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Post  wes7373 on 4/20/2010, 8:21 pm

Hello all!

Since moving to Arizona, I have experimented with
container gardening with minimal success. Prior to living in AZ, we had
a wonderful gardens elsewhere.

I am preparing to build a couple
of boxes for the SFG approach, but am concerned about the 6 inch soil
depth. The boxes will be sitting on rock in our backyard, probably 6-7
hours sun (early, shade after around 2-3 pm). Should I make the soil
depth a bit deeper to prevent excessive moisture loss? Other suggestions?

thanks!
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Post  Sportsman on 4/20/2010, 9:17 pm

This is my first year of SFG (have had great success with tomatoes/peppers in containers in the past) so this is simply my opinion.

I'm in central Ca Valley so not as hot as AZ but hot. So far, I've been impressed with the moisture of Mel's Mix. I know I will have to water frequently come summer.

I went with 2x8 construction instead of 2x6. With 2x8's you really have 6" of soil once it starts to settle. I can't see using 2x6's. I also dug down an extra 6" for about 6 linear feet so give extra depth for tomatoes. I was concerned more with room for a strong root structure to survive our straight winds. I wish I'd dug down in other beds.

I stuck to 4' wide but length varies based on room on the side of the house. My longest is 21' and shortest 12'.
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Post  wes7373 on 4/27/2010, 2:36 pm

Thanks for the info. I ended up with 3 x 3 ft, 10 inch deep planters with 8 inches of initial soil depth. I am going to put a cover fabric over the beds to protect the plants from the harsh sun here.

Any other info is always appreciated, as this desert gardening is a new world for us!!

thanks,
wes
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Post  schristi69 on 6/11/2010, 6:05 pm

Mine are 4x4x2. Overkill? hahahaha
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Location : Glendale, AZ Sunset zone 13, USDA zone 9b, AHS zone 11

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Post  Chopper on 6/11/2010, 7:32 pm

Think of it like an engineer. All that most veggies
need are water and nutrients. MM is designed to maximize the nutrients
and to retain water. Once the veggies get big, like mine are now so I see
what he is saying, the whole soil surface is pretty much in shade, so that also
minimizes water loss. Veggies, being one season items, do not need to go deep
and won't if provided enough nutrients and water.

People grow them using 6" tabletops and MM successfully, so don't doubt
the depth. Even my one I underfilled is going great guns.
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Location : Warner Springs, CA USDA Zone 8a, Sunset Zone 7 (I think)

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Post  Chopper on 6/11/2010, 8:26 pm

@schristi69 wrote:Mine are 4x4x2. Overkill? hahahaha

I wrote something in another thread, but you really do not need 2 feet of MM. If you decided to go with a 2' depth, don't waste your money on the best of the best for the whole 2 feet. You can fill three quarters of that with so-so dirt and the top 6 inches with the good stuff.
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Post  AZDYJ2K on 6/12/2010, 4:52 pm

I purchased 2"x6"x8' redwood planks for a 3'x3'. The only true measurement that is correct on that is the 8' length. The 2" depth is really more like 1.5" and the 6" width is really more like 5 3/8". Since I already had these cut I am going to use them, however, I am going to lay these on redwood stakes to give the box more depth.

For a 4'x4' I decided to go with the 2"x8"x8' planks. The true measurements are really 1.5"x7"x8' so these should be perfect for a 6" depth.
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Post  Megan on 6/12/2010, 5:38 pm

That is normal for lumber. The numbers used in the names by which they are referenced (e.g. 2x6) are just nominal measurements. For true lumber dimensions, see this website.

Lumber is dimensioned that way because typically you are tacking 1/2" drywall on, plus it shrinks after it is cut and dried.


Last edited by Megan on 6/12/2010, 5:59 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : add info @ shrinkage)
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Post  Jola on 6/12/2010, 5:56 pm

Megan, good link. Very useful for my other projects too, as I always either guess real dimensions or go to the store and measure.
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