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Post  boffer on 2/16/2011, 7:12 pm

@walshevak wrote: Can I use that on the electrical conduit to make my trellises?
Kay

You sure can. Use a fine toothed blade made for thin metal-it will say so on the blade. Figure out how to safely secure your conduit so it doesn't bounce around.

A reciprocating saw is my wife's favorite power saw. She feels comfortable using it, knowing that she won't cut a finger off. She used to 'borrow' mine so often out of my work truck, that I had to buy her her own!
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 2/16/2011, 7:14 pm

I used a good old hacksaw...no power for me....lol. I wouldn't use the reciprocating saw on conduit/metal, either, unless the blade was made specifically for metal.....which is why I used the hacksaw. I don't have any other options at the moment.

That reciprocator is great for anything else you want to destroy from what I've been told. I have some buddies that love doing demolition work with them.

But, then again, I'm not much of a "power guy." I'm more of a "finesse" type. Shocked
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Post  walshevak on 2/18/2011, 4:24 pm

Temp hit low 70's today. I finished boxes #2 and #3 and got started on box #4 before I ran out of hardware cloth. I even made a bug net hoop over one. I see a trip to LOWES in my future. I would have filled in the rest of the day making my mels mix, but it was way too windy.

Chives come up in their pot, but need to be thinned. I've had this pot of chives since 2003. Survived a Chicago winter before coming to NC. Found some collards in my flower beds. I spilled some seed last fall and just swept it off the porch. They came up , but the caterpillers did such a number on them I didn't expect to see them this spring. But of course they are in the wrong place.

I really need a calm day now. I've got enough boxes to start direct seeding if I can get my MM made.
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Post  CarolynPhillips on 2/18/2011, 8:59 pm

Everything looks great.

The only power tool that I am afraid of is the Nail Gun. BIG ONE. I was nailing some hand rails a few years ago and shot my index finger in the knuckle. ---I am getting over it slowly but surely. That knuckle had arthritis for a few years but getting better too.

I like your idea of using wood across the blocks to make room for two beds instead of one. I would use the landscape timbers ====less likely to sag in the middle later on.

Have fun.

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Post  walshevak on 2/21/2011, 9:32 am

Idea I may steal to hold the beds. Dresses up the block.
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all six bed put together
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bug net bed before windI'm making progress and gardens - Page 2 Bug_ne10

bug net bed after wind. Who knew bridal veil tulle could catch the wind that much. May have to modify my support system.
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Post  Furbalsmom on 2/21/2011, 3:00 pm

Poor Walshevak, that wind can be a pain in the toosh. Twisted Evil
I would have thought the wind would have just passed through the tulle, not picked it up and thrown it around. I hope you find a simple way of stabilizing it, because I wanted to use some tulle on at least one bed, that will have brassicas. I'm making progress and gardens - Page 2 773650 Trying to outwit the cabbage worms.

Oh My Gosh, I just saw the Table Top that fell off the cinderblock supports! Glad you were not out there playing with the Table Top when that happened.
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Post  middlemamma on 2/21/2011, 3:21 pm

Hopefully when filled with your MM and then watered it would be too heavy for that to happen and the tule will work great! I know I have heard others use it successfully.
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Post  Megan on 2/21/2011, 6:48 pm

@walshevak wrote:Idea I may steal to hold the beds. Dresses up the block.

Hi walshevak,

Love the dress-up idea, but now that I see your photos, I am concerned.

I am pretty sure that cinderblock is designed to bear weight with the holes pointing up. I would hate to see one come crashing down under a bed filled with Mel's Mix.

Also, those beds do not look all that level, and the ground beneath them has not been compacted or prepared. I don't know how much frost heave or subsidence/soil compression you get in your area when the soil gets wet, but the blocks could de-level themselves even more once they are carrying a full load, especially when standing up-ended like that.

Hope I am not being paranoid, just don't want to see you or anyone else getting hurt. I am afraid you are going to have more come down on you. (Part of my job is keeping an eye out for dangerous installations, albeit in a very different venue...but it was enough to trip my Dangermouse alarm!)

p.s. Your boxes are BEAUTIFUL and I am jealous! Hope mine will be half as nice.


