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Veggie Garden Part 2

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Charles cant spell starts with ...
I thought I would bite the bullet, this is Part 2 as Part 1 is very long and slow to load.
Part 1 is here:
https://www.daleysfruit.com.au/forum/veggie-garden/
Or use the search function if you are looking for specific information.

On to business:
Given I have nearly finished the garden bed to wicking bed conversion in my yard I would put up some pics and invite comments and questions.

Basic design is in ground beds, 200 micro builder plastic lined, street tree prunings as aggregate, Agg pipe as distribution pipe, Sleepers on top of ground to produce semi in ground beds. Worm Farms are Large buckets or 60L garbage bins. Yes there is a drain at the media soil interface to stop flooding in rain etc.
I prefer the idea of in ground wicking beds so I can bring the mulch of the surrounding soil to the level of the mulch on the Wicking Beds, and while this will loose a little water from the beds, the benefit gained by having a living link with the overall soil and its biology and bugs is worth that sacrifice. Especially as in Perth we still have a reasonable amount of rain and water to use.

Picture 10 - Wicking Bed 1 Beetroot Coriander Walking Stick Kale Carrots
Picture 9 - Wicking Bed 2 Clumping Onions Mosselberg Leaks Elephant Garlic and Dill Shepherds Purse
Picture 8 - Wicking Bed 3 Chickweed Carrots for Seed and volunteers
Picture 7 - Wicking Bed 4 Broccoli Kale Arrowroot
Picture 6 - Wicking Bed 5 Mangawursel Parsnip St Mary's Thistle Walking Stick Kale
Picture 5 - Wicking bed 6 Broad Beans
Picture 4 - Wicking Bed 7 - Spuds Royal Blue Dutch Cream
Picture 3 - Wicking Bed 8 Raspberry and Garlic
Picture 2 - Wicking Bed 9 Strawberries Sun Rose Beneficial
Picture 1 -Wicking Bed 10 First Shadecloth Broccoli Kale Tomatoes Peas
Picture 12 - Open Wicking Bed 1 Bananas and Papaya ginger, galangal turmeric
Picture 11 - Open Wicking Bed 2 Chicory Burdock, Buckwheat sown.
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Charlesstillcantspell1
Perth Innaloo
30th May 2010 11:53pm
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Original Post was last edited: 31st May 2010 9:44pm
Charles cant spell says...
Now for some pictures. Here is a dodgy hand-drawn explanation of wicking bed layout I did for my daughters school as I will be setting up their garden.

The depth is shown in the diagram, I did this up to describe the layout of what I was going to do on the cheap at a school garden until their funds arrived. Basically an earthwall (slightly compacted) Inground but still closed Wicking Bed. My beds as you can see use a sleeper on the side, this way I can walk on the sleeper and plant between the bed [Grin] , its where I put my beneficial perennials. The plastic is there at the moment because I am still figuring out how high I want to mulch upwards.

The water holding media I have used in these (street tree clipping/mulch) was generally no more than hand (finger tip to wrist) deep, for my hand 20cm. The AgPipe lays on the bottom (Builders plastic) and is covered by an inch or two of mulch, or more if I thought I wanted/needed more. Hence often the media would have only been 15cm, prior to a bit of compaction from the soil going on top.

Also I realise the plastic is not that strong and I may get a few leaks over time given the sharp nature of the mulch, but it was something again I could live with given my location and requirements. Hey I started with sand, I am not all that picky yet. Plus I realise that this is a "trial" and in 2-3 years I will be digging up the beds, redesigning, using pond liner, and maybe gravel/blue metal, however in the mean time I will get 3 years of vegies and when I flip the bed out I will have all that rotted organic matter to mix into the new bed.

So the drain, or drains is cut in at the media/soil interface, I drill a few large holes 40mm place an icecream container over the outlet and then put the mulch back around it. Bear in mind I have sand so this will drain well enough, if you dont I wouldn't be so sure. If you are in a high rainfall poor drainage area I suggest you use the shadecloth sided beds. You then could semi sink your water holding media into the soil and have the ground level at the same height as the interface. This should allow biological transfer between the earth and beds, but maybe not earthworms, hence why you need worm boxs, Bio Boxes in the Wicking Beds.

