Time to vote! Choose your favorite images in our annual Photo Contest HERE

Raised Beds

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

I have been planning for months to put raised beds in a problem area. There are a lot of roots in this area so it would be very hard to make regular flower bed.
First the lay out.
The area we will be working in is the north side of our yard and will be the front half of this area, there is a fence that divides the side yard roughly in half..
In this first picture you will see the front part of this area. The tree on the left is the problem. My dad did remove many of the large surface roots years ago. It is a water oak and will probable start dieing in a few years as unlike the live oak it has a shorter life about 50 to 60 years and it is over 50 years old now.
this area is roughly 45 feet deep. the thing with the silver top and sides is my seed hardening off shelves that I make with PVC pipe is at half way point of this area but will be removed to the back yard soon. The front fence line is roughly 27 feet but part of this is taken up with my Beauty Berry bush.

The second picture is the bird feeding area, there will be a raised bed along the 2 fence lines. The vine on the side fence is my giant dutchman's pipe vine, it is in a large pot and is very happy. Was very little damage to it this winter

the first part of the plan is to place raised beds in a large "E" formation. Then place smaller beds in the lower halves oped square.

The third picture shows what 100 landscape timbers look like. you can also see the beauty berry bush to the right. It was growing in a large pot but my yard guys cut the pot away, dug a hole under it and lowered it down and cut it back hard. It is leafing out now.

Thumbnail by wren107 Thumbnail by wren107 Thumbnail by wren107
Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

This next picture is my seed starting area on our carport. I built it out of PVC pipes also, I plan to build another one on the back porch so I can start seeds earlier and keep the area warm.

We should get started on the building of the raised beds in a few days. I will add pictures as we go.

Thumbnail by wren107
Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

I forget to add that the long blue thing in the first picture is the dog's wading pool, going to be moving it to the back yard which is the dog's play area now.
Today going to start moving some of the pots-that is the ones that are light enough for me.
Still working on the lay out can not make up my mind about the first 2 parts. Our yard is a slope so I have to figure out how to work around this. the lower end is the problem area, once we get past this part the slope is less of a problemm

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Wonderful, your making great progress. You know what Mary Poppins says--well begun is 1/2 done.

Seriously I think raised beds will be a huge help to you to avoid roots and reach them better. Keep uup the great job.

Is Jeremy helping you? I'm glad he is doing better.

Bonnie

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

Thanks.
No Jeremy is busy with his on problems. I have 2 yard guys that are great. I do the planning and they do the work.
Later to day I will take some pictures of my graphed plans and show some of my ideas.
Sandy

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

Here are two graphed plans.
The First is the rough over all plan. The green lines are cut 4 foot timber pieces."?" marks means subject to changes.
Will have to see how much room we have for them. this covers the first half, the second half only runs along the fences. The numbers with "high" behind them is the number of timbers high than is planned for now, might go higher.

the second graphs are the chooses I have for the first beds. The slope goes up, the first 4+ feet are the steepest, after that the slope does not cause any problems

Thumbnail by wren107 Thumbnail by wren107
High Springs, FL(Zone 8b)

Sandy, will you be lining the bottom of the beds with cardboard or newspaper? It would help slow anything trying to creep up from below...

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Sandy looks like a great plan. I know about tree roots as I have 5 oaks. Raised beds are a dream of mine, if only I can do them out front where more sun it, but think the homeowners and City would fight me on that one. I love your bird feeding area too.

Looking forward to seeing your progress in pictures. Thanks for sharing.

-Sherri

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

Amaryllisgal I am going to put down a couple of layers of ground cloth and then a thick layer of newspaper.

Sherri thanks, you might try a tiny one with the "stone" blocks.


Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

Im looking forward to this progress as well.
I was out this morning putting down cardboard boxes this morning, and then mulching over them. I sure wish I had some helpers to make some nice beds like yours.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

I really like my two yard guys, they only charge $30.00 a hour and they work hard, know a fair amount about plants and willing to learn more.

