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South sloped garden beds  RSS feed

 
liam schulze
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Hi all,

I recently built some raised garden beds from recycled 6x2 planks. I placed them on a south facing slope and because of the limited amount of timber and they are quite short ( 6 inches to be precise) I didn't dig them in to the hill so the beds are on a slope. Has anyone have experience with sloping garden beds, will this be a problem?

Thanks
 
Dave Burton
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Location: Greater Houston, TX US Hardy:9a Annual Precipitation: 44.78" Wind:13.23mph Temperature:42.5-95F
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How steep is the slope? What is your climate and hardiness zone?
 
liam schulze
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A fall of about half meter down over 4 meters long ( 1.5 feet down over 13 feet long). Zone 2.
 
Dave Burton
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Location: Greater Houston, TX US Hardy:9a Annual Precipitation: 44.78" Wind:13.23mph Temperature:42.5-95F
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I have not had experience with planting on a slope; at home, I have a small container garden that I am taking care of. I think having it on a slope is rather nice; depending on soil structure (if in USA, Web Soil Survey has a lot of info), it might prevent plants from getting too much water. If you are in the Northern Hemisphere, then a south facing slope is a great choice because it will get a lot of sun! SunCalc can show you the positions of the Sun throughout the day at anytime in the year for many locations, and a simple solar angle device can be used to find the angles the sun makes with the ground. There might be some leaching of nutrients- once again, dependent on soil structure: the three base particles in soils are sand, silt, and clay (in decreasing size). Sand is does not retain a lot of nutrients or water, where clay is the exact opposite that it can cling to nutrients strongly enough as to make the unaccessible; then, silt is the monkey in the middle. Overall, I think everything will be fine, and I think your best advice will probably come from nature and observing what lives around.

 
Jen Van
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I also have a south- facing slope. Last year, I had a very productive raised bed--although I used mulch below to create a level surface for the planks. I did this because I was afraid that heavy rains would wash my dirt out and over the container and down the slope (I tried open raised beds this year and they washed down the slope pretty quickly despite being surrounded by heavy mulch. Anyhow, last year's garden was lovely. I grew chard, pumpkins, tomatoes, basil, and squash...but most all was eaten by deer and rabbits! However, I did use a very nice mix of dirt from an old compost pile left on the land we bought AND Buffaloam compost (pricey lovely black stuff)! We also feed it bat guano and seaweed. Best of luck to you with your slope. Keep me posted. I love to read about people's struggles with slopes...I've got a fine one myself and not the energy nor equipment to terrace it...but I have some new ideas about what to do next year...
 
liam schulze
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Thanks for the replies. I will keep you updated on how the rains and snow melt affect the beds and how the slope affects growth of my garden next year.
 
Aaron Festa
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Location: Connecticut
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Liam I have a similar situation. I'm planting figs here. Its an experiment that I might get an extended growing season and less of frost pocket. I would search what would thrive in that area and plant accordingly.
 
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