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Test Grow Beds

 
Posts: 27
Location: Noosa Hinterland QLD, Australia
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Hi All,

I am in the process of starting some tests on various soil amendments and would like
some feed back on the process before I start.

I will be making up movable raised beds 1m x 1m x 15cm and filling them with the same type of
soil purchased from the hardware store. This soil will be spread on existing ground.
This brand and type of soil will always used for all tests.
Fresh soil will be used for each new test.

The bed will be divided into 4 equal spaces. 2 will be control and two will be where the soil amendments will be added.

I will be growing one leaf (rocket) and 1 root (radish) plants, needs to be fast growing and will be directly sown into the soil.

Have I missed anything or does something need to be included?

Thanks in advance
Anthony
 
Posts: 41
Location: Lexington, KY
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Hi Anthony. That sounds like a fun experiment! I have a couple questions for clarification:

1) You mentioned plural raised beds, then you talked about subdividing a single bed into 4 equal spaces. Does that mean you plan to make multiple of these subdivided beds for the experiment, or just one?
2) Within a 4-square bed, will the two test squares have the same amendments, or different amendments?

I only have three concerns. First, you need replication if you don't already plan on having it - multiple plants grown under the same conditions, not just a single radish under condition X, due to the variability of plants. I would want to see at least three radishes grown under condition X so that you can attribute their better (or worse) growth to the soil/amendments and not just the possibility that you got a freak radish. Perhaps that's already part of your plan if you're going to have multiple experiment beds or repeat the experiments. Second, I'd be worried that the amendments would affect the nearby control soil. I would suggest physically separating the test and control soil. Third, if you do multiple beds or repeat the experiment multiple times, I'd make sure the control and test plots have a mixture of orientations to the sun, wind, or any other environmental conditions. That is, I wouldn't always put the control plants on the side that gets all the wind or always put the test plants on the side that gets all the sun.

I hope you learn a lot from your experiment. I had considered doing a similar experiment in my own backyard this year, but I got overzealous and applied my amendments everywhere. Be sure to take pictures and make notes along the way!
 
Anthony Saber
Posts: 27
Location: Noosa Hinterland QLD, Australia
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Hi Audrey,
I am intending to have 4 beds so 4 experiments can be conducted.
Each 4 spaces will have 2 control and the other 2 will have amendment added. There will be a physical barrier between the 4 growing ares. All beds will be right next to each other so the growing area should be the same.The crop will be rocket (leaf plant) and radish ( root plant). At this stage I am seeing if certain amendment do make a marked difference to the end produce, if need be I will repeat the experiment.
Cheers
Anthony
 
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Posts: 5925
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Sounds like an interesting experiment Anthony do keep us updated please.

I like the premise and the preparation you have planned, do you think 15 cm. is deep enough for the plant roots? Most plants in ground tend to have roots sink to around 30 cm., even radishes.

Redhawk
 
Anthony Saber
Posts: 27
Location: Noosa Hinterland QLD, Australia
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Hi Redhawk,

The top 15 -20 cm of soil will be what I will be introducing as so called fresh soil. This will be renewed for each new experiment.  

This will be placed on top of the existing soil below so there should be the 30 cm or more of soil depth needed by the crop.

Cheers
Anthony
 
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