! Will report back on my success as time goes on.
GreenerBeaner
Carrollton, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 3, 2008
7:19 PM

Post #4490799

Hi Kapr - I'm starting my first box/raised garden this year too. How did you construct your boxes? Someone recommended using 2x12 cedar planks, but we are having a hard time finding them. Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Beaner
doccat5
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7b)

February 3, 2008
8:03 PM

Post #4490935

Cedar can be hard to find and expensive, it depends on what part of the country you live in. You can use regular UNTREATED 2x4 or 4x4. You don't wanted treated lumber for a veggie bed. To extend the life of the lumber you can line your bed with porous landscape fabric or plastic, just have to put holes in it for drainage. Please see my article
http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/618/ this has some examples and a better explanation. :)
tarheel2az
Tonto Basin, AZ

February 3, 2008
8:29 PM

Post #4490993

GreenerBeaner, raised beds we've made this year are 2 high 1" x 6" x 6' cedar or redwood fence planks. Deck screws attach the planks to 2" x 4" x 16" treated lumber outside the planks at the corners and every 3' along the sides. A 2 x 2 untreated is screwed to opposing 2 x 4s across the top. Seems pretty sturdy. Final touch is 6 mil plastic (water barrier) along the inside and under the edges. Some beds have an underlying cardboard barrier, some not.

Quite economical. Cedar planks are $2.39 each, redwood $2.89, finished cost under $1.50 per linear foot of side.

Frank

(edited caus ah caint spel)
(still)



This message was edited Feb 3, 2008 1:31 PM

This message was edited Feb 3, 2008 2:25 PM

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

April 11, 2011
3:34 PM

Post #8488361

Compost, peat moss and vermiculite are the three fastest-breaking-down soil amendments I can think of, other than grass clippings.

I hope his new book advises adding something that lasts longer, as those degrade into powder and CO2 over 2-4 years! But I guess he has a "new system", and I don't know how the new one is supposed to work, long-term.

I'm a newly-converted fan of clean pine bark mulch (shreded and screened) , expecting it to last 4-7 years, and grit, crushed rock or even coarse sand (minerals are forever).

I'm also a long-time fan of "real soil", even if it was clayey or sandy to start with.

Corey

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Other High Yield Gardening Threads you might be interested in:

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How can you tell if you have enough space? sowersjoy 12 Mar 5, 2007 2:32 PM
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Square Foot Gardening (SFG) construction pics 1_Lucky_Texan 55 May 20, 2013 7:02 AM


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