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  • #31
    My yard is mostly clay and gravel, so I gave up on being able to till the actual ground even with machinery. I would have to hire an excavator and that just aint gonna happen given the available space and funds. I tried a tiller and it literally just bounced off. So boxes are the way to go. For my parents (before they passed on) we put in raised beds that were about 2 feet high because they couldn't get around so easy any more, just sheer old age and problems.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by gellfex View Post

      Barrels are definitely white oak, and I think it can be assumed the pallets are red. I'd also not be surprised if having bourbon soak through it for 4-10 years yields some preservative property, or perhaps the charring process.

      What about lining the PT wood with something like the flame applied rubber roofing? Easy to do and would basically eliminate the contamination and still have a nice looking container.
      Do you mean EPDM rubber roofing? Even with that stuff, there two types: approved for food use and not FDA approved. The same sort of restrictions apply to pond liners used in Aquaculture.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by reggie_obe View Post

        Do you mean EPDM rubber roofing? Even with that stuff, there two types: approved for food use and not FDA approved. The same sort of restrictions apply to pond liners used in Aquaculture.
        Do you think the non-food grade is really toxic enough to matter? People use rainwater from their roofs on their food gardens all over the country. I've been seriously thinking of getting one of those 330 gal PE containers to capture my roof water for garden use (and maybe apocalypse prep).
        Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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        • #34
          No kidding.... dirt isn't food-grade, but you had for dinner some stuff that was grown in it.

          EPDM rubber does not have CCA or bisphenols, etc in it.
          1601

          Keep eye on ball.
          Hashim Khan

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          • #35
            Originally posted by wierdscience View Post

            There are a jumble of different Oak species, at least in North America, but the two main ones are Red and White Oak. White Oak has been used in boat building and cooperage for centuries, due to it's superior strength and tight, dense grain structure that makes it water tight. Red Oak has a coarse grain with large pourous annual growth rings. Those rings soak up and hold water amazingliy well, which yields them to rot fairly quickly.

            It's pretty neat how fast the capillary action is-

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6t2AZubF8U
            Well I learned several new things today. Thanks for making me just a tad smarter.

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            • #36
              Nickel,

              When you fill the box, don't use "dirt". The mix I use (and it's straight from the square foot garden world) is 1/3 compost, 1/3 peat, 1/3 vermiculite. None of those contain weed seeds, and you get a "soil" that holds moisture, never floods, never bogs down. It contains all the nutrients that plants need. Soak it once a day with a hose, let the excess run out the bottom. If a weed does grow (you might get a few seeds blown in by the wind), just pull it out - there's almost no resistance.

              Super easy gardening...

              Ian
              All of the gear, no idea...

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Ian B View Post
                Nickel,

                When you fill the box, don't use "dirt". The mix I use (and it's straight from the square foot garden world) is 1/3 compost, 1/3 peat, 1/3 vermiculite. None of those contain weed seeds, and you get a "soil" that holds moisture, never floods, never bogs down. It contains all the nutrients that plants need. Soak it once a day with a hose, let the excess run out the bottom. If a weed does grow (you might get a few seeds blown in by the wind), just pull it out - there's almost no resistance.

                Super easy gardening...

                Ian
                I've been using Pro Mix growing medium for decades to fill my containers. Comes in a 4 cu ft compressed bale. I'm also a fan of Sq Ft Gardening. I learned there that you can plant like 30 bean vines in a half barrel.
                Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Ian B View Post
                  Nickel,

                  When you fill the box, don't use "dirt". The mix I use (and it's straight from the square foot garden world) is 1/3 compost, 1/3 peat, 1/3 vermiculite. None of those contain weed seeds, and you get a "soil" that holds moisture, never floods, never bogs down. It contains all the nutrients that plants need. Soak it once a day with a hose, let the excess run out the bottom. If a weed does grow (you might get a few seeds blown in by the wind), just pull it out - there's almost no resistance.

                  Super easy gardening...

                  Ian
                  Thanks for the tip! we did something similar with my parents raised beds. My step-sister is a bit of a gardener, and she insisted on equal parts peat and manure with screened topsoil... it was amazing. You could reach in up to your elbow and stuff just grew like crazy.... but you have to fork over another load of peat and manure almost every year to keep the soil loose enough. I'm going to try the square foot mix!

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by nickel-city-fab View Post

                    Thanks for the tip! we did something similar with my parents raised beds. My step-sister is a bit of a gardener, and she insisted on equal parts peat and manure with screened topsoil... it was amazing. You could reach in up to your elbow and stuff just grew like crazy.... but you have to fork over another load of peat and manure almost every year to keep the soil loose enough. I'm going to try the square foot mix!
                    If you can get yards of that stuff delivered it's great, but if you have to buy bags at the home center it really starts to add up.
                    Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by gellfex View Post

                      If you can get yards of that stuff delivered it's great, but if you have to buy bags at the home center it really starts to add up.
                      Yep, had the top soil delivered and bought the rest at Home Depot... nobody was looking at the price since Dad was buying and the garden was really for my step-mom.

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                      • #41
                        The sheep tanks, with small pepper, tomato and tomatillo plants in them. Farther into the season, the cage will be quite full of green leaves and Giant Marconi peppers etc.

                        1601

                        Keep eye on ball.
                        Hashim Khan

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          beautiful JT, I love the mesh cage.

                          Today I turned in the wheelbarrow load of compost into my 2 beds. Not 100% composted, but super rich dark black loam in between the avocado skins and egg shells It got thoroughly mixed in with the prior years dirt, potting mix and mulch. I can still see some clay-like soil structure from deeper down but it mixed into give a good structure. I reckon next year it'll be perfect.

                          The composting has also cut down our non-recycling trash going to the curb by about 1/3 too, which is an added bonus.

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                          • #43
                            Ok, I just printed this entire thread to this point so my wife can read it. She is the one that loves this stuff.

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                            • #44
                              About that wire cage.....

                              Last year I found that we have some very small "eurasian tree sparrows" (apparently actual sparrows, not the usual finch that is called a sparrow) who can pass right through the chicken wire. They were in there inspecting and in some cases sampling, the various offerings. I saw them go right through the wire...land on it, duck through, and fly away.
                              1601

                              Keep eye on ball.
                              Hashim Khan

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                As far as the volume that you need goes; a standard square foot garden is 4' x 4' x 6". 8 cubic feet. That's about one sack of vermiculite, one sack of compost and half a sack of peat (it comes compressed and fluffs up like crazy). After a year of growing vegetables, you'll lose a small amount - just top it up ready for next year and you're good to go.

                                Ian
                                All of the gear, no idea...

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