Dahlia Season: Plant, Support, Irrigate & Groom forum: Growing in raised beds

After 13 years online, Cubits.org is scheduled to be shut down. Please make sure you have the contact information for all your friends, and that you download whatever content you want from this site.

 
Page 1 of 5 • 1 2 3 4 5

Views: 45, Replies: 97 » Jump to the end
ImageCCvacation
Mar 28, 2016 7:48 PM CST
Name: CC
PA
This thread is perfect for the discussion of growing in raised beds.

-What support material to make the bed?
-what do you fill it with?
-how do you maintain a raised bed differently then an in-ground bed?

CC
vikingcraftsman
Mar 29, 2016 10:49 AM CST
Because every year I make new beds for the extra tubers I get this is what I do. It starts at leaf cleaning time. I get my neighbors leaf mulching machine. I take the mulch and lay it on the ground. Then I buy bagged top soil from sams club. I put that on top of the leaf mulch. To keep it in place I put black plastic over the soil. Buy the time spring comes I have a nice new bed to plant into. Your old Viking way.
mandolls
Mar 29, 2016 11:43 AM CST
Name: Geof
WI
Raised bed is such a vague term. A bed that is raised 4" is a very different animal than a raised bed that is 18" deep. The first barely qualifies in my opinion as it is just a way to corral all of the amendments that one is adding to the existing soil.

A deep raised bed is another story as the plants have little to no contact with the ground level soil, so everything in them is controlled by the gardner.

Growing dahlias in deep raised beds is problematic as they are already so tall, few of us want to to add an additional 12 - 18" to their height.

My deep raised beds are primarily for vegetables. They were started with a 50 50 mix of my sandy garden soil and composted manure. Every year they get additional manure and composted leaves added, plus the soil mix from the previous years hanging baskets and containers. I can dig my potatoes with my bare hands.
Imagetodgor
Mar 29, 2016 4:24 PM CST
Name: Tod Gordon
West Caldwell, NJ
My main raised bed is like 13" deep, but I find after many years of adding compost and loads of potting soil that it is overstuffed. So this year I am having another course of stone added to the border. That will buy me some time. :) What are you supposed to do though about the soil level getting higher and higher? Get a step ladder? :)
Imageblown_dry
Mar 29, 2016 5:16 PM CST
Name: Amanda
CA Redwood Coast - Zone 9b
DahliaAddict.com
I think it would be OK to quit adding potting soil if your beds are getting overstuffed. Smiling I add only compost/manure to mine, a couple shovel fulls per plant per year and the soil level stays about the same.
ImageCCvacation
Mar 29, 2016 5:47 PM CST
Name: CC
PA
Obviously, you have to create a NEW raised bed to accommodate the need to put excess potting soil somewhere. It only makes sense. Angel
CC
ImagePNWGal
Mar 29, 2016 10:19 PM CST
Name: Linda
Portland OR, zone 8b
My oldest raised beds evolved from mounds, to shallow contained beds, to taller framed beds. The mounds were native soil with some compost mixed in. At this point (20 years later) there is more compost & potting soil than native soil (the perlite is quite obvious) and the beds are 12" high. Like in Tod's bed, the soil level has gotten to the top. I haven't put any more compost in for the last couple of years, but there is always a little more potting soil added with each pre-started plant. It adds up, and I don't want the beds any higher (yes, it does take a stepladder to manage the plants by the end of the season).

