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My SFG is gone :(

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Post  R&R 1011 6/20/2015, 9:54 pm

Im devastated.  All this rain in Ohio flooded our creek which flooded my garden.  All of my SFG beds with the exception of 2 small 12" high beds were covered in flooding waters.  ALL of my mels mix is gone and you know how expensive it is.  I love my garden dearly and dont know what to do at this point.  I had 3- 4x8 beds, 2- 4x12 beds, and 2- 3x3 beds.   Sad

What would you do?  Slowly rebuild up my mels mix and make the beds taller?  Try a different gardening method somewhere else in the yard (back to eden?)?  Our soil is all clay so its crap to grow directly in.  Looking for any advice.
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Post  trolleydriver 6/20/2015, 10:08 pm

So very sorry to hear about your flooded garden. That is a lot of hard work and cash washed away. No wonder you are devastated. I would rebuild but slowly and with fewer and smaller boxes and maybe raise them up off the ground. Have there been other floods in the past or is this a one hundred year event? If flooding is common then another solution is needed. Even raising the beds on legs will not prevent them from being vulnerable to fast flowing water. I wish you all the best for your rebuilding project.
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Post  R&R 1011 6/20/2015, 10:17 pm

trolleydriver wrote:So very sorry to hear about your flooded garden. That is a lot of hard work and cash washed away. No wonder you are devastated. I would rebuild but slowly and with fewer and smaller boxes and maybe raise them up off the ground. Have there been other floods in the past or is this a one hundred year event? If flooding is common then another solution is needed. Even raising the beds on legs will not prevent them from being vulnerable to fast flowing water. I wish you all the best for your rebuilding project.
This is the first time its reached my beds.  We've had minor flooding before, but nothing like this.
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Post  Marc Iverson 6/20/2015, 11:18 pm

Sorry to hear about your huge loss.

If you are willing to go to the trouble and expense, perhaps what might work for you could be tabletop beds with legs secured by sturdy posts set well into the ground and, perhaps, anchored by concrete poured in the bottom of the hole. That's how we build the outer walls for our gardens here where I live.

It would make for very sturdy beds, but unfortunately good treated wood posts tend to be quite expensive. And raised beds themselves tend to be pricey to build.

I hope you can find a solution that works for you and falls within your budget, even if only at the slow rate of installing a bed or two once in a while over a long period of time. It would be a shame to have to give up gardening entire.
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Post  Razed Bed 6/21/2015, 12:33 am

So sorry for your hard luck.

In 2010, depending on what part of town, Nashville received 13-20 inches of rain in 48 hours.  It reached the 500-year flood stage.

There were multiple deaths and total home losses in the hundreds, many houses not being considered in flood plains, but when you get that much rain, any slope becomes a lake.

We live high enough up so that only 40 days and 40 nights of rain would flood our house, but our garden is another story.  Nashville is prone to extended droughts, and we not only have raised beds, we still have about 120 square feet of the original version of SFG.  So, this part of the garden is slightly recessed to collect as much rainwater as possible.

Our rain gauge that May 1 and May 2 of 2010 totaled a fraction over 17 inches.  Our yard and the area where the original squares were soon disappeared in the lake created.  It did not recede enough to uncover that part of the garden until it was too late to save something like 350 plants.

We did not have enough time to work with the leftover sludge or the energy to recover what we lost, but my intelligent wife made a wise decision.

We went to Lowe's and purchased 20 bags of compost.  We cut a square slit in the tops of the bags and planted new plants in the compost bags.  It worked marvelously, and when the season was over, we just dumped the contents of the bags into the compost pile.

If trying to recover your loss is not in the cards this summer, might I suggest growing in bags of compost?  I know there are sites online that show you how to do it.  It will work in a pinch until you have the resources to build new raised beds.

I am not all that high on crowd-funding, but I am sure you would get some help if you set up something like a Gofundme account.

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Post  Kelejan 6/21/2015, 1:24 am

Using compost bags sounds an excellent idea Razed Bed and the least expensive and less hard work way to get restarted.

So sorry for you loss, R&R.  This happens to so many people around the world and after a short while the news gets pushed aside by something else and we never know how people get out of these terrible situations.

