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