For some reason I am not getting good tubers out of these beds. The plants grow just fine, but the tubers are rough and bug-chewed and don't keep as well as those from other beds. I may have too much of an ecosystem going on in there, because there are (gasp!) plants other than dahlias, most of which stay there year-round. Or it could be that I have been growing dahlias there for so long that it is tired of growing them. I'm going to try removing some of the soil that is in a couple of the beds, and replacing it with native soil to see if it makes a difference.
anniecan
Mar 30, 2016 4:33 AM CST
Name: Annie Luck
Apex, North Carolina
BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN TH
My raised beds are landscape timbers, double stacked.
That doesn't really mean much, since there is soil below that the roots can grow into.
It just keeps the soil contained. I removed the native rocky clay soil from the beds down to about a foot deep, then filled with layers of leaf mulch, compost/soil mix, and sifted clay (once it dried out enough to sift it). It was a huge job, but I had a wonderful worker back then who had the process down to a science. Yes, I added lime too since our native soil is acidic. The 50/50 blend I purchased was supposedly ph balanced. My soil levels always seem to get depleted after the plants are removed at the end of the season. I always have to add soil each Spring.
Imageteddahlia
Mar 30, 2016 7:02 AM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
Part of the issue with raised beds is whether people add some of their native soil back into the beds or use only a manufactured soil with compost, leaf mold, commercial potting soil and other sources of organic material. One of the panel members at the Federation used no garden soil at all. He was the one who constantly added fresh organic material all season and it was the coffee grounds. Another one of the panel members used an alfalfa product in a similar way. It is a very good organic source of fertilizer and is naturally a "Slow release" product. I know one of the stand by fertilizers for organic gardening are fish meal products and one could use it several times per season to keep the soil fertilized. Fish fertilizer also come in a liquid form that can be used for foliar feeding. And we had several discussions on manure teas back when.
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
ImagePNWGal
Mar 30, 2016 10:43 AM CST
Name: Linda
Portland OR, zone 8b
I suppose that is actually more to the point than whether the beds are framed or not.
ImageCCvacation
Mar 30, 2016 11:34 AM CST
Name: CC
PA
Anyone using hardware cloth ground-level to prevent critters from burrowing?
CC
anniecan
Mar 30, 2016 5:28 PM CST
Name: Annie Luck
Apex, North Carolina
BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN TH
I have not used the hardware cloth, but don't usually have that problem.
There is a current mole in the yard, but hopefully, he'll find his way to neighboring yards soon, since they don't garden!
Thanks for reminding me to go buy alfalfa pellets for planting. I forget about it, but it did make a difference in their health. Unfortunately, I have to wet them,mix them with existing soil, then bury deeply because the wildlife will dig it up.
ImageIslander
Mar 30, 2016 6:25 PM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
Can you get alfalfa meal instead of pellets? It mixes into the soil so the varmints don't get a free lunch out of it.
Salish Dahlias
ImageCCvacation
Mar 30, 2016 9:39 PM CST
Name: CC
PA
I normally toss a handful into each hole before putting in the plant. No need to wet them, as the moisture from the ground takes care of that pretty quickly. And it's benign enough to not have to worry about it burning the roots.
CC
mandolls
Mar 31, 2016 5:00 PM CST
Name: Geof
WI
I went looking for alfalfa around here last year and none of the feed stores had any - meal or pellets - I was surprised.
ImageBenny101
Mar 31, 2016 5:47 PM CST
Greenville MI - zone 5b
Ted got me hooked on alfalfa hay for mulch , I was using straw but was happy to find a small farm just outside of town that has bales for $3 , just drop your money in the can and help yourself , Looks a bit messy for a few days but settles down and goes unnoticed , should have mulched much heavier last year so I will buy lots of extra this time .
We have one true raised bed , about 12" high and I like that particular height as we plant the Minature ball dahlia out there and it makes them look much taller

Posing with Ms Kennedy
Thumb of 2016-03-31/Benny101/3b0399
anniecan
Mar 31, 2016 6:43 PM CST
Name: Annie Luck
Apex, North Carolina
BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN TH
Alfalfa is hard to come by around here for some reason. I still have to drive about 25 minutes to get the pellets. I research it every year and will again soon. I use leaf mulch on top of my beds after the dahlias are up. It is aged and chopped well, so it looks more like fluffy soil. I will try the alfalfa hay if I can find it.
ImageFLflowerboy
Mar 31, 2016 6:56 PM CST
Name: Jon George
Gainesville, FL
...crazy enough to grow dahlias in
I used a pelleted mix of alfalfa and timothy from the feed store.
"What is a weed?" asked Peppa Pig. "A weed is a cheeky plant growing in the wrong place!" replied Grandpa Pig.
Imagetodgor
Mar 31, 2016 9:56 PM CST
Name: Tod Gordon
West Caldwell, NJ
FLflowerboy wrote:I used a pelleted mix of alfalfa and timothy from the feed store.


Wow, I would guess Timothy gave bad customer service if he ended up as fertilizer! Rolling on the floor laughing Big Grin
ImageIslander
Apr 1, 2016 8:21 AM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
Good one, Tod!!!! Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
Salish Dahlias

Page 1 of 5 • 1 2 3 4 5

« Back to the top
« Cubits.org homepage
« Growing Dahlias: cubit homepage
« Dahlia Season: Plant, Support, Irrigate & Groom forum

You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Growing Dahlias:

A place to learn about dahlias, and a vibrant community of dahlia growers to ask, share and enjoy.

» Home
» Forums
» Articles
» Store
» Database
» FAQ
» Links

Cubit owner: Poochella

Admin team:

The Discussion Dahlia

'Unrecognized Form' Dahlias
Thumb of 2015-12-15/CCvacation/d189da
Click here to discuss the current dahlia flavor of the season!

Discussion of previous dahlias can be found here.