I had an idea for our FG today: following our success with the wooden beds that Tony helped populate, plus a YouTube video about ginseng agroforestry, I considered whether raised beds would be useful. After trying my idea out on Monica, I think I have to start building some.
The idea is to make some large, shallow frames, 6ft x 3ft or bigger, out of the 12″ boards I salvaged from the hayloft plus some hooped, netting clôches to match them. By setting these out around the FG, they can be used as nursery beds for specific plants; to kick-start different eco-systems; and to protect tender cash crops. Movable, they can even be deployed in Monica’s allotment or the orchard.
When they’re first set out, cardboard mulch will be covered with compostable layers. This gets me past the problem of mulch blowing away. The soil can be tailored to the plants without digging and, in addition to the clôche’s defence against voles, moths etc, specific protection like slug nematodes or fungicides can be focused on the beds that require these.
Nursery beds will remain in place, some in each shade type, until no more plants need to be raised. The eco-starter beds will be lifted off each guild of plants when they’re strong enough; corner braces on the top should make them resist collapse during the move. The cash crop beds might stay in place or not, depending upon the plants’ needs.
If I can make the beds and clôches in sizes that stack inside each other, they won’t even take up too much room when stored.