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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2004 9:10 am 
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Location: McKinney, TX
Hi, we just moved to a brand new subdivision in McKinney (TX), where the earth has been stripped, conditioned and re-sod (is that a word?). When trying to determine how to reconstruct a habitat for wildlife and build a vegetable/flower garden :lol: I came across an article in the May issue of Child magazine that included a stripped section of grass that was amended and planted with annuals, perennials and vegetables. My question is whether, in our situation, we should strip up our sod and use this approach (we have BERMUDA grass :cry: ick!) OR build raised beds instead.

We have a 2 year old and another due in August, so that's another consideration--a pregnant lady and small children are doing the tending.

Other considerations:
--it's a zero lot with no shade trees, however, we're building an arbor that will cover half of the lawn out back, while allowing midday sun to shine through.
--we have a sprinkler system that we'll have to build around, and the nozzles currently raise 3" off the ground to water.


What would YOU do in my case?
THANKS for your input!

-S


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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2004 9:27 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2004 10:06 am
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Location: Keller, TX
What would I do were I in your situation?

I AM in your situation... only I have double the kids (hence the need for a garden).

I have a relatively new lot (10 years ago this was all open country), bermuda lawn, no shade trees.

I went with a raised bed. The bermuda invades from time to time, but I've found if you have good, loose soil in the bed, it's fairly easy to pick out. It's the clay soil it won't budge from.

As far as the wildlife... As they say, "if you build it..." Seriously. I have so many bugs in my garden, I'm amazed.


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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2004 11:14 am 
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Location: McKinney, TX
Ha! True, the bugs aren't really hard to come by, even beneficials like ladybugs...I miss having the birds, though. Think they'll visit, too? And I'm not talking about the grackles who come to look for food left over from the taco truck that snakes thrpugh the neighborhood every day with tamales for the workers :?

(thanks!)
-S


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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2004 11:48 am 
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Location: Keller, TX
I have more birds this year than ever before (then again, I've only lived here for two years). Even though I don't see them all the time, I see a lot of bird droppings on the leaves.

I thought they pecked tomatoes, but they have left them alone so far, apparently in favor of the bugs.


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PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2004 8:39 pm 
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If you have bermuda, as I do, You will need the raised beds. Even if they are just 3 bricks high so the kids can get in there. Otherwise, the invasive bermuda will get in there. :shock: Make sure you do not get any bermuda rhizomes or roots in the beds. In feng shui gardening, squares and rectangles are good for children, so those Pavestone bricks might need to be substituted with something which will give you the ability to have right angles. (In case you were thinking of using them... And if you were open to the mindset of feng shui...) :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 5:59 am 
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That's what I was figuring, with the bermuda grass. I'm noticing already in my front bed and in the neighbor's beds (who haven't yet raised them with a good brick or stone border) how quickly the grass can invade.

I think we will go with raised beds, and it's been helpful reading all of this. It seems to be the most practical choice and I think it will look great, too.
Thanks!

-S[/b]


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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 12:02 pm 
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I haven't managed to stop the bermuda with the raised beds, but I can at least control it a little better. Not only that (I may have mentioned this previously), but it's farily easy to pick out of loose soil.


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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 1:50 pm 
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hamelcd wrote:
I haven't managed to stop the bermuda with the raised beds, but I can at least control it a little better. Not only that (I may have mentioned this previously), but it's farily easy to pick out of loose soil.


Thanks! :) Good to know a little better what to expect with my raised beds. Yes, loose soil does let go of the blasted stuff a lot easier!

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 4:01 pm 
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Location: Denton,TEXAS
Nadine wrote:
If you have bermuda, as I do, You will need the raised beds. Even if they are just 3 bricks high so the kids can get in there. Otherwise, the invasive bermuda will get in there. :shock: Make sure you do not get any bermuda rhizomes or roots in the beds.

Well, this was good to read. I have a bermuda backyard with sprinkler (pop-ups) system. I've been debating whether or not to put a tiny garden back there. I've actually been reading an old, used copy of Square Foot Gardening.

One concern I've been debating with myself has to do with bothering with a raised bed or not. (I guess this discussion answers that.) The other has to do with whether the existing sprinkler system will create too much fungus problems in the garden. (I always keep plenty of cornmeal on hand, so I suppose that can be dealt with if it should arise.) At least I tend to only water weekly, if that.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 8:27 am 
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As long as you keep up good watering practices, and do not water when it has rained, you should be fine. (Don't water right now. We have had 4.4 inches since Saturday and today is Monday)!

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