Last edited by Megan on 2/21/2011, 8:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post  walshevak on 2/21/2011, 8:09 pm

The lady at the fabric shop where I bought the tulle said that I'm not the first one to use it that way. Cabbage worms decimated every bit of salad mix I planted last summer. Never got more than a few leaves from several plantings.
The wind has been too much to try and fix things today and it's supposed to rain tomorrow. The swales in my yard are caused by the leach field of the septic system. May have to move the bed to a side area away from it. Will investigate Wed.

Kay
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Post  walshevak on 2/25/2011, 5:55 am

The boxes have been stablelized and I have my first "real" sq ft box completed. Just need to plant some cool weather crops. Next project will be trellis.

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Post  acara on 2/25/2011, 6:44 am

Looks good.

Box supports on 4' centers is as far as you can/should go ..... 4x4's may hold the weight for a time, even wet ... just keep an eye on it for sag & I would replace the 4x4's if they start to give (when you replant the box). I'd probably err to the side of caution and put another set of blocks at mid-span, down the 10' lengths. I dont even load steel bar gratings with pedestrian loadings(200#) on 10' centers and each of those 4x4 SFG boxes are going to be 100#+ when full/wet. Just a suggestion though.

If you've already filled the boxes & can't move them, I'd install some sort of pedestal/brace at mid-span, down the long sides.


That second CBS-block run horizontal should give you the extra footprint you need to prevent settling (unless yr soil is lke the sand down here ....then you may still get some sinking/settling in heavy rains).

I cant see the bottoms well, bit it looks like a 1x6 or 1x8 center spar/mid-span support on the bottoms & 4m/.025 or 2m/.063 galv hardware cloth with weed fabric overlay?(curious to know if you went with the 4m (1/4" mesh) or the 2-mesh (1/2") on the welded galvanized hardware cloth?

As far as the tule goes, it may work for you where you are. The sun here in the South deteriorates it & it's not a season-long option here. May last an entire season (or longer) in your neck-of-the-woods though.

Boxes look very good...... nice, neat & elevated Very Happy
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Post  walshevak on 2/25/2011, 7:28 am

I used 1/2" hardware cloth and the span is only 9' from block edge to block edge. Will that help? and 1"x5" middle supports under the mesh.
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 2/25/2011, 9:28 am

I would second...or third....the need for a middle support of some kind. That soil can get heavy, and you can't have too much support imo. I would also be mildly concerned if a decent windy day popped up on you and treated your covered hoops like sails. It doesn't look like things would have to move/slide much to topple over, and that middle brace would increase your margin for error.

I am not saying it's unsafe. I am saying that I would fortify it even more if it were my setup. But, I am only looking at pictures. I haven't physically been around it to "feel" it, either.
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Post  walshevak on 2/25/2011, 9:34 am

Ok, I'll dig out all the MM out so I can move the beds and put in more supports. You've convinced me and before I plant is the time.
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Post  FarmerValerie on 2/25/2011, 9:37 am

I wonder if putting a block at each corner of the box would be best??? I like the look of your boxes this way, please keep us posted, this may be the way for me personally to go too.
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Post  FarmerValerie on 2/25/2011, 9:38 am

Maybe you could get a wood pattern to cut out a horse and buggy to place in front? That would be cute.
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Post  walshevak on 2/25/2011, 9:45 am

And wheel cutouts on the sides of the beds Smile
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Post  acara on 2/25/2011, 2:53 pm

@walshevak wrote:I used 1/2" hardware cloth and the span is only 9' from block edge to block edge. Will that help? and 1"x5" middle supports under the mesh.

I'm at work now & have my reference tables and software.

The charts don't recommend anything over 8' clear span, for uniform or concentrated load ..... and thats for steel (wood would be much less). In you situation, this would be concentrated loading, not uniform, since the weight is applied on the contact edge of the boards and transfered to only a part of the loading surface (the contact point on the 4 x 4's).

Best guess would be just over 200# at 9', but the deflection would be excessive.

I think we've discussed density of MM in another thread & came up with roughly 13#/ft3 ??

