Regular Garden , Raised Bed, or Container Garden?

Discussion in 'Crops & Gardens' started by Yvonne Smith, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    We used to have a regular garden back when I had my little Ryobi tiller; but I sold it when we moved out from Idaho to Alabama, and then my heart got worse, so I didn't buy another one.
    We have talked about having raised beds, and Bobby is in the process of building some long planters for us to use to plant in next year.
    last year, we planted a few things; but the weather stayed so chilly and wet here that the tomatoes just got tall and scraggly and never really bushed out like a tomato should do.
    There are a lot of trees around the house, which makes digging an planting nearly imposssible with all of the tree roots everywhere. So, if we have bottomless planters, we can then set out the starts in those, and the roots will be ssmall enough to gradually work their way down around the tree roots.
    Anything else will probably get planted in a 5-gallon bucket.
     
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  2. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    My house in Millinocket, like all the houses in this part of town, was built on a bed of coal ash from paper mill operations. Due to this, we have only a few inches of top soil before the ground becomes coal ash, which most roots are unable to penetrate. Some tree roots can, although they tend to root horizontally as well. The town maintains a compost pile, which is free to town residents, so each year I make several trips to the compost pile, bringing compost home to built up the lawn.

    In the front of the house, I built a rock wall, and elevated the front yard with compost, so we have a garden there. In the back, I use a raised bed, although last spring I decided to begin a series of raised beds that will eventually build up the level of that yard as well. For the past few years, I've also been composting everything compostable in the back part of the property, and spreading that on the yard. I have grown potatoes in large leaf bags, which works very well.
     
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  3. Betty Johnstone

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    For several years we were living in a condo with a very large balcony, so I did container growing of my vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, onions) but last year we moved back into a house and I have a small garden which last year I still container grew but I think I want to make some changes this spring. I guess its a work in progress and I'm not sure what I will end up with.
     
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  4. Mal Campbell

    Mal Campbell Well-Known Member
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    I love raised beds. For years, we moved around a lot, and the first thing I would do when we got to a new house, was pull out the tiller and make new beds. But that was a lot of hard work - tilling and raking and trying to get all the weeds out. Then you'd have to bring in compost and other "good" soil and till that in. Then the beds would always be full of weeds you'd have to pull. Several years ago, I started some raised beds, because frankly I didn't have the energy to make traditional ones. Boy, was it easy. We built a frame, put down a thick layer of newspapers, got a truck load of good soil and, voila, instant garden. The bed was finished in a week-end and I had very little problems with weeds. I also like that the beds were elevated which made working the beds easier.

    When we moved to our current house 2 years ago, I knew the soil here wasn't great, so I got a load of stones and made several raised beds with them. The walls are really pretty. I was able to put in good soil, and the gardens looked great from day one. I'm hooked!
     
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  5. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens Active Member
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    Although we've got a decent sized garden I've never really taken much interest in traditional gardening. My family have always hired someone to take care of keeping it tidy, but we've never really bothered too much with edible crops and even our fruit trees have only been feeding the birds in recent years.

    However over the last few years I've developed a passion for growing bonsai trees, so it's definitely container gardening for me.
     
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  6. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Well-Known Member
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    This spring I do believe I will do most of my gardening in containers, less strain on the back and knees which have been very painful lately.

    I like to plant both flowers and veggies during the growing season. My favorite flowers are Roses and anything that has a nice scent like Honeysuckle.
     
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  7. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    My daughter, Robin, loves tomatoes, and I really like home-grown ones. they have so much more flavor than the ones you buy at the stores. I also like cucumbers and squash,
    Last year, it turned out to be a wet, and even chilly, summer. Things I planted did not grow much at all, and we only got a few scraggly tomato plants, and no squashes on the squash plants, just flowers that never turned to fruit.

    We have moved a lot, too; so it seems like we are always trying to find the best place for a small garden, and we don't grow a lot anymore.
    One year, we lived where there was a long back deck, and I made bamboo trellises, and planted the garden along side of the deck. It was close and easy for me to take care of, and looked beautiful along the deck.
     

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  8. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Another thing that works very well, if you are planning ahead, is to cover an area that you intend to plant something in with a few layers of newspaper, then mulch, and let it sit for a couple of years. You could use it the following year, but two years would be better. There is no need to break the ground because, with several layers of newspaper and a thick layer of mulch, nothing is likely to grow through it. If so, pull it up. During this time, given the perfect environment that you've produced for earthworms, beneath the newspaper, they will go to work, softening the soil beneath. For areas with heavy vegetation, such as what I have on my land up north, an old strip of carpet works well.
     
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  9. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Well-Known Member
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    Ken, if you use carpet kill the weeds you will need to pull it up correct. Isn't that a little dirty and heavy from all of the water and dirty that has settled on it? I did do the newspapers one year to kill weeds but I forgot to cover it with mulch to keep other people I live with happy, when they saw the newspaper spread out on the ground they gave me grief so I have not been able to use that method of weed killer since. I think it is a good way to also mulch with a natural material.
     
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  10. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Yeah, if you were going to use it in your yard, you'd need to. I suggest newspaper and mulch there. I have been using old carpeting on my land up north, since I am trying to reclaim areas of land in various clearings throughout my land, in order to plant edible perennials. In that case, I simply move it to another patch of ground. Eventually, if it hasn't completely fallen apart by then, I would just throw it onto one of my brush piles, which serve as wildlife shelters. But if you were to use a small piece of carpeting or rug, you could simply dump it when you're through.
     
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  11. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Well-Known Member
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    I just put 3 little pieces of carpet in the trash, I wish I could put them on this patch of weeds I would like to kill but my daughter would have a heart attack if I did that. She is not a gardener and does not understand the process, her answer would be to just spray them with weed killer.
     
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  12. Kevin Matthew

    Kevin Matthew Member
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    So far there's no problem gardening directly in the ground in my yard, but I can imagine a time when it'll just be easier to have raised beds. I have a disability and getting around isn't always easy... especially on uneven ground like in my garden... Come to think of it, maybe I need to work on making all the walkways even!
     
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  13. Teresita Campaner

    Teresita Campaner Active Member
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    I love to visit my small garden of veggies fist thing in the morning before i sweep the fallen dry leaves around our backyard and before preparing to work daily. I plant vegetables as well as herbals including lemon grass and pepper herbs.
     
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  14. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Very Well-Known Member
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    Regular garden, raised beds or container garden?

    Yes to all three. All kinds of flowers and a couple of small trees in containers that go inside in winter and outside when the weather turns warm.

    I've always had a fair sized traditional garden but have gone more and more to raised beds in recent years.
     
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  15. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Well-Known Member
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    I recently saw a show on tv where the guy talked about using straw bales as raised garden beds. I did not know you could plant in a straw bale before that show. I think I will be looking for some straw bales to use in the garden area this year to avoid having to knee down to plant and weed the areas I want to plant in.
     
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