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Unless you're a great fan of long pig, discussion of home grown produce, varieties, methods, hints and tips, and so forth, might be better placed here.

Previously, I've grown raspberries (inherited from the previous owner) outside with no protection or particular care in a reasonably sheltered part of the UK a bit north of London. I have plans to do the same again, but the garden is in need of much work and I need to plan some things also.

This year I've bought tomatoes and gherkins (for growing in a "growbag greenhouse), along with gherkins. These will mainly be turned into a base tomato sauce and bottled, with the gherkins being pickled and used as one base in piccalilli, going forward.

I've also bought chillies to grow on windowsills - they don't seem to be hardy enough to survive outdoors here and my little greenhouse structures don't have the space for everything.

I've seen people using used tyres to create raised beds, but I wonder about leachates for food products, anyone have any information on that? I think they'd work well for potatoes if they don't poison you.

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I've seen raised garden beds here -- East Central Indiana -- with long boards about 4 inches in width fastened two to three high. Good soil is then added into these beds and then the seeds or plants planted.  I have not seen the following done, but I presume for one season you could use cardboard boxes to do the same thing. Probably a lot of smaller boxes would work and would do better to hold the soil in than larger cardboard boxes.

Good luck.

 

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I'd go with grow bags for potatoes over tires, tires regardless of health concerns aren't very space efficient.  You could also build some custom potato grow boxes instead, the lumber might be more expensive for the box but you could re-use it.  These guys have a ton of plans and articles for building various raised beds and planters.  https://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/how-to-build-potato-planter-ze0z1410zcwil/

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Yeah, I wouldn't use tires for this purpose, nor used railroad ties as some folks here do.

I've never done raised-bed gardening, but I watched a Youtube video wherein the guy used cinder blocks laid without mortar. Looked practical. One could use those galvanized spikes to add some stability.

 

 

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I'm putting in simple raised beds here, 4'x8' 8" high made with2x8's.  They'll be sitting on dirt so they don't need to be super deep.  The soil in my backyard is ok but I want to get a jumpstart on building it up so I'll fill them with a mix of compost and top soil.

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I plant tomatoes directly into soil* that I dig a bit and rake to make pretty lose one (it is already relatively loose, but can be a bit more compacted after spring rains). I don't plant a lot of tomatoes, ~10-15 plants which produces enough tomatoes to last me and rest of family over late summer. Cucumbers are also grown same way, and about same quantity. Other than watering those (a lot, summers can be a bit dry here) no additional maintenance is really needed.

Other than that I have two trees of "ringlov" (semi-wild plum species, close to but not really cherry plum) that grow on their own producing more fruit that can be eaten or processed (jam or fruit syrup concentrate, they are not that great in pies), one apple tree (producing pretty sour apples but those are excellent for pies), one pear tree that my mother planted (old method, place semi-rotten fruits into ground and hope for best :)producing extremely sweet pears, bush of mint that has to be trimmed heavily since it grows very, very well, and a bush of the wild rosemary. Oh, and a bush of wild strawberries that produces loads of tiny, tiny (4-5mm) strawberries that taste like most artificial strawberry flavor you can imaginable :)

*Soil here has high % of "black soil" so very little compost is needed and practically no fertilizer. YMMV and method might not be applicable for other places.

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My backyard should be mostly black dirt, but it was a farm yard 20 years ago and according to the neighbor it is very compacted.  I plan on putting in 5 raised beds and digging one equal sized in ground bed for Asparagus.  I'll grow tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos and cucumbers in two of the beds, the other 3 will for green beans (I use them for pickles that I can and freeze the excess) beats, carrots, and summer squash. It's Iowa so I shouldn't have to do much more than water and weed them.  

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Raised beds serve two purposes for me- reducing kneeling and localising soil improvement. The soil is not great and thin. My 1950s property was the last of an estate build and topsoil covers building rubble with only what was left over after robbing by earlier residents.

2*8 boards seem ideal, but I'd need to clear more space for those.

I won't grow mint because it's nearly as invasive as knotweed.

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18 hours ago, Harold Jones said:

Yes, but you can just buy it.  Or grow it as a house plant if you like, just don't plant it in your yard.

Exactly this.

Also, given how mint grows around here, trying to use it all up for mojitos would kill me.

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