BIG hug
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Post  sanderson 6/21/2015, 2:07 am

R&R,  I'm so sorry about your beds.  I have no conception of what it would be like to have flooding like you and Razed Beds have experienced.  The bag idea sounds good for right now.  Table Tops are great, but I would think 4' x 8' would be the max for safety, with 4 x 6 or 4 x 4 being even better.  You had some mega long boxes!  Even poured concrete mini-slabs for 4"x4" regular posts to set on would be okay.  It's when wood touches dirt that it starts to decay.  The bottom of the bed should be above flood level so a "boat affect" won't be created if the water rises.  Again, I am so sorry for your loss, and having to start over making MM.

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Post  MackerelSky 6/21/2015, 7:11 am

Some good ideas already posted and I'm truly sorry for your loss. Your passion for gardening and your garden showed in your post. That seemed like a big garden taken away.

Might I suggest the old adage "How do you eat an Elephant"? and that's one bite at a time. Trying to replace all you lost in one swoop would be quite a task, so just kick back, pick up the pieces and put a plan in place to make it even better than what you had.

A lot of small creeks and streams have taken their toll already this year. And not to minimize your loss you can always look at it like it could have been worse, basement flooding, water into your home. etc.

Anyways, keep us posted with how you are making out and good luck!

All the Best
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Post  Windmere 6/21/2015, 7:50 am

Wow.  I am deeply, deeply sorry about what happened to your beds.  If it were me, I also would slowly work my way up and rebuild.  I think I might try some beds with post supports as some have suggested.  Planting in compost is a new concept to me, but it seems to be a successful idea.

Again, I'm sorry.  It took me two years to get where I am, and I've worked very hard physically and financially.  Take care and I wish you success in the future.
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Post  AtlantaMarie 6/21/2015, 8:17 am

Oh, R&R, I'm so sorry!

I agree that the bag idea would probly be the fastest/cheapest way to go for the moment.  And you can use it later in the MM.

On the bright side, this will give you a chance to make any changes to your garden that you want.  We all have things that we look at later and think, "If I could do this again, I'd..."   (I'd definitely think about TT's and staying away from my fence-line, lol!)

Please keep us informed of how you're doing.
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Post  Goosegirl 6/21/2015, 8:36 am

SO SORRY!!!!!!!!!  very sad
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Post  CapeCoddess 6/21/2015, 8:38 am

How heart wrenching. I'm glad that all are safe though. I think if it were me I'd use straight compost in bags and pots for the rest of the season but start budgeting and building TT beds on concrete blocks.  There are folks who have done that here in the forum but I'm not sure which threads they have posted under. Maybe someone else knows. You can fill them with, and garden in, straight compost until you can get around to making MM somewhere down the line..

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Post  mollyhespra 6/21/2015, 9:33 am

Oh! How sad and tragic for you!

Here's a thought: do you own your home? Might you be able to get some reimbursement from your homeowner's insurance if you do? Inside flooding from a broken pipe, etc. is often not covered, but an "Act of God" like this might be and the worse that can happen is they'll tell you no.

Also, staking out exactly how far into your garden the creek overflowed would also help you in planning for future high-water potential and maybe you could incorporate some preventive sand-bags into your landscaping...

Good luck & do keep us posted!

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Post  Scorpio Rising 6/21/2015, 9:42 am

That is terrible, R&R!  I am in north central Ohio, and we have just been inundated day after day after day after day with rain.  I have standing water all around my beds, and am just praying for a couple days of dryness to givve things a chance to catch up.  The ground is so saturated there was just nowhere for the water to go.  So sorry!

I would go containers or that novel idea about compost bags is a good one.  Give yourself time to regroup and make a plan.  Keep your chin up, and keep us posted, OK?
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Post  R&R 1011 6/21/2015, 11:19 am

Thanks all!  Im definitely grateful the waters didnt reach our home and know others have had issues way worse than losing a garden, so I am thankful for that.  

I love razed beds idea of growing out of compost bags for the rest of this year.  We did discuss for sure refilling our perennial beds so they survive.  One 4x8 is strictly strawberries and another 4x8 is our herb/ garlic bed.  We're talking about raising all the sides of the beds to 12" since our 12" beds fared well and leaving the soil level at 6".  Also, anchoring the beds since one started to float away.

