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Post  HouseofWool on 4/23/2012, 10:02 am

I have a lovely garden that I put in at my parents' house while I was living there. But this spring, I bought my own home and am so excited to be building a new SFG. I am planning a 2 ft wide bed along 2 side of the concrete slab that is there. The side closest the house is 8.5' and the long side is roughly 18'. Ideally, I would prefer to have it be one continuous bed, but there is no way I can get that much done this spring. It will have to be 2 beds at least.
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Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make a long bed like this?

(I had to pull out 8 arborvitae to get this space!)
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Post  landarch on 4/23/2012, 10:32 am

I wold start with a couple of 4x4 beds at first to see how they do on the concrete slab, sun/shadow, etc. Once you lean how you use the space, you could always move the smaller boxes and expand in the fall or next year.

I would also start with placing the first boxes just off the side of the concrete slab in the soil area...better drainage, aeration, access for earthworms, etc.

If you want long boxes, I would use 2x8, 2x10, 2x12 cedar depending on the depth you want and what your budget looks like.
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Post  HouseofWool on 4/23/2012, 10:57 am

I am planning to do it on the soil, not the concrete. I think it would get too hot and scorch the plants. I would like to set them up bordering the concrete to help soften the edges a bit.
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Post  walshevak on 4/23/2012, 4:23 pm

Which way is north and how much sun does the long side of the slab get? Is there a particular reason you only want 2' wide beds? Because I can see two 3x8 or 4x8 beds with 2' between them in that space. I've heard folk say they prefer not to walk around around really long beds. Is there space to expand towards the side fence and does this play into the reason for 2' beds. I can see space for expanding to the front of the slab.

Kay

PS: Arborvita is overrated anyway. Razz

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Post  HouseofWool on 4/23/2012, 5:10 pm

I hadn't thought about the logistics of walking around it. As for only going 2' wide, it is because the yard isn't particularly wide at that point and I would like to expand the flower garden on the opposite side of the grass.

There is some incredibly rich soil here (I got really lucky in that regard) and would like to reserve some ground for perennials and a few things that get too big for my boxes.
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Post  chjbr63 on 4/23/2012, 5:35 pm

I love the spot you have for your garden. I would put 2x all the way around and make a cart so I could roll around on the concrete and work on the garden. Plus you have a nice level area to put workbench and maybe mini greenhouse. You wouldn't need to walk around very often if it is only 2 ft, or you could leave a 2 ft. opening in the middle.
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Post  staci.bourff on 4/27/2012, 9:52 pm

Cut chunks of 1x4 or whatever scrap wood you may have to join your long side of the boxes to connect them to make them as long as you want them. Doing this way you will have to build it in place, because they get hard to move when they have joints like this in the box, unless you want to tack a thin piece of wood to the scrap wood you use to join it, and stablize it a little bit more.

With it only being 2 feet wide you can work your entire garden from the concerete area.

I have a 2 ft x 20 ft box I made out of an old dog house and put it against the fence that runs the length of my yard. It could've been over 50ft, but with all my other boxes, and it being my 1st year I decided against it, and I can build it later if I decide I need it.
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Post  Fantasma on 4/27/2012, 10:17 pm

The only place we had enough sun to put in our SFG beds was along the sidewalk going up to the front door. Since they were going to be such a focal point in our front yard, I made extra effort to make them interesting by painting them and making them deeper. One is 2'x4' and the other is 2'x6', both quite manageable for my first year. I really enjoy the 2' width since it seems more like a border than just a random bed in our front yard. Here's a pic. Just ignore the fact that my grids are missing and we have no grass. Razz

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