Building a Raised Bed

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karstopography
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Re: Building a Raised Bed

#61

Post: # 28516Unread post karstopography
Tue Aug 18, 2020 6:57 am

Feed stores here get the dixondale sets usually in November and December. Carrizo Springs where Dixondale is located is zone 9a and is pretty far south, 28 degrees or so, The 9a zone there is more about just some desert dry air nights with radiational cooling with some frosts than any serious extended cold.

I planted yellow Granax Dixondale sets and a purple short day in early December and they bulb up in mid late April into early May here at 29 north latitude, might be a little earlier a few degrees south. My feed store guy says the sets can be put in as late as some time in January here. Feed stores here are pretty good gardening resources, don’t know about other places, might not be true. Most cities I’ve been to or lived near, though, have a ring of suburban horse and livestock loving folks and the feed stores are there to supply them along with general light farming and gardening activities.
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Zone 9a/b, right on the line, in the heart of the Columbia bottomlands. Heat zone 9, Sunset Zone 28, annual rainfall 52”

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ponyexpress
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Re: Building a Raised Bed

#62

Post: # 28521Unread post ponyexpress
Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:58 am

karstopography wrote:
Tue Aug 18, 2020 6:57 am
My feed store guy says the sets can be put in as late as some time in January here. Feed stores here are pretty good gardening resources, don’t know about other places, might not be true.
I agree with you that feed stores (we have Agway in Massachusetts) are a good resource. I don't know about Texas but around here, planting early is recommended if you want big onions. I was going for big onions this year for bragging rights. It's fun to see my garden neighbors walk by my plot and see my giant onions and compare to their puny ones. On a practical level, medium onions are probably more useful because it's likely that you can't use a huge onion all up at once.

I bought Dixondale Onions for the first time and they came out great. I also grew onions from seed that I started indoors and outdoors around Feb 1st. When I transplanted them the second week of April, they were the size of a fat toothpick. I got nice medium, medium-small onions out of them. One thing I would do differently is to plant them in a deeper container and start them a month earlier. The goal is to get pencil sized seedlings for transplanting.

In the past, I have used sets but I have a higher chance of them bolting even though I use the smaller ones. I've also planted direct seed in the garden but you get golf ball sized onions.

For big onions, the keys are:
  • adequate spacing between plants
  • weed free (onions have shallow roots, don't compete well with weeds
  • regular fertilization until bulbing (they're heavy feeders}
  • full sun
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MsCowpea
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Re: Building a Raised Bed

#63

Post: # 28523Unread post MsCowpea
Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:42 am

I have been looking for Texas Legend seeds for 2 months, no luck. That is my new plan—direct seed them like Dixondale as I don’t use lights.
they were the size of a fat toothpick.
. Mine were the size of a skinny toothpick. I only tried to grow onion transplants a few times — I never bothered to transplant them or repot. Maybe I should have but I was thinking they should be pencil size.

One great thing about raised bed (wood or block) is it is easy to attach white plastic pipe to bend it in an arc to make a frame to cover with shade cloth or cold protection though this is more for northern gardeners, And when they are raised up high like that you could put trays of plants and use like a table as a lot of vegetables aren’t planted until it is cooler.
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Re: Building a Raised Bed

#64

Post: # 28530Unread post Ginger2778
Tue Aug 18, 2020 10:36 am

Great idea Elaine. Love this!
A clear covering over bent arch/hoop of some kind would be excellent protection for my tender seedlings during our severe Summer afternoon thunderstorms. It will save me so much spraying, since I sell seedlings and they can't have fungus! Just uncover when the rain is finished.
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Re: Building a Raised Bed

#65

Post: # 28532Unread post MsCowpea
Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:29 am

I like to check out community gardens when I travel but this one was close to home - Boca Raton. It was August so the season was pretty much over— that is why it looks ratty. This looks like aluminet, a shade material.
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The one thing you have to watch out for when the hoops are close to the plants and you use clear plastic you can cook them. I found you have to not let the plastic hang down too low because no air can get in.

But if you were just covering them and then immediately removing clear plastic after rain, that might work. You just can’t create a greenhouse
in sept in s Florida. :D

Sometimes I used plastic to keep the driving rains off of them but I had to use shading like aluminet or this orange stuff too. Then I found that
I had to add those cross pieces that stick out to keep whatever I had on top a bit away from the sides for two reasons. I didnt want anything secure around the structure like they do up north as it was too hot. It pushed the material out and let in air. Secondly the sides would blow in and wreck the plants by whipping across them with a wind.

On this picture I think I probably had the orange on top when it was too /hot sunny but pulled it off to let them get more light or maybe to lessen a heavy rain? (Added: though I guess it doesn’t help with a hard rain.). Or it may have been to keep the peacocks away from the plants. They really don’t like tomatoes but sometimes try to taste them or vandalize them.
I had more plants than this but had to rig up something else for the others.
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Last edited by MsCowpea on Wed Aug 19, 2020 4:56 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Building a Raised Bed

#66

Post: # 28533Unread post worth1
Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:42 am

@Ginger2778
You have at least two choices on the hoops over the raised beds.
The traditional arch or the Gothic arch.
The Gothic arch can be accomplished by using a 90 degree elbow fitting at the top.
It has many advantages.
What they call two hole pipe straps can be used to attach the PVC to the side of the cinder blocks and can be easily drilled.
They have two types of pipe straps as marked TW and HW, you will want the HW standing for heavy wall.
TW is for thin wall EMT conduit the HW is for pipe.
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Re: Building a Raised Bed

#67

Post: # 28539Unread post Ginger2778
Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:04 pm

Thank you so much Worth!
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Re: Building a Raised Bed

#68

Post: # 28541Unread post MsCowpea
Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:29 pm

This year I don’t know what I will do as I don’t have the cross pieces attached. It is nice to have something that keeps off driving rain though. But I may just use some kind of shading.

