VegBed#11 4’x16’=64ft^2

Wonder how much dirt it takes to fill up this raised bed?

1. calculate out cubage in feet: 4’x16’x16″ = 4’x16’x1.3′ = 83 ft^3
2. One yard of dirt is 27 ft^3 so 83/27= 3 yards

We move dirt in wheelbarrels of 25 shovelfulls. Last year it was approx 10 wheelbarrels/yard.. so 30 wheelbarrel loads.
Thank goodness we have the tractor up and running and the wagon up and running. The wagon can take two wheelbarrel loads, or 50 shovels, and have to make only 15 trips instead of 30. Not to mention, not having to push that wheelbarrel 30 times fully loaded there and 30 times unloaded back.

After an hour last night, we have moved 5.5 wagon loads or just over 1 yard so far. It started to rain today with a few thunder events, rain tomorrow, so it looks like Saturday will be the next big push of getting dirt from the pile to its intended destination.

*** from an earlier post ***

Raised beds are a nice addition to one’s gardens. It has different properties for how fast it heats and cools, how well it drains, but mostly for us, how it is easier to sit and weed and care for plants that standing and bending over.
We’ve had raised beds since 2002 and every year seem to get more of them. Traditionally they have been made from mini garden ties, which used to be 4″x6″ but are continually getting smaller. We chose them as we thought they would be long lived. In 2017 we discovered that the 15 year old ties had rotted and we had to replace an entire bed with new ties… that were less than 3″x5″. So now we look to others for a change of design.

I suspect we will abandon garden ties in favour of 2″x6″ boards and line them with weed cloth to help keep the dirt in and weeds out. So the next bed going in next month will be 4’x16′ by 2 coarses (nominally 5.5’x2=11″), but now, seeing this data below, methinks we will move to three coarses (5.5×3=16.5″) for soil depth reasons.

But the point of this post… not once have we seen in one place a summary of soil depths in a raised bed. I don’t know where this info came from or if it is accurate, but we will use it until proved otherwise. It may also explain why some of our veg do not do as well as expected. For instance, Vegbed #9 seen here consist of 4 coarses of garden ties at most 4×3.5=14″ of soil depth.
This chart shows for peas should be 15″ to 19″ deep. Hmmm!

—cut here—
Determining Raised Bed Depth
You will want to make your raised bed deep enough for healthy root growth. Plants will be stunted and may not produce well if their roots can’t reach down far enough into soil. If the raised bed is built shallowly, the roots will venture into the ground below unless it is too compacted. A floor or barrier is needed if you don’t want roots growing into contaminated soil. The following recommended Soil Depths are taken directly from Golden Gate Gardening:

-6 to 10 inches: basil, beet, carrot short, chervil, chives, cilantro, lettuce, onion, green, parsley, peppermint, radish, spinach, thyme, dwarf cherry tomato, watercress, oregano, sage, marjoram.

-10 to 15 inches: carrot, celery, Chinese cabbage, garlic, leek, lettuce, mustard, oregano, potato, strawberry, chard, dwarf patio tomato.

-15 to 18 inches: all beans, collards, cucumber, kale, pea, pepper, squash, short vine tomato.

-18 to 24 inches: broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, corn, any tomato.

In addition, the cost per bed should now drop as well. The new estimate for 4’x16’x16.5″ (three coarses) for wood is approx 15 boards @ $6=$90.

The cost for the same height/depth using minities would be 5 or 6 coarses which is 25 or 30 garden ties @ $6=$150 or $180. And I think the new design of 2″x6″ boards will last at least 10 years and hopefully 15!