Hope that helps confuse you more
Pictures - Click to enlarge

Picture: 1
  
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Charlesstillcantspell1
Perth Innaloo
30th May 2010 11:55pm
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Original Post was last edited: 31st May 2010 12:06am
Charles cant spell says...
Here are all the beds.
Pictures - Click to enlarge

Picture: 1

Picture: 2

Picture: 3

Picture: 4

Picture: 5

Picture: 6

Picture: 7

Picture: 8

Picture: 9

Picture: 10

Picture: 11

Picture: 12
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Charlesstillcantspell1
Perth Innaloo
30th May 2010 11:57pm
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Original Post was last edited: 31st May 2010 12:01am
Charles cant spell says...
Cindy,

Never too ambitious, you need a few beds to allow some rotation and other fun things.Do you have liner or something to stop the water getting out the bottom, or is it a No Dig style approach. You might also have to consider shadecloth for summer as it looks nice and exposed. Given its nice and compact you could do a poly or PVC dome over it all and cover/uncover as required.

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Charlesstillcantspell1
Perth Innaloo
31st May 2010 9:49pm
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Cindy says...
Hi Charles,

We didn't put any liner down but the ground underneath the beds is very very hard and compacted. We have been checking the moisture levels with a PH / moisture tester and all seems to be Ok so far.
We were thinking we might need shadecloth for summer but the dome is something we can think about before then too.

We are having a bit of a problem with birds at the moment. We have these pigeon looking things getting into the garden to sit in the mulch and they spread the mulch around and cover the plants and stems so we are constantly having to get the mulch off the plant stems and leaves. Any good bird deterrant suggestions?
On the weekend we put in 2 fake owls, 2 fake cats with reflective marble eyes, a wind chime made of mirror and some whirly things - i don't think there is much more we can do but any suggestions are welcome!

Thanks :)
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Cindy4
Adelaide
8th June 2010 11:19am
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snottiegobble says...
Pigeon pie is supposed to be tasty!!
Seriously though I feed the pigeons, bronzewings,crested & laughing doves & also 28s ( never heard one say that yet, its more a"hewey fftt, hewey fftt")also my magpie team & I dont have any probs at all with either seeds or plants. Try scattering budgie seed on the lawn. That keeps them too busy to disturb the garden beds.
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snottiegobble
bunbury
15th June 2010 1:44am
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Charles cant spell says...
RE; WObblies post in Vege 1 thread: We ahve a new thread to reduce the load times.

what a brilliant job you have done it looks great. am i trying to grow broccoli it never gets a good head on it any ideas what i am doing wrong ,my vegie garden is fertilised with blood and bone horse manure and worm castings and potash alternatly.thanks

Some things that spring to mind, grow the brocolii from seed planted in situ earlier in the year. Try different varieties, some have small multiheads heads as a feature. Fert levels sound fine, might have a trace element deficiency or a pH issue.

When mine are small its normally because I started them in pots and took to long to plant them out. You wont get the same size as the big ones in the shop thou, they are hep'd up on goofballs.
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Charlesstillcantspell1
Perth Innaloo
30th July 2010 11:23pm
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amanda says...
I agree CSS - also they do like a sweet soil. I lime the bed that is taking all my brassicas and leafy greens, regardless. My broccoli have big heads - but they are the "marathon" seedlings from Bunnings.
I use same fert's wobbly - plus phosphate and gypsum now n then. Are they in full sun?
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amanda19
Geraldton. WA
31st July 2010 11:29am
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amanda says...
What's the best way to cook celeriac please? I have my very first one to try!? looks ugly but smells great.
Are they very hard to grow?
Thanks guys :)
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amanda19
Geraldton. WA
13th August 2010 10:35pm
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Brendan says...
Hi amanda,
Try it shredded very fine in a salad. Sometimes the middle part can be a bit tough.
They would be very hard to grow up here.
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Brendan
Mackay, Q
14th August 2010 7:34am
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amanda says...
Ta Brendan! does a little bit of celeriac go a long way do u think? It smells very strong?
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amanda19
Geraldton. WA
14th August 2010 8:52pm
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Brendan says...
Hi amanda,
Oh yeah, it's strong alright. Don't add too much :-)
I've read you can cut it into chunks and add to soups & stews, but I've never tried that.
It grows the same as celery, apparently.
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Brendan
Mackay, Q
15th August 2010 7:50am
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Original Post was last edited: 15th August 2010 7:53am
snottiegobble says...
Actually it is celery, wild celery the stuff they had to eat in the old days before improved strains were targeted.
Usually celeriac is just used for flavouring in soups caseroles etc & mainly just the leaves.
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snottiegobble
Bunbury/Busso (smack in the middle)
16th August 2010 2:04pm
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amanda says...
Ok - will also try the spud and celeriac mash that an "old timer" told me about...
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amanda19
Geraldton. WA
16th August 2010 6:55pm
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Charles cant spell says...
We had our Permablitz at the school the other day so I though I would put a couple of pics then I thought I just just point people to the post I already made in Aussies Living Simply.
http://www.aussieslivingsimply.com.au/forum/viewthread.php?forum_id=4&thread_id=20419#post_285889
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Charlesstillcantspell1
Perth Innaloo
16th August 2010 10:13pm
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beginner help needed!! says...
Hi Everyone,