I think these would be better made out of metal. Eventually they crack due to weathering.
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Re: Building a Raised Bed

#69

Post: # 28544Unread post Ginger2778
Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:49 pm

Elaine, you have that right about a greenhouse in S. Florida. I will need to be diligent, not go away all day. Wayne likes the very small gauge pvc you used. He wants to keep it simple. I guess it doesn't cost too much to replace a cracked piece. Do you know what that orange stuff is called?
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Re: Building a Raised Bed

#70

Post: # 28548Unread post MsCowpea
Tue Aug 18, 2020 1:25 pm

The orange stuff is just safety fencing I found at Habitat for Humanity To block peacocks. I just happened to have it so use it in A pinch. Don’t really recommend it. Shade cloth is probably better , They have different percentages of shade. I also have a big piece of aluminet which is great but expensive. Sometimes you can get end pieces a little cheaper.

But shading doesn’t keep off the rain - you need plastic and shade cloth unfortunately for a really driving rain if the plants are tiny. But luckily , as you know, the plants get bigger and don’t need that protection from sun and rain.

(If you use the same type of fastener I would use more than two and farther apart. You don’t want them to fail to hold that plastic pipe as there is a lot of pressure on them. I have also seen people use a piece of pipe that is bigger , attach it, and then the skinnier pipe fits in it,
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Re: Building a Raised Bed

#71

Post: # 29283Unread post MsCowpea
Fri Aug 28, 2020 11:57 am

I am trying to fix up trailer for transplants. Noticed I did replace the broken plastic clamps with metal ones.
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Re: Building a Raised Bed

#72

Post: # 29285Unread post Ginger2778
Fri Aug 28, 2020 12:27 pm

MsCowpea wrote:
Fri Aug 28, 2020 11:57 am
I am trying to fix up trailer for transplants. Noticed I did replace the broken plastic clamps with metal ones.
I saw some bendable pvc material at HD. It's going to make terrific hoops to clip tarps onto for when it rains. They won't be under it for hours, unless it rains for hours, and If raining they won't be baking in the heat anywway. I am learning so much from you all.
Stupid wrist is getting in my way though. Everything takes so long to do. Thank goodness for DH!
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Re: Building a Raised Bed

#73

Post: # 29317Unread post Bower
Fri Aug 28, 2020 7:28 pm

Some time ago I read about the row cover being used in tropical settings - in Africa - and that it was really beneficial for tomatoes there. Surprisingly good.
Technically it is water permeable but in fact it does also shelter from rain somewhat. The ground is dryer under rc but the humidity is higher in the air, and they don't mind.
So I wouldn't be too worried that it would keep them too warm or not protect from a hard rain.
The worst thing about row cover is that it only lasts 3-4 years at best before you get tears. The stuff I'm using here is cut from discards from my friend's farm, which I washed and picked out the better parts of for short lengths. It comes in different weights, and the lightest would be the type for your climate for sure. But I wouldn't discount it as an alternative to something expensive like aluminet.
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Re: Building a Raised Bed

#74

Post: # 29345Unread post worth1
Sat Aug 29, 2020 7:55 am

I have for some reason been reluctant to post this for some time.
Mostly because it is a little involved at fist but rewarding in the end.
If you have the ability you can bend PVC with a heat gun.
It takes some time but it really works great.
One thing you will want to do is build a form or what I call a mandrel to bend the pipe around.
This can be done with plywood and a saber or jig saw.
Then stick the end of the PVC in one end and start heating up the pipe by moving it up and down the pipe and slowly bending.
If done correctly you will get a hoop.
If not done correctly the pipe will distort and flatten.
Another thing to do is put a cap on both ends or duct tape.
The electrical grade grey PVC conduit it much easier to deal with too.
I have spent countless hours bending this stuff with a heat gun.
Just takes time to evenly heat it and not scorch it.
Once you get the PVC bent to your desire hit it with cold water the make it set back up.
Last but not least just setting it out in the hot sun works better.
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Re: Building a Raised Bed

#75

Post: # 30091Unread post Ginger2778
Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:24 pm

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So here's the mostly finished project. We are awaiting clips made for PVC, so we can attach/clip a 6 mil dropcloth over the extensions. It should breath pretty well and act as an umbrella, easy to unlatch a side of to get enough light, and refasten if it should rain. I have some Pepper and Eggplant seedlings getting ready too. (Some for gifts and sales as well)
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Re: Building a Raised Bed

#76

Post: # 30095Unread post eyegrotom
Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:48 pm

Hi. Marsha they look good 👍. You guys did a great job!!
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Re: Building a Raised Bed

#77

Post: # 30107Unread post Ginger2778
Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:46 pm

eyegrotom wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:48 pm
Hi. Marsha they look good 👍. You guys did a great job!!
Aw, thank you!
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Re: Building a Raised Bed

#78

Post: # 30111Unread post JRinPA
Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:26 pm

If the clips on order don't work well or you run out, you can make clips for that from the next size larger pvc. Cut a 1/4 arc section out so it looks an extruded C, then chop to length, 3-6" or so. Finish up with some light sanding to take down any sharp edges and they should work well without tearing anything.
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Re: Building a Raised Bed

#79

Post: # 30113Unread post Ginger2778
Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:51 pm

Thats basically exactly what the clips are. We will give it a try, and if no goid, we'll do it your way. Thank you.
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Re: Building a Raised Bed

#80

Post: # 30114Unread post JRinPA
Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:09 pm

They should work well then. They should have the ideal cut worked out. Nice bed btw!
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