SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

May 10, 2013

Broken pots, raised beds and hydrangeas

(Continued)

Raising makes them higher and a little easier to reach. How high is a “raised” bed? It could be much higher than ground level to accommodate a handicapped gardener, or merely a gardener with a bad back. It can be made as high and as wide as you need. You can garden in otherwise impossible spots! With a raised bed, you have the opportunity to literally make the garden and load it with really great soil in the right spot.

Raised beds also enable you to easily alter heavy clay or rocky or thin topsoil, because you can simply add new, higher-quality soil on top of the problem. Another advantage is that raised beds don’t get stepped on so soil doesn’t get compacted!

When creating new raised beds, take soil from what will be your pathways and use it to build your beds. If necessary, bring in additional topsoil to build the depth of your beds. In either case, the planting area will be higher and deeper, which is especially beneficial to root crops.

Here are several easy ways to make a raised bed:

Make a frame using pine, which will last about four to five years and is the cheapest wood to use. Cedar is more expensive, but will last for more than 10 years. Corner brackets into which the standard lumber fits are nothing but pre-fab metal corners into which you slip your standard 2-by-4 piece of lumber — simpler than nailing. Although slightly more expensive, the corners are reusable and produce a raised bed in minutes rather than hours.

Logs will also work, but beware of railroad ties as the older ones are treated with creosote, and most of the newer ones are chemically treated, as well. Don’t use pretreated lumber! It is toxic to edible crops, and splinters are dangerous.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Lifestyle
  • Monday's Best Bets Best Bets for Monday, July 28

    Looking for something to do today? Check out The Salem News' Best Bets.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Son-in-law’s abusive father makes gatherings painful Dear Abby: I adore my son-in-law, "Tom." He's a wonderful husband to our daughter. He's always inviting us to dinner along with his parents and family. We get along with them but can't stand how they treat Tom. We have never seen parents treat their

    July 28, 2014

  • This weekend's Best Bets Best Bets for Saturday, July 26

    Looking for something to do today? Check out The Salem News' Best Bets:

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • North Shore religion news in brief Congregation Shirat Hayam is offering a free, five-week Hebrew Reading Crash Course on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. from Sept. 2 through Oct. 7, at the synagogue, 55 Atlantic Ave., Swampscott. Led by Nancy Miller, the course is open to the community and is

    July 26, 2014

  • North Shore religion calendar Wednesday, July 30 Book Club, 7 p.m., Aviv Centers for Living, 240 Lynnfield St., Peabody. Women of all ages are invited to a free book group with conversations about Jewish identity. Group will discuss "The Harem Midwife" by Roberta Rich. RSVP to Sh

    July 26, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Teen is looking for direction after high school graduation Dear Abby: I am an 18-year-old high school senior who is scared about what's going to happen after graduation. For the past three years I have known exactly where I'll be and what I will be doing in the general sense. Now that I have one more year to

    July 26, 2014

  • macaws Vet Connection: Pet birds need training, social interaction and time out of the cage People are fascinated with the big colorful birds on display at Animal Kingdom and wild bird sanctuaries. It's always fascinating to see someone walking down the street with a big-beaked bird on his or her shoulder as a companion. We are all drawn to

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ask Dog Lady: Her little dog is obsessed with food Dear Dog Lady: I have a 3-year-old, long-coated Chihuahua named Mexipep (after a brand of hot sauce). She has many fine attributes -- she's very sweet, not nervous and barky like the short-coated Chihuahuas can be. On the subject of food, however, th

    July 25, 2014

  • howe Book Notes: Local novelist sees ‘conversion’ syndrome in witch trials The parallels between 1692 and today are so close, they're frightening. That's one conclusion you could draw from reading "Conversion," Marblehead resident Katherine Howe's new novel, which compares the world of the Salem Witch Trials to the life of

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • vehicles Quick pick: Festival of vehicles

    Festival of vehicles Take a ride over to the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library for the 16th annual Vehicle Night on Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The festival of fire trucks, emergency vehicles, cruisers and snow plows takes place in the library park

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

NDN Video
Comments Tracker