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Two beds built and filled

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Two beds built and filled Empty Two beds built and filled

Post  Wyldflower on 4/4/2010, 10:59 pm

My grandson helped build two boxes (7x4 and 6X3) and fill them today. We used composite deck lumber that we got for a song, on Craigslist.

I was careful to do the Mel's Mix according to the recipe... vermiculite, peat and five kinds of compost (cow, sheep, chicken, mushroom and humus). Next step is hardening off the cool crops that I have started in the house ... they're tiny, but I have high hopes of broccoli, brussels sprouts, kohl rabi and cauliflower. Summer crops are started too, and my tomatoes have their first true leaves now. They won't go out until mid-May.

Here are a few pictures of the work in progress.

Two empty beds... with a smile!
Two beds built and filled Img_0010

Beds with weed-cloth lining ... doesn't it look like 'eyes closed'?
Two beds built and filled Img_0011

Here's my mix. After trying several of my grandson's 'ideas' we mixed it using the tarp to roll it back and forth, just like in the book.
Two beds built and filled Img_0012


Here's my grandson, Tal, filling one of the two beds. He's just as anxious for tomatoes as I am!
Two beds built and filled Img_0013

I still need to mark off my grid properly - but it's a start
Two beds built and filled Img_0015
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Post  eerwah on 4/4/2010, 11:10 pm

G'day Wyldflower,

Your boxes are looking good and the 'Mels Mix' looks great as well.
Once you sort out your grids your nearly ready to plant. Don't forget to water the 'Mels Mix' in well and mix it up in the boxes - 'Mels Mix' does take up a lot of water.
Once you've done that your ready to plant. Well done!!

Cheers Peter.
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Two beds built and filled Empty Good looking beds.

Post  SirTravers on 4/4/2010, 11:23 pm

Those are some good looking beds for sure. She's not kidding about the mix soaking up a lot of water. I have yet to see water flow out from the bottom of my boxes after I water every day, but there's no packing of the mix! This is truly a neat way to garden.
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Post  timwardell on 4/4/2010, 11:30 pm

Congratulations. Nice looking boxes.
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Post  new2this on 4/5/2010, 9:16 am

You're almost ready to go, and so far it's lookin' good!
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Two beds built and filled Empty new boxes

Post  homeschoolmom on 4/5/2010, 10:24 am

Love the smiley face!!!!!!
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Post  boffer on 4/5/2010, 10:36 am

Lookin' good, Wyld. Is your grandson half as excited as you are?!

Several posts above got me thinking. No one that I'm aware of has ever measured the amount of water it takes to go from new and dry, to saturated and ready to plant.

Hint hint cutesie

Knowing that would also give us the unknown factor mentioned in another thread, how much does a ready to use box weigh!
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Post  Wyldflower on 4/5/2010, 11:03 am

I've damped them down, but not yet saturated the beds. I'll measure the water that saturates the 6x3 bed tonight... then do the math to find what it would be for a 4x4.

Glad I can help in some small way with people's concerns!

I asked Tal what he wants me to plant... he's all for tomatoes and spinach - and he asked if I could grow kiwifruit. I may give that a try next year in a separate bed, since my research says that it's a vining perennial that grows to about 10 feet - and it is hardy to zone 5, where we are! (His sister Llanya wants NO spinach, lots of tomatoes and strawberries.)
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Post  Wyldflower on 4/5/2010, 7:56 pm

@boffer wrote:.....No one that I'm aware of has ever measured the amount of water it takes to go from new and dry, to saturated and ready to plant........Knowing that would also give us the unknown factor mentioned in another thread, how much does a ready to use box weigh!

My 3'x6' box took about 9 gallons to saturate (at least I THINK it's saturated). That's 9gal/18 sf or 1/2 gal per square foot. So a typical 4x4 box (16 sf) would take 8 gallons. Water weighs 8.35 pounds per gallon, so the 4x4 box would hold 66.8 pounds of water.

Hope that's helpful to people out there!
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Post  boffer on 4/5/2010, 8:23 pm

I was curious, as the weight of a box came up in another thread.

In round numbers, for a 4x4 bed:

3 cf of compost~120 lbs (number will vary based on type and moisture content)
8 gal of water~ 70 lbs
3 cf of dry peat 20 lbs ?
3 cf of vermiculite 10 lbs ?
16 ft 2x6~ 25 lbs
4x4 3/4 inch ply~ 15 lbs
--------
260 lbs ............. ?=guesstimate
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Post  Wyldflower on 4/5/2010, 8:30 pm

Sounds about right to me....now if the bed is filled with mature plants, that will add to the weight as well.
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