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horsecrazybvh

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I am going to do a raised garden at my new house. I normally go to my dad for all things plants, but on this one he isn't too sure.

I have a big cliff behind my house, where they cut the mountain out to make a flat area for the home. At the bottom of the cliff is a sandy clay swampy mess. It is no good for using to kids or dogs to play in. A good portion of it gets sun pretty much all day, and I was hoping I could make good use of it by putting a raised bed on top of it and planting my veggies. So I am thinking put my big wooden sides down, and then dig down a couple of inches, and add crushed stone. Then add my topsoil on top of that. I was hoping this would help keep the soil wet from the soggy mess below, but hopefully not too wet.

So would this work? Or is it going to be too much wetness for veggies?

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Might be too much water. Instead of raised beds, you might try container gardening. I have a real problem with gophers and moles eating my garden so I put it up in old bathtubs. Just about anything can be used for containers. Old horse troughs, wheel barrow bodies to name a few. Be creative! Put the gravel down on the paths between the containers.

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Before you plan anything, you need to locate your septic system. You wouldn't want to put anything on top of a septic tank or laterals.

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My septic is on the other side of the property, so I am good there.

I may do a few containers, but I have a bunch of land and would like to use some of it.

I took some photos with my phone, gotta transfer them to the computer and will try and post them soon

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You can even use large plastic totes for containers. We use those, as well as old plastic bleach bottles (cut in half, with drainage holes put in the bottom). We use our old bathtub too. Like Mz Rat said, be creative. The bleach bottles are used to start seeds, then the plants are transferred to larger containers when they're big enough.

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I'd think the raised beds would be okay if you raised them high enough and put drainage under them like you described. You could use some containers too, and see which grow better plants.

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I wont be planting in this area, because it is out of sunlight, but you can see how much water pools at the bottom where my dog digs holes. The water only pools like this if a hole is dug, and where I will be planting is not near as wet, i guess because of the sunlight

RxmMbwY.jpg

this is just from a different angle, of where i will be planting(hopefully).

AoySQpz.jpg

and these are the big beams i will be using to make it a raised bed. each one is probably 8-10 inches high. I have plenty to do them 2 high if needed, but was hoping one high will be enough.

kM86vwT.jpg

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Wow, I'm surprised that your County didn't require retaining walls for that hillside!

You could place French drains to draw the excess water away from your planting beds or plant vegetables that like moist or wet conditions. http://www.ehow.com/list_5929565_vegetables-thrive-very-moist-soils.html You can plant trees and flowers that like those same conditions to make the area more attractive and hide some of that looming hillside: http://www.landsteward.org/page.cfm/44166

If you lay rows of concrete blocks as your base and set untreated cedar or redwood boxes on top of the blocks that will give you planter boxes that will last for many years.

The wood that you have looks like old railroad ties. They soaked them in creosote and other harsh chemicals to keep them from rotting. Not good or safe for growing food that you want to eat. Buy untreated wood instead.

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Yea, they don't have regulated building codes down here apparently.

There is a french drain around the house, but we have found it is plugged up with mud. Its just one more thing to add to our list of many things to fix. Haha

Thanks for the suggestions!

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Yea, they don't have regulated building codes down here apparently.

There is a french drain around the house, but we have found it is plugged up with mud. Its just one more thing to add to our list of many things to fix. Haha

Thanks for the suggestions!

Your welcome.

It is really important to have a fabric sleeve around the pipe to keep out dirt & debris, rock around the pipe to allow it to drain and a slope that carries the water away from the building.

Friends of mine learned this the hard way.

Flooded their new house with 4 inches of water.

The builder said "OOpppsss!"

:rolleye0014:

Edited by dondie

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I'm pretty sure they did not do that at all. We only have a crawl space, and sometimes it gets a bit of water under it. We were unaware of the French drain when we first moved in, and were going to drop a couple thousand to have one put in. Then the neighbor told us it already has one...and I tripped over a bit of the pipe sticking out of the mud. The little bit I could see inside it was full of mud. I very much dislike it when people do important things incorrectly.

And I had no clue they were supposed to have a fabric sleeve on them.

We passed up several nice houses in our search, because people had done a concrete drainage ditch thing...and had it sloped so the water went into the house. I guess they don't understand gravity here. 😕

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Too many builders choose cheap & fast when it comes to drains and other things they can quickly cover. The covers cost a few cents more per foot, but they make a drain system work 100% better.

My brother built a two story Craftsman style house on a three acre lot with a steep downslope. He used the covers and we sloped the site to drain away from the house after the concrete walls were finished. Both of the neighboring houses didn't, in the past thirteen years they have flooded quite a few times and developed cracks in the foundation walls (not a good thing, especially in an earthquake zone). One of the neighbors (also an owner/builder) thought we were nuts when he saw us with laser levels and hand tools trying to get the angles just right. My brother just smiles when he sees the guy placing sandbags around the front of his house.

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Have you thought about planting some kind of vine on the vertical walls? Might be a good place for blackberry or raspberry vines. Just about any vine will help hold the soil on the slopes.

I bet your house has a beautiful view the other direction!

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