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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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New to Forum and SFG 15" raised bed foundation Toplef10New to Forum and SFG 15" raised bed foundation 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

New to Forum and SFG 15" raised bed foundation I22gcj10New to Forum and SFG 15" raised bed foundation 14dhcg10

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Post  clphelps97 6/6/2023, 11:52 am

Hi!
I'm new to the forum. I'm preparing a 15" tall x 184" long x 14" wide corrugated metal raised garden. 
The SFG people suggested a foundation of either clean sand or topsoil with 7 to 8" of Mel's Mix on top.
The 3rd edition SFG book said to put landscape fiber on the foundation. 
Any thoughts about sand versus topsoil? About how to attach the landscape fiber to the sides of the raised metal bed? 
Thanks in advance,
Connie
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Post  OhioGardener 6/6/2023, 12:56 pm

Welcome to the forums, Connie!  I used topsoil in my 18" beds, mostly because it was free and easy to put in the beds.  There is no reason to attach the weed fabric to the metal sides of the bed, just make sure it is fitted against the edges before putting the soil on top of it.

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Post  sanderson 6/9/2023, 4:14 pm

Connie, Welcome to the Forum from California. What OhioGardener wrote.

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Post  clphelps97 6/9/2023, 6:13 pm

Thanks, Sanderson!
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Post  Scorpio Rising 6/10/2023, 8:22 am

Welcome to the forum, Connie!  You will learn a lot each year—take notes!  Looking forward to hearing about your journey!
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Post  Scorpio Rising 6/10/2023, 8:31 am

Connie, you may be part of the N&C Midwest region, we would love to see you post on there!  We share weather, varieties, pests, and other trials and tribulations!  

glad you\'re here
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Post  clphelps97 6/10/2023, 5:06 pm

Thanks, Scorpio! I will check it out.
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New to Forum and SFG 15" raised bed foundation Empty Mel's Mix Mixer

Post  clphelps97 6/13/2023, 2:12 pm

Hello Again! 
My 15" high Birdie's raised metal garden is almost ready to use with 7.5" of topsoil for the foundation. My handyman created a Mel's Mix Mixer (see photo) but primed the inside with Kilz-2. 
This seems counterintuitive to organic gardening. Will the mixer be safe to use for mixing MM? He thought he might power wash it off, but some will already have soaked into the pine (untreated). 
Time is ticking to get things in, but the MM ingredients represent an investment I want to protect. 
Please share your thoughts about using the mixer. 
Best wishes,
Connie
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Post  OhioGardener 6/13/2023, 6:22 pm

The pictured did not post.

I would probably be hesitant to use the Kilz primer on wood that would be in contact with the MM, but the limited time it would be in contact with the soil during mixing might be a minimal impact.

If you have not already, look at the Kilz SDS to determine if the ingredients are acceptable for your use.  If you have not seen it, here is the section of the SDS with the ingredients:
New to Forum and SFG 15" raised bed foundation Kilz_s10

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Post  sanderson 6/14/2023, 3:46 am

I didn't see a photo of the MM Mixer to be able to comment. Kilz is not appropriate for beds, for sure, as its name says it all. Microbes are import for feeding the plants.

Once you post the photo, OG or I can comment further.

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Post  clphelps97 6/14/2023, 12:37 pm

New to Forum and SFG 15" raised bed foundation 20230614
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Post  OhioGardener 6/14/2023, 12:54 pm

Quite an creative device for mixing things up!  Much like a compost tumbler.  Reminds me of a guy I know that rented a cement mixer to tumble the ingredients of Mel's Mix.

Given the closed design of it, I would try to power wash out the Kilz and then let it completely dry.  The remaining anti-fungal properties that were absorbed into the wood should not be a problem.

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New to Forum and SFG 15" raised bed foundation Empty 15" Raised Bed & MM Tumbler Treated with Kilz-2

Post  clphelps97 6/14/2023, 1:08 pm

New to Forum and SFG 15" raised bed foundation 20230622
New to Forum and SFG 15" raised bed foundation 20230623
Hello!
I posted the exterior of a potential mixer for MM separately. 
Here's the two daisy chained 15" high 8' long raised metal beds and the interior tumbler painted with Kilz-2. Hopefully, the photos will post the first time. 
I added 7.5" of topsoil up to the bracing followed by landscape fabric. I'm ready to add MM, then plant. 
My county extension was unable to find questionable ingredients on the Kilz-2 SDS. However, they indicated maybe the tumbler could work for temporary use like mixing but not for composting. 
For composting, I would adapt the invention by using cedar instead of pine, adding 4" wheels and a few other refinements. Plus, no Kilz-2! 
I have two knee replacements and upcoming hip replacement in July, so a modified tumbler could really help. 
Best wishes,
Connie
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Post  clphelps97 6/14/2023, 1:17 pm

Thanks, Ohio! 
The inventor offered to power wash when I first questioned using Kilz-2. I think this beta model can work for mixing with brief contact. I hope to plant this week!!
I'm debating the integrated irrigation squares or just mark them off with tomato twine until I have more experience and hand water. 
After planting, I'm reluctant to poke any holes in the landscape fabric.  
Best wishes,
Connie
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