Quick Bed Building Update (No Slugs Allowed!)

12 by 4 feet raised bed.

12 by 4 feet raised bed.

I built my raised bed last week! It didn’t take too long. I laid out lengths of weed barrier over the space where the bed was going, with a half foot of extra space on each side. I removed all the grass beneath the bed and around it. Some I had removed last year when I was planting right in the ground. We connected all of the sides first, and then put in some posts on the outside to help keep it in place.

Last year I lost a lot of my small potential harvest to slugs! So keeping slugs out is a major goal this year. Having the grass and sod removed in a kind of rocky moat all around the bed is supposed to help keep them out and will avoid any long bits of grass they could crawl up. Also, the weed barrier will hopefully keep them from going under the bed walls. I stapled the weed barrier up along the side of the bed to try to make that barrier slug proof. The last anti-slug measure I’m taking is a copper fence! Apparently slugs do not like to cross over copper due to some kind of electrical shock they receive.

Keeps Slugs out.

Keeps Slugs out.

I purchased a roll of copper mesh that I’ll run around the outside of the bed. This may all seem excessive, but since I’m not actually living right next to my garden I won’t be able to pick the slugs off every day. And they’re eeeevil.

I’m trying to follow Mel’s Mix to make the soil for my garden bed:

  • 1/3 peat moss
  • 1/3 vermiculite
  • 1/3 compost

The peat moss and compost has been easy, but I’m having trouble finding the vermiculite in large quantities. Vermiculite is a mineral that helps the soil hold water. Everywhere I’ve tried is sold out right now. One store should have some in a few days… but if anyone out there knows where to find 8 cubic feet of vermiculite around St. John’s, send me an email!

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3 comments to Quick Bed Building Update (No Slugs Allowed!)

  • Rick Kelly

    I just noticed that the bed doesn’t exactly look great right now… I should probably saw off those posts, and maybe put down some mulch around the bed. so it doesn’t look so bad :)

  • Tess

    Hi Rick,

    I am curious to know if the copper wire keeping the slugs out? Thanks.

  • Rick Kelly

    Hi Tess,

    YES! I haven’t seen one slug in the garden, or anything with bites taken out of it. Last year (without the copper) all of my squash plants and many greens were slug food. It’s just running all along the outside of the bed where it touches the soil.

    They sell it in 25 and 100 feet rolls at Lee Valley. I saw that they were using a single thicker copper wire last year in the Safer Soil garden behing the Gathering Place. I don’t know how well that worked, but it may be just as good, and probably cheaper.

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