I hoping someone is still out there who can help me! I want to make some veggie gardens (raised) i have about an acre to play with i want to grow everything possible but the only problem is i have no idea how to do any of it hahaha i have two beautiful young children and want to teach them where "our food comes from" i dont want to use anything treated or anything thats going to cost me a million dollars, i have a high water table (i think thats what they say) i want to grow fruit trees also so what layers do i start with in the veggie beds? and should i cover them from getting to much sun? there is so much to no im getting lost in it all THANKS!!!
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beginner help needed 1
Yarra Valley Victoria
29th September 2010 12:32pm
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Brad says...
take a deep breath - pick a user name - you won't be a beginner for long - and start narrowing it down:
what soil do you have? (sand, loam, clay)
does it already have organic matter? (mulch, compost, manures)
how much time do you want to invest in it? (indicates how large)
what water is available? (rainfall and irrigation)

nobody here can give you a silver bullet. there are so many possible ways to make vegie beds and everybody's garden is a little different. This (and the earlier posted) thread are a start for what some other people have done.

Even better than that is to take a look if any garden groups exist near you and talk to them/go to a meeting. You can even walk around the neighbourhood and see if anyone is growing fruit trees or if you hear any chooks. If you do, knock and ask if they'd be happy to show you around. you'll learn fast what works and doesn't
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Brad2
Como, Perth
29th September 2010 12:41pm
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Original Post was last edited: 29th September 2010 12:42pm
Jantina says...
Good advice from Brad. I'd like to add, Start Small!.Two or three beds is plenty to look after when you start out. You are much more likely to have success and less likely to get overwhelmed. Esther Dean's Gardening Book (growing without digging) is a simple easily read book of methods that work. Could probably get it at your local library. Good luck.
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Jantina
Mt. Gambier S.A.
29th September 2010 2:57pm
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John I. says...
You may also want to start watching Gardening Australia on the ABC 6:30pm Saturdays, or have a look at their website for a number of interesting articles: http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/features/vegiepatch.htm

This article on crop rotation is a good place to start: http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s972741.htm
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JohnI
 
29th September 2010 3:08pm
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Brad says...
a good beginners book by don burke: http://www.bookoffers.com.au/organic-don-burkes-guide-to-growing-organic-food-don-burke/
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Brad2
Como, Perth
29th September 2010 4:12pm
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au0rey says...
Hi, we are thinking of doing raised vege beds. Anyone has any recommendations for brands/(companies selling them) of vege beds we can buy from? Something easy to assemble and wont rust or rot off...Thanks for your suggestions!
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Melbourne
12th October 2010 2:43pm
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Mike says...
wont rust or rot? BRICKS!
--------------------------------------
raised garden bed
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Mike20
 
28th March 2011 10:43pm
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snottiegobble says...
Mike, bricks wont stay by themselves so then you will have lime seepage from the mortar!
Just as easy & a lot cheaper than the formed colourbond steel ones are corrigated sheets partially buried & held in place by steel picket posts.
Mine is 20ft x 10ft & now I need another one so dont under estimate the size needed.
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snottiegobble
 
29th March 2011 1:44am
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Brendan says...
Yeah SG & Au0rey,
I used Hi-Ten colorbond with koppers logs, so far so good.

