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Been meaning to build this for a while - Critques?

 
Nic Foro
Posts: 24
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https://www.dropbox.com/s/i5p3b4zxex7hrt3/IMG_20150618_155554_270.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/obpi8izplujf79g/IMG_20150619_142653_303.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/e8n1cll7mph99u8/IMG_20150619_142706_188.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/xhx8obceicm7ba2/IMG_20150619_142739_807.jpg?dl=0

The end garden row is clay and it only gets thicker with added rocks as one moves further away. The rocks make tilling ill-advised and water likes to pool around the area so I decided it would be the ideal place for this project. I did start digging the bed out, I was shooting for at least six inches but it proved to be more trouble than it was worth, even with all the rain, so I opt to layer the oak logs on the clay surface. The logs are close to double stacked, semi-composted river cane & sticks, followed by bags of leaves, then a layer of compost, topped off with silt from the last flood. Leaves filled in the gaps between the logs and it rained before I tossed the compost on so everything should be starting to rot real nice. Its partly shaded in the morning and now I'm wondering what would be an ideal winter crop to grow in a raised bed like this.

Yes, I'm a sucker for natural stone, old brick, etc, that or solid concrete blocks, it has to be one or the other, no 50/50 because that just doesn't look right to me. I still need to get a few more rocks for the low spots, I want all sides to be 1.5-2ft high. The whole area floods about 2ft often enough and I want big rocks that won't wash away, the bigger the better. The bed was constructed out of completely free materials lying around the area, only cost was effort to build it. Now I need to build a stone wall that won't wash away, unlike my semi-flattened, welded wire fence, ha!

Gripes, moans, or complaints? Critiques, is it even going to grow anything? I'm leaning on putting lettuce in it.
 
Jim Gagnepain
Posts: 67
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You'll probably have trouble keeping the weeds out of the rocks. Plus, the rocks will be hard to sit on, for working the garden, stacked like that. You may want to consider a little concrete to hold them together, so you can sit on them. Save your back for later in life
 
Cristo Balete
Posts: 421
Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
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Nick, great looking rocks there. I go for stonework, too. The only thing I can think of is if this works, and you solidify the rocks, (which I think eventually is a good idea) leave the ends not solidified so you can add on. You may find you want the whole thing in the shape of a big circle, (sort of a Permaculture shape) or wider, unless your space is limited.

I've found that space between stones collect snails and slugs, just keep an eye out for them. Several smaller beds, unless you are doing some kind of a design, can have a space between them that if planted with plants gives shade for the snails to not only be in the rocks, but hang out in between the beds, and have safe cover to go back and forth, lay eggs, etc.

I was using cinder blocks to grow strawberries, the snails were in love with the cinder blocks. I had to make one straight line of them to get rid of hiding places. I liked the look of 3 areas of cinder blocks, but it was just too much work going after the snails.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/email
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