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Weed barrier and soil depth?

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Weed barrier and soil depth? Empty Weed barrier and soil depth?

Post  srander2000@yahoo.com on 3/14/2010, 10:14 pm

I have been reading the 1st edition SFG book - but now I see on the website, that there should be weed barrier under the boxes. I was going to make my beds 10" deep so there will be 8 -9" of soil to fill in the box, but that makes me wonder if that is deep enough with the weed barrier. I haven't seen in the first edition any info on depth of boxes and the weed barrier so I immediately went and ordered the 2nd edition, but until then I would like your input. How deep should my beds be (my master gardener in the area said at least 10 inches to keep out the bunnies with an addition of several inches of chicken wire. But I need to know if my carrots and potatoes will be able to grow in 6 inches of soil with a weed barrier like I see for sale on Mel's shopping page, or should I do 8, 10, or up to 12 inches of soil? The weed barrier is what is really making me wonder... Thanks for any help.
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Post  Patty from Yorktown on 3/14/2010, 10:29 pm

Hi,

It is worth the wait for your second edition book to arrive. The soil depth and makeup is very different. Mel will tell you how to build a high rise box to accommodate root crops. Having said that I have a few boxes which are deeper (8 inches) That is mostly because the lumber was free and that was the size it came. Most of my boxes are 6 inches deep and everything grows just fine. Perhaps I should confess I did not get a single potato last year and I do not like carrots (however I still planted 4 squares.) The lack of potatoes were operator error. Spring is almost here, finally.

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Post  donnainzone5 on 3/15/2010, 1:21 pm

Most plants will grow just fine in 6" on Mel's Mix, even tomatoes! I had a bumper crop last year.

However, you'll need 12" for crops like carrots and potatoes.

I have a confession to make: When I began my first "official" SFG 3-1/2 years ago, with Mel's Mix and grids (I'd been using an approximate version of the method since 1992), I dug down and built up my first bed to a depth of 21-1/2". Now, this is way, way too deep, and too expensive. Come to think of it, if and when that bed goes dormant (fat chance!), I think I'll dig it up and use the excess Mel's Mix elsewhere.
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