You can build them with the cca logs on the outside if you want.
Pictures - Click to enlarge

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Brendan
Mackay, Q
29th March 2011 8:39am
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Original Post was last edited: 29th March 2011 8:42am
snottiegobble says...
Nice one Brendan, now those beds mean business & you save your back & money as well!
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snottiegobble
 
29th March 2011 1:13pm
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Brendan says...
Yeah SG, my land is on a slope, (see car in background), so I made that garden bed dead level on top. I just reckon it works better :-)
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Brendan
Mackay, Q
30th March 2011 9:01am
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Original Post was last edited: 31st March 2011 5:53am
snottiegobble says...
Yes I see that, & making it level is a good idea for irrigation & rain! What did you use as growing medium & mulch?
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snottiegobble
Bunbury/Busso ( smack in the middle)
30th March 2011 9:53pm
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Brendan says...
Hi SG,
That's compressed coir 'potting mix', from bunnings, (~ $11 for ~ 60L), but there's garden soil beneath. I've since dug all the coir in, and planning to grow garlic in ~ half the bed.

Btw, they used to sell compressed coir 'seed raising mixture' and compressed coir 'soil', but I had to settle for second best, the 'potting mix.' They do have compressed coir 'mulch' tho.
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Brendan
Mackay, Q
31st March 2011 5:59am
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Original Post was last edited: 31st March 2011 6:05am
snottiegobble says...
I guess this coir is from sugar plantations or maybe coconut palms? We dont have it down here!
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snottiegobble
Bunbury/Busso ( smack in the middle)
31st March 2011 11:43pm
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Brad says...
coir is processed coconut husk i believe. bunning has it in perth sg and I'd be very surprised if they don't have it your way. I've used it when I don't have compost to get organics and water holding into a soil or potting mix. Wet it thoroughly first - its poor if it ever dries out completely. Its also very good worm farm bedding. If you are going away a while, just chuck some on top.

here's a vegie bed question. How much did you start at once when your garden was new? Did you evolve slowly and add bit by bit, or go hard and do lots at a start?
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Brad2
G Hill,Perth
1st April 2011 12:09pm
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krazykangaroo says...
Bunnings has it everywhere and you can also find the smaller blocks at other hardware stores like Mitre 10.
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krazykangaroo1
Casterton, vic
1st April 2011 12:21pm
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snottiegobble says...
Dont know about Brendan, but I built the whole thing in one go ( just sand here) & didnt plant or sow anything until complete. Half filled with yellow sand & topped up with potting mix, sheep manure, top soil etc.
Coir would seem to fill the gap of not having the light mulch that I need. Many thanks!
Pictures - Click to enlarge

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snottiegobble
Bunbury/Busso ( smack in the middle)
1st April 2011 12:37pm
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Brendan says...
Hi SG,
Wayne sent me this: http://www.brunnings.com.au/coir.html
It's Brunnings brand available from Bunnings. I use the 'potting mix'.

They don't seem to have 'coir soil' anymore?
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Brendan
Mackay, Q
2nd April 2011 8:33am
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snottiegobble says...
Thanks Brendan, I will certainly take a trip to Bunnings. I suppose its not cheap but certainly worth it if it saves watering!
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snottiegobble
Bunbury/Busso ( smack in the middle)
2nd April 2011 11:17am
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Wayne says...
It is pretty good price wise snottiegobble, the 15L seed raising block cost me $3.89, fresh from Sri Lanka, how do they do it
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Wayne
Mackay QLD
2nd April 2011 7:02pm
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snottiegobble says...
Thats cheap, Wayne, I hope they have it at Bunnings down here.
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snottiegobble
Bunbury/Busso ( smack in the middle)
3rd April 2011 11:44am
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Charles cant spell says...
Yeah SG we have it over here, just by the fine block (not the course one for orchids), makes 60L once soaked, add this to some sand, compost and manure and your pretty set for a good potting mix. You should also add some bentonite clay to stop it becoming hydrophobic (due to all the organic matter) if the pots dry out.

