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Circular Raised Bed around an apple tree


 
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Tomwest
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 26 Oct 2009
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Location: Westmeath

PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:19 pm    Post subject: Circular Raised Bed around an apple tree Reply with quote

Hi,
I have recently planted some apple trees and am considering putting some circular planters aroung them.(maybe for strawberries and other low growing veg)I would have an inner circle about 2 ft in diameter (to allow for watering the tree) and an external circle of about 7ft which will give me about a 2ft6" sowing area. I will form it with light galvanised steel of about 9" high. I have not seen this done before and can't find it done on the web.Will it work and is it a good idea or has it any disadvantages that i am not seeing ?

Tom
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dormouse
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Joined: 05 Oct 2011
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Location: North Dublin

PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like a great idea. Although, as these are new trees you could probably get away with underplanting them straight into the ground for 2 or 3 years without having to make raised beds. But nothing too deep-rooting. Strawberries would be fine I'd imagine.
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Tomwest
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 26 Oct 2009
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Location: Westmeath

PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The soil is average enough so I hope to get in good topsoil if I go for the raised bed option.
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inishindie
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Location: inishowen Ireland

PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Galvanised corrugated steel raised beds are really popular in Australia...If you type in keywords in the search engine "galvanised raised beds Australia" lots of interesting designs pop up... They sound great...keep us posted!
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Tomwest
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 26 Oct 2009
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Location: Westmeath

PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually I was not thinking about corrugated galv steel, but they do look great on the Australian websites. It could be used if you cut them off the sheets in 2ft lengths so you could bend them but there would be lots of joints. I will go for flat galv in 8ft lengths.
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Gautama
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shade?
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Tomwest
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Location: Westmeath

PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think shade will be a major problem, at least for several years. I will have one done during the weekend and will post a pic and see what you think.
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tippben
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What rootstock is your apple on? Apples' important roots are mainly at surface level, or just below (60cm). Check the likely spread of your tree, as if your raised bed comes much within this, the roots of the tree may try to invade your beds, to get to their proper level relative to the soil surface, possibly causing problems for both the tree and your beds. If you intend to use a no dig/minimum cultivation method for your beds, this may not be so much of a problem.
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Tomwest
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Location: Westmeath

PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had not thought of the roots invading the raised bed, the soil level at the base of the tree is the correct height for a diameter of 2 ft then the raised bed is 9 inches higher, overall diameter of about 6 ft. See the pictures of one I finished today with some strawberries plants.


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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That looks very good.

Impressive.

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Tomwest
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So the big issues are shade and roots invading the raised bed area. I am at a cross roads, get 6 more made and hope the issues above do not impact too much or move the beds to a different area. Problem is the apple trees are planted in the best sunniest area of my garden. I have high trees on 2 other sides of the garden which are a big shade issue and reduces the options for planting. The 7 fruit trees are about 18ft apart arranged in a circle with one in the center. That would give me 7 raised beds which is a lot of capacity. I found the one i already made very easy to work with, raking etc because of the circular shape.
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