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Post  meagansmom on 3/31/2017, 2:28 am

I am new here and just getting started. I was sick with the flu for a few days and I laid on the couch and watched a lot of tutorials on YouTube. 

I have ordered the book, Mel's Mix and going tomorrow to get other supplies to build the boxes. 

My question is what to you use between the boxes? Pebbles, stone or mulch? Do you buy it in bulk or by the bag?  In that walking area do you have plastic or carboard underneath? 

Thank you in advance.
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Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/31/2017, 9:16 am

Hi Megansmom. I'm AtlantaMarie, your regional host. Welcome!

Glad you're feeling better...

It's really all up to you & your sense of design (and, of course, your wallet, lol).

Most of my beds are up against a chainlink fence. I have other beds in the middle of my garden area, surrounded by grass. It means that I have to mow & weed-eat, but I didn't have the money to mulch everything at the time. My GOAL is to lay down cardboard & newspaper in a layer about an inch thick, then top it with tree chippings from the local tree removal guys.

If you put beds against a fence line, you need to be sure to put some sort of block under the fence & back edge of your bed so that you don't get weeds/grass/etc growing between them. (Ask me how I learned THAT one...)

You might want to look at the Gallery of Gardens (located on the Home Page). That might give you some ideas. And, of course, we're all here to help you.

I'm looking forward to seeing your garden! Feel free to ask LOTS of questions! :-)
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Post  yolos on 3/31/2017, 9:59 am

The first year I used about 5 layers of newspaper and then wheat straw on top for my aisles.  But the wheat straw tended to sprout.  So the next year I just put mini pine bark nuggets on top of the straw and the straw eventually stopped sprouting.  Now I just have to add a thin layer of mini pine bark nuggets when I start seeing bare soil.  Weeds still fly in but they are easy to pull with all that mulch on top.
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Post  camprn on 3/31/2017, 3:59 pm

Welcome! I just leave lawn between the boxes, separated to allow me to get the mower in between.

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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 3/31/2017, 4:01 pm

Welcome to the forum Megansmom!

Ideally I'll have woodchips in my aisles. I got some for free, but not enough - and the rain washes through the center aisle and keeps piling them at the end of that one. So right now I have a mix of woodchips, grass, weeds, mud, and very old straw. Smile The grass and weeds are a problem because they like to sneak up into the boxes from the bottom edge.

I don't want to do stones because I'm renting. I figure it will be easier to reseed grass through old woodchips than through rocks if the landlord wants the garden taken out when I'm done and move somewhere else.
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Post  CitizenKate on 3/31/2017, 10:37 pm

Great way to spend down time, I'd say!  Glad you're feeling better.

I started out just leaving lawn/grass around my boxes, and left enough space between the boxes to run the lawn mower.  That worked okay for a while, but eventually all the work in the garden resulted in the grass getting heavily trampled.  The next season, much of the grass didn't come back, which gave way to an onslaught of unwanted other plants (AKA "weeds").  When it was wet, it got very muddy, which made it difficult to get around in during rainy periods.

So this spring, after completely killing off everything growing around the boxes with plastic and newspapers, we covered the entire garden area with two layers of landscape covering and topped it all with cypress mulch.  It's so much tidier and easier to get around in.  We never get muddy while milling around in the garden, any more, and never run into slippery places.  And if whoever comes after us decides to take out the garden and replant with grass, they can easily rake out the mulch and pull up the fabric, and they'll have clean soil to work with.
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Post  sanderson on 4/1/2017, 3:55 pm

Megansmom, Welcome to the Forum from California! glad you\'re here The grass got trampled around my beds, then muddy in the rain, then weedy. This spring I will be rolling out commercial grade weed fabric and topping with lots of wood chips. When the day comes that we have to sell, the weed fabric and chips can be easily removed and the lawn replaced. Same as Kate.

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Post  bigdogrock on 4/1/2017, 4:14 pm

Welcome from New Hampshire Megansmom! 
Since we tend to grow rocks here, I have put rocks in between my beds. As I get more smaller rocks I take out the bigger ones. I am not saying I can walk around them in bare feet, but it is a nice perk that I don't have to haul rocks around.
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Post  CapeCoddess on 4/1/2017, 6:59 pm

I had grass that got trampled and then muddy also, so I'm switching over to pine needles. Just started last year. I don't put anything under them so we'll see what happens as I keep collecting and spreading them. I also use pine needles as mulch so it will be easy to remove them and throw them onto the ground. Then, when needed again, I can pick some up and put them on the bed.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/1/2017, 7:42 pm

@camprn wrote:Welcome! I just leave lawn between the boxes, separated to allow me to get the mower in between.
Yep, grass lawn...

Welcome!glad you\'re here

What do you want to grow/eat?
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