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

Those plans look great Sandy. The first set with the Islands is really nice. I'll be looking forward to seeing them up and growing! The mylar for reflection was clever on the seed starter rack.

Keep up the good works!,

David

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

David thanks, I get the mylar from Amazon.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

I may have found a great item to use in the bottom of my raised beds. Was at HD in the paint area, saw this heavy paper rolls-the painters put this on the floors, it is tough.Going to put a layer of it down under the ground cover and then news paper on top. This should slow down the tree roots.

Sandy

High Springs, FL(Zone 8b)

Hey, I have a roll of that stuff and never thought about using it that way! Sounds like a good idea, Sandy - I'll have to give it a try.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

Great, it is tough so it should take a long time to break down.

Sandy

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

Well about half of the "E" part of raised beds are done, have pictures to post after I edit them, sometime tomorrow.
Was on my feet to long today
No soil yet that will have to come next month. I will need to get more landscape timbers, hope there is another sale soon. And then I will slowly start getting the plants.

Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

Cant wait to see the pictures. It was hot today, but a great breeze, hope you had that to work in.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

I only direct, the yard guys do all most all of the work. But had to stand more than I should explaining what I wanted.
And go to Home Depot to get some more of the 6 inch screws
I shot in RAW so there is more editing that most pictures require.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

Believe it or not but my yard guys' last name is Turnipseed.

Here are the pictures of the first stage
This is the front. The one on the left is 8 feet long and the one that runs across is 16 feet long and both are 3 timbers high. Going to plant small plants in these 2. The next one up is on top of the tree roots and is 5 timbers high and 16 feet long. They are screwing the timbers together. We are using 6 inch screw and doing 2 timbers at a time.

The second picture is looking along the front beds

The third picture shows the upper bed it is 4 timbers high and 16 feet long.



Thumbnail by wren107 Thumbnail by wren107 Thumbnail by wren107
Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Looks great Sandy, and I know it will make gardening easier for you. When all is planted and growing it will be really beautiful.

Sure missed you today girl. You get better before fall and we'll have another RU to celebrate.

Sidney looked wonderful. She has recovered very well.

Take care. Bonnie

Flagler Beach, FL(Zone 9b)

Wren, I'm jealous, Your beds are going to look wonderful. And as everyone said, no more back aches! This is wonderful. I love it, drooling all over myself! I can't wait to see how it all turns out. Now I want more beds, but that will come next year. It all looks great!!!!!


Have a happy kinda of sparkling day, let the sun shine on your beauty! Jami

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

Thanks everyone, I am looking forward to all the pictures I will be able to take once the plants are in and growing.

These guys are wonderful workers and I love to listen to their arguing. They are a father and son.

Winter Springs, FL(Zone 9b)

Wow! Sandy things are really coming along, gonna be so very nice when all done, can't wait to see.

-Sherri

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

Thanks
It will be done in stages, next month we will get the dirt and do one more bed.
Then I get the money we will get plants and also finish the rest of the beds.

BUda, TX(Zone 8b)

I noticed at the very start you mentioned it was hard to put a flower bed in that area. Are you making all these beds for flowers, or are you going to have any vegetables growing in them? When are you getting the beds fully planted?

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

I will be growing mostly flowers and plants for the butterflies, bees and birds but I will also be adding other kinds of plants as I go.
It will take me most of this year or longer to get all the beds finished and planted. I have to do it as I get the money..

Once we finish these beds we will be adding some to the back yard and to the other side yard.

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

The plans look like they're coming right along Sandy, and its good to hear the guys are working out and doing a good job for you...

Its really nice seeing those pic's and fun to see your developments along the way!

David

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

the guys have been working for me almost a year now, I heard about them from a local Native nursery they do work for. $30.00 a hour for the 2.

Jim Falls, WI(Zone 4a)

Sandy so fun to see the progress! I am jealous! Thinking of adding more at my place but will use cinder blocks. Is Andre okay with being a backyard dog?

