• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies living kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • raven ranson
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Julia Winter
garden masters:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • thomas rubino
  • Bill Crim
  • Kim Goodwin
  • Joylynn Hardesty
gardeners:
  • Amit Enventres
  • Mike Jay
  • Dan Boone

bad raised beds/bought soil  RSS feed

 
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
89
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In my temperate climate with dry summers/autumns, raised beds are often a real nightmare.
I dug out a massive amount of dusty, dead commercial 'soil' from a few raised beds at a community centre today.
I'd started a lot of lupins in there, so hopefully they add something, but I kind of doubt it.

It was also a total pain finding a place to stash the 'soil' for a couple of weeks till we spread it on some unsuspecting lawn...
Pallets don't generally look very classy, but they're really useful

It's abit depressing undoing someone's hard work, but I had to get down to the native clay soil!
I found several enormous earthworms when I dug over the clay.
Quite amazing-they must be incredibly ...strong...to work that really compacted clay, under a foot and a half of 'soil'.
That's blood and bone on there. I'll add a ton of compost and plant a daikon/lupin/phacelia cover crop.
The top layer of 'raised bed' wood will come off.


I seem to whinge about raised beds and commercial soil a bit, so why not do it internationally!

 
Posts: 1442
Location: Fennville MI
40
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am missing something. Why are you removing this "commercial soil" from the beds, rather than working with it?
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
89
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Peter Ellis wrote:I am missing something. Why are you removing this "commercial soil" from the beds, rather than working with it?

Peter, re my post

Leila Rich wrote:In my temperate climate with dry summers/autumns, raised beds are often a real nightmare

Raising gardens above the native soil is not generally a good idea round here:
introducing a third dimension (aka 'up') leads to major irrigation issues and cooked roots.
As it's relatively warm in the winter, there's no need for raised bed's soil-warming properties.
So combined with 'soil' that looks like seed-starting mix with bonus dust, it needed to go.

Leila Rich wrote:get down to the native clay soil... I'll add a ton of compost..


I could fiddle with the commercial 'soil' for years if it was at my own place and I was keen.
It's at a community centre though, where it's not practical/desirable to experiment.
I had to move the 'soil' because of the raised bed thing, and I have good clay actual soil already underneath

So I guess my main whine is that some new gardeners hear/read about the awesomness of raised beds everywhere,
but don't realise it's a way of gardening that works very well in some climates, but not where I am.
I made the same mistake when I was a new gardener, and now my gardens are practically below soil-level.
Sometimes it feels like there should be a disclaimer whenever raised beds are mentioned!
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
89
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Oh, and a friend who's into the more 'purple' end of the permie spectrum asked if she could do a 'pendulum test' to compare energy in the soils.
Why not.
If it doesn't do what I think it should, I'll say "I never believed in that stuff anyway".
If it does, I'll say "cool", and keep digging
She looped a hair through her wedding band (I think the ring's supposed to be gold) and held it over the commercial soil, then native clay.
From what I understand, if the ring makes a weak anticlockwise circle, the energy is low. Strong clockwise, high.
Well, pathetic left-hand swinging over the 'soil' and lots of wild clockwise action over the clay.
I said "cool", and kept digging...

 
Posts: 2679
Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
181
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Leila Rich wrote: So I guess my main whine is that some new gardeners hear/read about the awesomness of raised beds everywhere, but don't realise it's a way of gardening that works very well in some climates, but not where I am. I made the same mistake when I was a new gardener, and now my gardens are practically below soil-level. Sometimes it feels like there should be a disclaimer whenever raised beds are mentioned!



This. Exactly!!

Raised beds = DEATH in the hot drylands and a MASSIVE waste of water. And yet people continue to implement them here along with herb spirals. Spiral-of-death is more like it!
 
It's exactly the same and completely different as this tiny ad:
Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum
https://permies.com/t/61704/Food-Forest-Card-Game-Game
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!