TT are a great idea, but that would be a lot of work!
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Post  herblover 6/21/2015, 11:53 am

So sorry!  I am in southern Delaware county and we had 6 inches this week including 3.2 yesterday.  My boxes are raised up on bricks because they sit in the swale which is also a utility easement.  Very soggy out there.
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Post  NHGardener 6/21/2015, 4:11 pm

Wow R&R, if my beds and then again my beehives were to get flooded out, I would be devastated. The question is: how likely is this to happen again? Is this a change to a new normal, or is it a once in a lifetime occurrence? We can't know of course, but if it were just to be a one time freak thing, I'd just start back and square zero and begin again. Otherwise, I'd probably be researching how people arrange their growing in flood-prone areas.
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Post  R&R 1011 6/21/2015, 10:03 pm

The bee hives are right next to the garden, but they were fine since we have them sitting 2 cinder blocks high.  The coop also stayed dried while the barn next to it flooded.  Id hope it would never happen again but who knows.  I think we will slowly rebuild, but definitely raise the sides higher to protect them if it happens again.
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Post  southern gardener 6/22/2015, 2:45 am

R&R 1011 wrote:Im devastated.  All this rain in Ohio flooded our creek which flooded my garden.  All of my SFG beds with the exception of 2 small 12" high beds were covered in flooding waters.  ALL of my mels mix is gone and you know how expensive it is.  I love my garden dearly and dont know what to do at this point.  I had 3- 4x8 beds, 2- 4x12 beds, and 2- 3x3 beds.   Sad

What would you do?  Slowly rebuild up my mels mix and make the beds taller?  Try a different gardening method somewhere else in the yard (back to eden?)?  Our soil is all clay so its crap to grow directly in.  Looking for any advice.
man, I"m soooo sorry! that's awful!! We switched to Back to Eden and it's the best garden we've ever had hands down. So, maybe take your own advice?  Best of luck to you... My SFG is gone :( 3170584802
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Post  llama momma 6/22/2015, 9:46 am

I'm very sorry for your loss. 
As you rebuild your garden, and if you want free llama manure, please contact me if you'd like to make the trip over here.
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Post  Tilth 6/22/2015, 2:34 pm

R&R, That sucks! Like all others here, so sorry for your loss. My advise would be to evaluate what wasn't negatively affected and try to figure out why. Was it at a higher elevation, even if only a few feet? Was there some terrain feature that somewhat protected it from the flood waters? Up on blocks, as you mentioned?
 Once this is done, you can determine if you want to rebuild in the same location and some how provide your beds better protection, or move/rebuild in a slightly different location. 
 Short of totally giving up gardening, which I hope is not an option for you, you will have to replace that which was lost, plus any improvements, which means work, time and money, but luckily, you can take your time rebuilding. You should also do as someone mentioned and check your home owners insurance, it might help defray some of the costs you will incur.
 Here in California, we have the opposite problem, which is, if the drought doesn't get over soon, we may lose much more than our gardens.
 At any rate, here's wishing you the best of luck in resolving the situation.

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Post  R&R 1011 6/23/2015, 1:01 pm

I went through the beds yesterday.  Most still have mels mix at the bottom.  Do you think I can get away with just topping with compost?  My 2 small 3x3 beds were completely emptied out, but the big beds fared better.  I know we're suppose to just top with compost as the years pass anyway, so thinking it would be okay? 

Ill take a pic this afternoon and see what you think.
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Post  Kelejan 6/23/2015, 1:13 pm

I believe that Mel said if you have nothing else use compost.  So I would say yes, use all the compost you can get.
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Post  kauairosina 6/23/2015, 2:46 pm

My heart goes out to you.  Drought in California, floods in the east and Texas.  Does anyone not believe in climate change.   

The compost bags sure sound like a quick fix and you can use the stuff in your Mel's mix later.  

Keep your courage up.  It must be so hard.
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Post  Marc Iverson 6/23/2015, 5:28 pm

A lot of bagged compost is junk, unfortunately. Be sure to open a bag, at least enough to stick a few fingers in so you can put your eyeballs on the soil and get a feel for it, before you buy any quantity of it. One or two bad bags you can always mix into better stuff to even it out, but a whole bunch of junk will really weigh down your efforts.

Watch out especially for composts with too much peat or wood in them. They're the majority of what I find.
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