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Full of vegetables, this raised bed is easy to water, maintain, harvest.

Full of vegetables, this raised bed is easy to water, maintain, harvest

This raised vegetable bed makes handsome use of a sunny side yard. For owners Robert and Diane Mills of Fresno, California, it grows a summer bounty of vegetables and herbs: 6 tomato plants, 6 eggplants, 12 peppers, 3 hills of zucchini squash, a 10-foot row of pole beans, plus perennial chives, oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme, and annual plantings of basil and parsley.

Built of overlapped railroad ties anchored with steel rods, the box stands 24 inches high. It measures 8 feet, 8 inches wide and 16 feet, 8 inches long. Slumpstone pavers set in sand provide clean footing all around, so after-work gardeners can pick dinner vegetables quickly without changing into garden shoes.

The Mills outfitted the bed with a dripwatering system. By adding a timer (theirs is a combination timer-valve, shown in the photograph at left) to the control head, they can set it manually to water from 5 to 60 minutes. When they're away on vacation, plant-sitting friends need only to set the timer for them.

The drip system is laid out in six parallel lines running the length of the bed and connecting E-fashion at one end to a lateral line. Button emitters placed near plants on the lines do the bulk of the watering. The Mills sometimes add mini-sprayers to the system. Particularly useful for sprinkling seedlings, they can be pulled out and replaced by drip emitters as needed. The system runs off a hose bibb and is equipped with a filter. Water pressure is simply adjusted at the faucet or valve.

Photo: Easy-maintenance raised bed has a drip-watering system. Paving gives access on four sides. Landscape architect: Robert Boro

Photo: Sprinkler option: for overhead watering, low-volume jet sprays (on extension tube risers) can be plugged into drip lines

Photo: Hand-set timer lets drip system run for 5 to 60 minutes. Drip tubing, timer-value, and filter attach to hose bibb in one corner of the bed
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Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Jun 1, 1986
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