So filling to 6" depth on a 4 x 4 is [((4 x 4) x .5) x13] = 104# of MM (dry weight), plus box, plus plants ..... plus 8#/gallon for water weight........

The Home Depot boxes you show there are 12" high if I remember right, so filling to a 9" height with MM would give you 156# (dry), plus box, plus plants.

I really can't see a way to support two 4 x 4 boxes in that arrangement on a 9' clear span made of wood. Even if its successful initially, it will give at some point as the wood deteriorates with enviromental exposure & age.

However, loading vs clear span is not a linear scale ..... a mid-support on your design would increase the loading by roughly 4x....... so you could probably grow pumpkins in your SFG's, if you put a center support on that.

... Or just scale down and use a single box
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Post  walshevak on 3/4/2011, 6:00 pm

Ok Acara, I took out all the MM and reinforced both the bottoms of the boxes and the support system. Whew!! Wet MM is heavy. We had 40MPH winds and heavy rain over the weekend and those boxes didn't budge a smidge even with the tulle in place. I'm giving the tulle a chance to keep moths out as long as possible.

I'm making progress and gardens - Page 2 Imgp1118

So since I feel like they are sturdy now, today I planted spinach, kale and bok choy plants and spinach seed for a later crop. Another bed has mustard, onion sets, snap peas and lettuce that I planted earlier in the week.

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This looks so spring like, I just had to share. Japanese Quince and daffadils.

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Post  Megan on 3/4/2011, 9:08 pm

Whew! I feel MUCH better now. Thank you, Acara, for a) knowing how to crunch the umbers, and b) doing so. (And boy, I love those daffodil pictures, walshevak!)
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Post  walshevak on 4/3/2011, 11:21 am

Time for an update on my gardens and show the plants and seeds that are up.

And a question. Because my beds are so high, in order for me to have a decent height trellis I will need to use the entire 10" conduit. I'm want to use 24" rebar (1/2 into the ground) and also attach to the sides of the boxes with a clamp. I have a step stool that is sturdy. Any comments or advice before I start installing.

bed 1. radish, spinach bok choy collards and carrots on the grid
I'm making progress and gardens - Page 2 Bed_1_10

bed 2. lettuces, bok choy spinach collards, kale (which is planted too many to the square will thin out as i eat. Very Happy )
I'm making progress and gardens - Page 2 Bed_2_10


bed 3. sugar snaps not up yet, turnips just planted, collards
I'm making progress and gardens - Page 2 Bed_3_10


bed 4. lettuces, chard, bok choy
I'm making progress and gardens - Page 2 Bed_4_10

bed 5. onions, mustard greens
I'm making progress and gardens - Page 2 Bed_5_10


bed 6. broccoli, onions turnips, lettuce mix and snap peas
I'm making progress and gardens - Page 2 Bed_6_10

chairtop garden. mesculun and snap peas
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rain bins (full), compost cans, and potting cart
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Post  FarmerValerie on 4/3/2011, 11:38 am

Nice, I love the corners on your boxes! And that chair bed!
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Post  Furbalsmom on 4/3/2011, 3:29 pm

Walshevak, your garden is looking so nice and productive. I love the design with the cross bars and cinder block legs. It is so nice to see plants growing there Smile ,
I'm with FarmerValerie, that chair bed is really cute and what a great idea! cheers

Enjoy.

As far as your trellises, I realize with the Table Tops, you want extra height for the trellis itself, but 10 feet sounds awfully high, even with a step stool. Part of that is me, because I am just not stable enough to climb on a step stool safely.
For my own table tops, which are 32 inches high at the top of the box, I am using eight foot conduit, which will give me five and a half feet above the bed. I will need a stool to reach that, but my stool is only 13 1/2 inches high and has a thirteen inch by thirteen inch platform on the top, so pretty secure.

Whatever works for you, just be careful.

I am using rebar into the ground, then adding clamps on both the legs and along the side of the bed to make sure that trellis isn't going anywhere.
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Post  Barkie on 4/8/2011, 12:19 pm

Thanks for the pics, I like a good skeg at what folks are doing. That's a grand set up.
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Post  clfraser on 4/8/2011, 11:26 pm

Just curious about the trellis. Could you trellis downward from a table top bed?
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