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Raised bed overkill

 
Jacob Myers
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I am a complete newbie (though I've read a lot) on gardening. I have made a 4'x13' raised bed out of recycled products filled with old horse manure, mulched leaves, and soil. Now that I am about to plant, I am considering many options, and don't know which ones are worth doing.

1. I live right next to the woods and have a ton of squirrels, raccoons, etc. Should I invest in a fence for the raised bed (ie chicken wire), or is this probably unnecessary?
2. Is it worth growing indoors and transplanting into the garden? I've been told the spring growing season in Dallas is short due to hot weather coming early and transplanting is invaluable.

Please let me know your thoughts.
 
Lori Crouch
Posts: 104
Location: Amarillo, TX.
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If you are concerned about the wild animals getting your crops I would consider planting along the edge of your property. Research what squirrels and raccoons love to eat and plant them in abundance along the fence row or whatever you have. If they don't eat it all, then you have some extra food for yourself. However, this should give them plenty to eat away from your personal crops and give them no reason to venture further.

I am in Amarillo and was just asking about the whole planting from seed outside vs. transplanting from indoors issue. If you do a search for "planting from seed" you should be able to find my post and all the good information and suggestions given to me on the matter.

I have very limited space, so mass planting indoors or even building a greenhouse is out of the question. I have my husband building two shelves to place up high in a picture window that gets plenty of year-round sun. This should allow me to "greenhouse" grow about 25-30 plants to transplant outside. The other thing I am working on is a cold frame. I have a classmate giving me old plywood and wood-framed windows to build this small outdoor seed starter. The rest of my plants I am starting outside from seed. Several of my seeds listed on the package that they had to be started inside under certain conditions, these are the main ones I address in my post. The others are fine to be planted straight into the dirt. It seems to be about 10-15% of my seed stock want to be transplanted, which isn't a terrible number.

Hope this helps and good luck!!
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9435
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Here if I did not fence my plantings I would have no plantings; the deer would mow them down. There were a dozen Axis deer in the front yard this morning....
 
E. Elkins
Posts: 22
Location: North Carolina, USA (Zone 7B)
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My yard is bordered by wooded land, as well, and squirrels, rabbits, groundhogs, moles, skunks, possums, raccoons, and deer (did I leave anything out?) definitely do cause me some headaches. They eat my crops (primarily deer and groundhogs), dig in my beds looking for tasty bugs (moles, skunks, raccoons, and possums), etc. Odds are good that you'll have some losses if you don't protect your new bed in way or another. That being said, you might want to wait and see what happens...it might be a disaster, or you might find you have few problems. Then again, given the relatively small size of your bed, surrounding it with chicken wire or something similar wouldn't be too costly. A good alternative that's worked for me is a motion activated sprinkler.
 
Jacob Myers
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Thanks for the feedback. It sounds like in my situation, I will be needing a fence. Chicken wire and branches I've hauled from the woods next to me will be cheap enough. My yards too small to plant a decoy growth area. I also will be transplanting, but only for the varieties that really require it (tomatoes, etc).

One more thing. I may make a new thread for this since it is so critical, but I just realized that here at the beginning of February, where I set up my raised garden gets total shade from the house after 2:30 pm I feel like an idiot for making the bed here. But, is there still hope? I am in Dallas, TX, so the sun will be pretty intense soon, and I think by late March, my bed will probably get about 5 hours of solid sun (10am-3pm) and dappled sun earlier in the morning. Is this enough for tomatoes? Or will this bed only be useful for kale, broccoli, and other partial-shade tolerant plants?

Thanks.
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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I think you should be OK. When the seed packet says to plant in full sun, 5 hours is usually sufficient.
In a climate like Dallas, your plants will probably appreciate the sun 'going down' at 3 pm.
It might save you from buying shade cloth!
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9435
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I agree with John. I've found plants appreciate a little less sun here in our Texas summers. If it turns out that location is too shady for tomatoes, do you have a sunnier spot to make another bed if needed?

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