$12-16 for 60L (once expanded) coir. Brunnings brand. I like 60L as its a big wheelbarrow chock full. Ie drop in block fill wheelbarrow with water come back in 15minutes, give it a whack, back in 30 minutes or over night good to go.
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Charlesstillcantspell1
Perth Innaloo
3rd April 2011 6:44pm
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Original Post was last edited: 3rd April 2011 6:45pm
Wayne says...
Thanks for that advise Charles
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Wayne
Mackay QLD
4th April 2011 9:41am
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Brad says...
thats a fine particle potting mix, (depends a bit on your compost). ok for shorter term / vegies, but for fruit trees, I'd mix with some potting mix or aged 'chipped mulch' (you need air in the pot)
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Brad2
G Hill,Perth
4th April 2011 11:04am
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KrisB says...
Hello, after a couple of years of growing vegies behind a dodgy straw bale wall, I'm about to build some permanent raised beds.

At the moment I'm thinking of one long bed along side out house, with three raised beds coming out perpendicular (about 2.4 x 1.2 each).

Those sizes are to suit sleepers which I would have 2 sleepers high, but before I make the final choice and start getting sleeper prices I thought I'd see if there any other options people here might suggest that would be either less expensive (concrete sleepers are about $33 for short ones!) or better for long term maintenance...

Thank you :D
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KrisB
Canberra
4th April 2011 12:18pm
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snottiegobble says...
KrisB Colourbond is a good option, its a lot lighter than sleepers of any kind & is easily held in place by steel star pickets. It takes less room also! I would prefer the corrigated sheets to the flat formed, they are tougher & dont bend as easily.
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snottiegobble
Bunbury/Busso ( smack in the middle)
4th April 2011 5:16pm
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Brendan says...
My mates new veggie garden I helped to make & design.
As you can see, the beds are dead level :-)
Pictures - Click to enlarge

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Picture: 2

Picture: 3
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Brendan
Mackay, Q
3rd July 2012 7:46am
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Original Post was last edited: 3rd July 2012 7:49am
Xiem says...
You and your mate are very clever Brendan. Can you give some rough details about the materials you used and their cost? Maybe you should think about mass production. It might sell well in the suburbs. Maybe it could also be adapted as an annex to a chookhouse. A pair of them could be used alternatively; while one is used for growing vegetables the other could cover a fallow plot and be used as a chook run. Anyway, well done.
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Diego
 
3rd July 2012 10:33am
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Julie says...
Why such elaborate protection Brendan? Birds, weather? Dog?
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Julie
Roleystone WA
3rd July 2012 8:44pm
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John Mc says...
Beautiful neat job, congrats
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JohnMc1
Warnervale NSW
3rd July 2012 9:29pm
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snottiegobble says...
Congratulations Brendan, thats really something to be proud of! A great idea for my planned nursery/fernery.
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snottiegobble
Bunbury/Busso
3rd July 2012 9:46pm
#UserID: 3468
Posts: 1458
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Brendan says...
Thanks Everyone. The shade cloth is 30% and the poly pipe just fits over a gal star picket.
Julie, the main reason for the protection is to grow veggies all year round. Our main growing season here is winter, but he wants to grow veggies in summer, or try to.
The other reason was to stop bugs, mainly in summer :-)
Xiem, total cost was less than $500, the labour was free. (apart from a 'few' cool drinks :-)
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Brendan
Mackay, Q
4th July 2012 8:25am
#UserID: 1947
Posts: 1722
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amanda says...
You can help me build one of them anytime Brendan! :) It's a beauty.

Will the humidity build up in there in the wet season tho..?
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amanda19
Geraldton. 400km north of Perth.
4th July 2012 9:18am
#UserID: 2309
Posts: 4607
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Brendan says...
Hi amanda, wasn't that hard to build really, his soil is sandy-loam (next to a creek), that made things easier :-)

Yeah, hasn't been proved in a wet season yet, but he's bought some tarps to protect the veggies from heavy rain. We'll wait and see, I'll report back later.
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Brendan
Mackay, Q
7th July 2012 7:25am
#UserID: 1947
Posts: 1722
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