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Building beds in a TINY yard!


 
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daithi
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:46 pm    Post subject: Building beds in a TINY yard! Reply with quote

Hi all,

Firstly thank you very much for taking the time to read this and any advise, comment or criticism will be greatly appreciated.

I have a very small yard at the back of the house (9ft * 6ft of useable space), while this is a small area, it gets reasonable sun and is quite sheltered (all white walls too, for a bit of bounce).



I have successfully grown tomatoes, lettuces, herbs, courgettes in pots over the past 2 years. This year I would like to build beds in the yard. My plan is to build an L shaped bed (or 2 beds) along the existing walls, 1: 6ft * 3ft and the other 6ft * 1.5 ft.



By my calculations, this should be room for 4 - 5 tomato plants, a good amount of herds and salads (planted every 2-3 weeks). Does anyone think that this is unrealistic - there's only me and the wife.

I am planning on building the beds quite crudely... I am going to bolt some timber to the walls and then run lattes across this (top and bottom) and attach a "wall" of planks to the lattes:



I then plan on filling the "box" about 4in with large stones DIRECTLY onto the existing concrete slab of the. I then plan on putting a few layers of pebbles on top of these and then fill up nearly all the way with compost. I was thinking of getting stones from the beach - would this be a problem? I plan on making to boxes with about 14-16in of compost (I grew my toms last year in 12in deep pots).




Does anyone see anything wrong/ bad/ better way to achieve what I am looking for?

Also, is there anything I could build in to hamper the slugs and snails - past years has been a touch in the evenings!

Thanks a lot,

D
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verge
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks pretty good daithi. One suggestion I would make is to cut a few circular holes in the front and sides of the boxes. This will allow you to pocket plant with herbs, strawberries plants etc. Freeing up lots of space on the top surface.

Strawberry pot style, see what I mean. Wink
Tips to sort out your slugs/snails problems to be found here Irish garden pests, problems with slugs and snails.
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Tom
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two things to think about. 1. If it does not weaken the boxes too much then you should leave out a lat or two across the centre. Just to allow a bit more ease of planting and growing. 2. Leave some weep holes in the front bottom of the boxes to allow water to run freely out. Also where will the muddy water go?
I would love to see any photos of the finished planting boxes when you build them. Always looking for inspiration.
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daithi
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies!

verge: will I not have issues here with the soil (we compost) just falling out, or should I be looking at building a lip or something?

Tom: I agree completely re the overhead, bad drawing on my part.
Regarding weep holes: My plan was to have a 2-5 mm gap between 2 planks bolted together to form the sides, if you imagine on my last image a small gap halfway up. Also I will raise the whole box - with no bottom off the ground slightly. Do you think that this would be enough or do I need more drainage?

As for where the muddy water will go... well it will spill all over the place and eventually find its way to the drain (with a little help if necessary) and I can clean up bit by bit. I had the same issue with all my pots last year and it was OK.

On another note, can you recommend what to use to build it, I was thinking just bog standard cheap planks, treated with fencing paint stuff. I was also toying with the idea of building a bit of a frame (free standing with some hooks for stability) to go over parts of the boxes and sheet it with plastic, to create a "sort of" poly-box-frame-thing. Firstly is this a good idea or a waste of time and secondly, what type of plastic should i get and where would I find it.

Thanks again, I really appreciate your advice.

D

<edit>typo</edit>
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verge
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

daithi wrote:
Thanks for the replies!

will I not have issues here with the soil (we compost) just falling out, or should I be looking at building a lip or something?


Tack a square piece of weed prevention fabric behind the holes onthe inside of the box before filling with your soil mix. When you come to plant with herbs and strawberries, you can cut an X and plant through. No real soil spillage. Smile

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danmac
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since you will have nice straight edges on your beds, you could perhaps use a copper tape style snail barrier attached to the timber perimeter of your beds. I actually only learned of this last year when I saw some rolls of them for sale at LIDL as one of the Monday or Thursday offers. Apparently the copper and the snail's mucus react as it moves onto the copper strip, generating a small charge which stings the snail/slug, thus discouraging its progress.
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