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

Thanks, he gets to run around in the rest of the yard, he just has to keep his eggee in the back yard. One of the gates has a low fence across it that he can jump in and out, he just has to keep the toy back there but he keeps trying to get it into the rest of the yard. He has once been able to flip it over the 3 foot gate.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

I did a little work today. Get the first layers of lining on one raised bed
first i put down a good layer of newspaper and then a layer of the ground cover Just before we put dirt in it (hopefully next week) I will put down another layer of newspaper and then a couple of layers of the heavy paper.
I think we are going to try to grown some watermelons in this bed.

One of neighbors who are also using the same yard guys now wants some raised beds.

Thumbnail by wren107 Thumbnail by wren107 Thumbnail by wren107 Thumbnail by wren107 Thumbnail by wren107
BUda, TX(Zone 8b)

I just had an observation on the placement of your raised beds, with them up against the fence how are you going to get to the back of them, especially in the corner? They look great... I read you plan on putting watermelon in them, with the way WM vines out, are you only having a couple plants in each bed? The best one for a bed like that would be a Bush Sugar Baby. Small 5-7# melon that doesn't vine out to about 4-6 feet... Just my .02.... We did the same thing last year, but our beds got weeds real bad and I could tell which was weed or watermelon, but by then it was too late...

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

I had to put them up to the fence as I do not have a big yard. that side is only about 25 feet wide. the beds are only 4 feet wide and my yard guys are tall. LOL I will probable put a small bush in the corner.
This year we will do watermelons in the front one and yes we will use the small ones. I am planning on putting some of the ground cover down and cut holes to plant the watermelons in.
It will take time to get enough soil to fill all of the beds and to buy the plants. I am hoping to grow some of them from seeds. This is a work in progress.

BUda, TX(Zone 8b)

I know all to well the term, work in progress. I originally had some ground cloth down and cut the openings for the WM, but I didn't have the bed cleaned out well enough. A lot of weeds came up through and I was gone for a while, so they just overran the melons. Just another lesson learned, just like not putting down mulch around the beds inside the perimeter fencing. Places left bare are clear a year later, those with mulch, 6" mulch & 18" of grass & weeds where walkway was.

Going to Central Florida next month, isn't it going to be a little late to get "summer" stuff started? I've read from some posts that it really doesn't start up again until August. I thought about the only thing I would be able to start was okra, but will be willing to start any of the veggies I can.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

There are summer stuff and fall stuff, this year there is ?????stuff. The weather is very strange. Okra, corn, beans, and some squash can be planted now.

BUda, TX(Zone 8b)

This spring has been so unpredictable for us also. It's been fairly dry, and we've had a cold front about every 5 or 10 days, and then the temps drop to upper 30's or low 40's for a couple days. Last year it was a warm, steady spring with a good bit of rain.

I hadn't looked at the almanac to see what was predicted weath-wise for Central & South Florida for this summer. With all the problems I had last year, I never got a chance to do a fall garden with the cold veggies. I was really curious when brocolli, Brussel's Sprouts, & cauliflower get started there for a fall/winter growing season.

We're going to be in the Lake Placid area for an extended period of time beginning the middle of May, so I was wondering if I'd even have time to start cukes, zucchini, and squash that late in the early summer heat.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 8b)

You should be able to start those but as I am up in North Florida I am not sure about that area

Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

You can plant any of the southern peas. Blackeyes, Zipper etc. Squash might work, its a pretty short crop anyway. As you mentioned before, I pretty much just go with Okra in july and aug. If you can get tomatoes in and set fruit before the temps get over 90, your good there too. There are also some hot weather tomatoes ( heatwave is one). Of course, everything is far more susepable to disease and bugs.
Fall is a much better growing season than spring IMO

Peppers like the heat too

This message was edited Apr 24, 2013 11:49 AM

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

Its good to see the project coming along so well Sandy. I know the planted phase is gonna' be fun to see!

Post a Reply to this Thread

You cannot post until you , sign up and subscribe. to post.
BACK TO TOP