james cripps wrote:i've read alot about all the ideas about verious ways to manage land to get as much crop out of as little space as possible i.e. SFG but what about adding another level?, by putting a rack unit over the top of the bed i.e.1.5 meters the ground crops will still get enough sunlight to do there thing while on the second level (using pots made out of recycled milk bottles (plastic) or some other container) another shorter crop can be grown therefore doubling up the potential harvist for one area of ground.
It would probably involve a lot of experimentation and be highly dependent on your hardiness zone as to what you can get away with. I'd think that the versatility of the bed would be reduced since you have to take in the height of the plants underneath too. For example: indeterminate tomatoes, runner beans, peas, cucumbers, pumpkins and other vining type plants would be of reduced worth in that kind of system. But if you were in an area where you grow cole crops(brocolli, cauliflower, etc.) and something like lettuce on the upper area, then that might be ideal. I'd reduce my yield during the summer, but for cool season crops, I might be able to get away with it.
Then there's the sun. Having my summer sun being almost directly overhead(89 degrees) might make having some shade during the sweltering summers a good thing too. During winter when the sun hangs lower, it probably wouldn't be much of an issue depending on the plants above.
I'm not sure you'd want the plants above dripping excess water directly in to the lower plants, especially when some nutrients and other things will be traveling with the water. You might need some plumbing/gutters.
I hope I didn't come across as being too negative, because stuff like this can come in very handy for people who live in apartments and/or have very limited space(deck garden for instance). Using PVC for experimentation might be a cheap way to go, say large diameter pipes cut in to gutters like many people do for aqua/hydroponic systems.
This is giving me some ideas for the back patio....
as to the kind of crops i was thinking of baseically root crops for the ground level and other stuff for the upper levels but as you state it would have to be adapted to the indeviduals requirements,
with your comment about your patio, go for it! remember the only limits are our imagination
thanks for your input
I think what I've tried is something similar to what you are describing. I'm on a kindle right now so I can't link. In the greenhouse forum take a peek at "Raised beds in greenhouse" Scroll through and you'll see what they looked at mid season.
I am using a horizontal trellis above the beds to multiply usable space. It worked so well I do plan on carrying it outside this year for some beds.
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