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Raised Gardens – For a Green House
I am researching best practices for raised gardens and beds creation techniques. I plan to build a green house with shelves. I’ll have multiple layers of raised beds. The plants needing more sun will be on the top shelf on the south side of the building. Those plants needing less sun than others will be distributed on lower shelves. Those plants needing little or no sun will be on the north side of the building. The plants needing the least amount of sun will be on the north side on the lowest level.
Raised Gardens – Watering
Having raised gardens and beds on shelves will make it easy for me to hook up drip lines for watering all the plants at one time. I will use captured rain water for watering as it provides more nourishment for the plants. Natural well water is the second choice if my water supply is running low. I’ll use it directly from the well, not from the filtered house water faucets. The last choice is plain old tap water. But beware, it can kill your plants, plus it contains chemicals that can kill you.
Another thing you should stay away from is water that has been microwaved. It is even worse for you and plant than regular tap water. If you take bottled water, distilled water, or tap water then microwave it to water plants, they will die, can’t live long at all. I guess we shouldn’t heat our coffee, tea and hot chocolate in the microwave either. I often wonder what it actually does for the nutrients in food?
Raised Gardens – Building Materials
There are a lot of ideas on the web for what materials to use for building the frame and boxes for the garden. I’ve seen some building with PVC piping, 2X2 lumber, and steel or aluminum piping. But I have been thinking that using recycled products would be better overall if I could find what would work best.
Here is my take on the box and framing materials:
–PVC Piping – Easy to cut, easy to glue together, easy to drill, light in weight, pretty inexpensive and waterproof.
–2X2 lumber would work great too for all the same reasons, except it is NOT waterproof. So you’d have to decide how you’ll deal with that.
–Steel and Aluminum would be good to work with. The steel would have to be sealed and I think I would even seal the aluminum just in case.
You’d still need material for sheathing the frame like plastic, aluminum, or stainless steel to hold the dirt.
However there is a new material called composite. As a matter of fact I was thinking about using this material. At first glance it sounds great, but it actually can melt in a fire before wood can burn. The wood particles soak up water and weakens the product. The created a PVC covering to help all this but it does cost a lot more money. Plus it has many chemicals in it from the production of mixing wood dust, plastic and the glue.
Conclusion: I think I will go with the standard garden box material of cedar 2×2’s, cedar planks, stainless screws, outdoor construction caulk/adhesive with some stainless rod for holding the top of the box together to prevent it spreading.