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[Fwd: Re: raised beds on wet soil]

  • Subject: [Fwd: Re: [cg] raised beds on wet soil]
  • From: Don Lambert <grower@flash.net>
  • Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2002 23:33:22 -0600

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [cg] raised beds on wet soil
Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2002 23:25:28 -0600
From: Don Lambert <grower@flash.net>
To: "McKenna, Valarie" <mckval13@evergreen.edu>
References: <EC9F1DBD86D3D411BB33009027B8C04B0152B1F8@lists.evergreen.edu>


You simply need bed height that keeps you far enough above the wet soil
so that healthy roots can grow. Having water flood over beds during
heavy rainfall is okay if the water can drain away within a short period
of say half a day, and the bed surface is at last 6 - 8" above the water

You need to have plants well established before heavy rain periods,
because seedlings have little tolerance to wet conditions.  We
frequently have flooded gardens, and virtually always can find water a
few inches down.  While not the best, many plants will tolerate this,
for example, virtually all Asian origin crops were adapted to thrive in
very wet soils and just a few inches of soil above saturated sub-soil

Do NOT add a gravel layer or fabric, as this will cause problems.  Put
the same money into more bed height, bring in a few more inches of soil
to fill your beds.  Look for ways to add drainage.  In part of our
garden we just built higher beds, and mulched all non-beds with deep
layers of woodchips which over several years increased the capacity for
excess water to move through the soil.

This is about a far as I can go without seeing your site and knowing
more about your type of soil, elevations and terrain, setting around the
garden, bed edging materials, etc.

Don Lambert
Gardeners in Community Development

McKenna, Valarie wrote:

 > I have started working with a teachers at a local middle school who are
 > laying plans for a raised bed garden.  The ground on which the beds will
 > be placed is typically soggy during the rainy season and there's some
 > concern that the soil in the beds will not drain properly.  Someone has
 > suggested that a layer of fabric and then a layer of gravel be placed in
 > the bottom of the beds before the soil.
 > My concern is that roots would be too restricted in a 8 to 10 inch layer
 > of soil as the roots will be unable to reach threw to the ground.  Also,
 > I would be concerned that worms and other beneficial critters might not
 > be able to reach the soil in the beds with this barrier.
 > Any comments or suggestions on this?
 > Thanks.  Valarie

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