Bed preparation hacks album

This bed preparation hacks album follows on the article on bed preparation hacks, and shows four more beds prepared in a similar way, with cardboard or paper layers, to suppress weeds. This time they are sunken beds, not merely laid on the ground over whatever was there. This means there was digging involved. Trenches were dug, lined with cardboard or phonebooks (smile) and refilled with sand and compost. The bed is made lower than the path by transferring much of the soil dug from the trenches in the beds into the paths. This necessitates strong stable edges, as we are essentially building raised paths rather than raised beds. The path in the first set was edged with loose bricks. 

The cardboard is intended to hold water and add carbon, and the intention in sinking the beds is also to save water as we are threatened by another drought at the Cape this summer. I saw sunken beds by Guerilla House in Langa and Surrey in Cape Town, and I was told that they are damper than raised beds. 

The finished partly shaded south beds used to be raisedThe finished partly shaded south beds used to be raised
dig and line pathdig and line path
dig and line bedsdig and line beds
fill with compostfill with compost

The next set of beds were edged with planks and stakes. I learned something here. The stakes will lean away from the sharp edge at the bottom as they are hammered into the ground. With maximum force they could not be righted. I pulled them up and turned the sharp edge of the wedge at the bottom at ninety degrees to the plank and this fixed the problem, providing better support. The deeper and stronger support of plank and stake edging allowed me to go much deeper when digging out the beds. I got so involved I forgot to photograph the deep trenches lined with cardboard and waste paper. I'm hoping the deeper beds will be ideal for carrots. All the beds are semi shaded which is good in our climate. This bed is shaded from afternoon sun in the summer, and by buildings in the winter. We will see how they carrots and leaf vegetables do here. The other bed is hotter and I planted artichokes, asparagus, tamarillos and tomatoes, all grown from seed. I've written on easy to grow vegetables

The finished north beds, used to be a dessicated hugel beetThe finished north beds, used to be a dessicated hugel beet notice old biddies can rip phonebooks when needed
before workingbefore working
proud pegproud peg will not go straight
first edgefirst edge
edge 2, 3edge 2 and 3
vampire bewarevampires beware
leaning in and outleaning out and in at the back
digging outdigging out
more edgesmore edges
edge buildingedge building
AHA ! sharp wedge at 90 degreesAHA ! sharp wedge at 90 degrees
paper and fillpaper and fill
second dig outsecond dig out

The second bed is dug out, lined with paper and filled with compost and after settling in is ready for planting

The rotting planks are difficult to walk on but suffice for nowThe rotting planks are difficult to walk on but suffice for now

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bed preparation hacks learned in permaculture

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