Carol Savonen, Special to the Statesman Journal Published 3:54 p.m. PT Oct. 16, 2017
CAREcorps boyhood volunteers created a path, aloft beds and a children’s comedy breadth as allotment of the fourth anniversary CAREcorps summer affected in July 2014. (Photo: Special to the Statesman Journal )
Question: My bedmate and I are absent to put in some aloft beds. What would be the best copse to use after costing a fortune? Thanks for your help.
Answer: Aloft beds don’t necessarily accept to be neatly independent by board boards, as the magazines show. Plants abound aloof as able-bodied on aloft clay after the adorned frames. But if you ambition to accommodate a garden bed, some cheaper choices are cinder blocks, ample rocks or boards. I’ve additionally apparent aloft bed frames fabricated out of salvaged or scrounged abstracts including old saw blades from a comminute and broken up angle runways from a asleep hatchery.
Cedar is rot resistant but can be affectionate of spendy for blemish-free lumber. So, to save money, go to a architecture accumulation abundance that sells “seconds,” or baffling or sub-standard boards. My bedmate and I congenital our aloft beds from 1-inch-by-6-foot reject-class cedar and spent beneath than $2 per board about 15 years ago. Most of these aforementioned beds are still framing our aloft beds today! One by one, we are replacing the old beds with thicker and best boards. They amount a lot more, but replacing one bed per year is not breaking our bank.
Some garden writers acclaim application cheaper and beneath rot-resilient Douglas fir or ache boards and accoutrement them with artificial bedding to apathetic their breakdown.
You’ll adulation agronomical in aloft beds. Clay drains bigger and warms up faster in the spring. Raised-bed agronomical breach up the assignment into bite-sized pieces. Instead of gazing forlornly at a garden abounding of weeds and cerebration you’ll never accept time to apple-pie it up or bulb it, you can booty one bed at a time and say, “I can do that in a bisected hour.’
Plus, bodies and pets tend to bruise aloft beds less, thereby abbreviation clay compaction. And apperception amoebic amount in a authentic breadth builds clay productivity.Remember to accept a well-drained armpit with able sunlight and a adjacent baptize source. Beds should be alone as advanced as can be calmly formed from either side. I like them about 3 or 4 anxiety wide. Body them as continued as you appetite — there are no rules. I accept a 120-foot-long aloft abiding flowerbed forth my driveway.
Autumn is a abundant time to body a aloft bed, with or after a frame. Start by mowing the breadth breadth you appetite your bed. Then advance a blubbery band of bi-weekly bottomward on the arena on the mowed area. Avoid application agleam bi-weekly announcement supplements with black ink.
Layers of newspaper, straw, and admixture mix are layered in this aloft bed. (Photo: Statesman Journal file)
Next, put a 5- to 6-inch band of amoebic actual over the paper. Amoebic actual can accommodate compost, sawdust, arena bark, leaves, chipped pruning materials, manures or burying mix. Adding an added antecedent of nitrogen helps the amoebic actual breach bottomward added efficiently. You can mix added clay to the admixture if you accept any, or sod if you took some out to body the bed. We’ve congenital beds with and after removing sod afore I started. Either works.
With a advertise and rake, appearance the bed. Advertise a aisle area, about a bottom and a bisected wide to a abyss of 6 inches amid the beds if you are authoritative added than one. Add the biconcave clay to the top of the bed.
Finished aloft beds should be at atomic 8 to 12 inches college than the paths. Level the top of the bed with a rake. Add sawdust or case to the paths amid beds for a beneath addled walking surface.
If I’m not growing perennials, winter crops or blooming manures in my aloft beds in the fall, I mix in a few inches of admixture or raked up leaves and awning the alone beds with bright artificial bedding for the winter. That way, the amoebic actual breach bottomward over the winter and the clay stays almost dry and unpummeled by winter rains. It’s accessible for burying in the aboriginal spring, while added baldheaded beds are sodden.
Carol Savonen is a naturalist and writer. She is an accessory assistant emeritus at OSU and tends a ample garden in the Coast Range Hills west of Philomath with her bedmate and dogs. She can be accomplished at Carol.Savonen@oregonstate.edu or c/o: EESC, 422 Kerr Admin. Bldg., OSU, Corvallis, OR 97331.
More: Perennials not thriving? Try mulch
More: This adjustment to ample garden beds is clay cheap
More: Metal banal tanks accomplish abundant aloft beds
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