raised bed planter for vegetable garden


Old 03-05-14, 08:38 AM
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raised bed planter for vegetable garden

Hello group,
I am completely new to gardening, so apologies in advance for any dumb questions . I'd like to try my hand at creating a raised bed vegetable garden. I think technically I want to create a raised bed planter (a box with a bottom) because where I want to locate my garden is near a septic field from my backyard neighbor. I do not want any chance on contaminating the garden from the septic field. I'd like to grow things like peppers and tomatoes. That said, what depth would be recommended and are there any drainage factors I should take into account? Any advice is welcomed.

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Old 03-05-14, 09:06 AM
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First I would not be concerned about any contamination from the septic. If anything it can provide nutrients and water which is why you often see grass growing better over leach fields.

If you don't think you will need to move your planter I would make it without a bottom so drainage will not be a concern. You can build one with a bottom but you will need to include numerous holes to allow for drainage.

Perhaps one of the most important things in a container or raised bed is soil depth. The deeper the better. Plants can survive in shallower depths but to thrive and have the best production they need depth. This article has a nice table on the soil depth needed for various vegetables.

My garden is raised bed and the shallowest of my beds are 16" while the others are 24". All beds have no bottom so water can drain and roots can go down into my native soil if they feel the need to go deeper than my prepared beds.
Old 03-05-14, 10:47 AM
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I've been using a single row of pressure treated 6 X 6", no bottom.
I notch where the pieces over lap or intersect on the outside corners and drill a 1/2 hole through the whole thing and drive 24" long 1/2 rebar in to hold everything in place.
We grow peppers, tomato's, squash, melons, and never had any issues with it only being 5-1/2" deep. We pick tomato's right up until Nov.
I started off with a load of straight compost to fill it up. Since then we add compost made from our food scraps over the winter, and mix in some leaves from the yard.
At the end of the year all the home centers have piles of peat moss, cow poop there getting rid of or have broken bags real cheap. I've never added any real fertilizer.
Old 03-15-14, 07:55 AM
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We have much success with tomatoes and peppers in 5 gal buckets. Make a couple small holes in bottom of bucket. Throw in small rocks, stones and fill with bagged gardening soil. Must be watered more frequently than a raised bed garden though. Two or three small holes near the bottom or on the bottom should be plenty for drainage.

I know you want a raised garden but try buckets/containers too.
Old 03-15-14, 08:18 AM
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Terry, last year I couldn't drive the tractor due to shoulder problems. Could not prepare our garden spot properly. Weeds soon overtook it all. We had the foresight to use that 5 gallon bucket method for peppers and tomatoes. What a bountiful harvest from a few containers! Back deck with buckets and long planters mounted on rail grew enough to freeze and consume.

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