raised-bed Raised beds/Garden Rows combined

In reading the CARDI publication "Hot Pepper Production Manual for Trinidad and Tobago" I came across the mention of "cambered beds." There's a tiny embedded image which I can't really make out, and a Google image search returns only the sort of beds one sleeps in. The dictionary on my Mac defines camber as "a slightly convex or arched shape of a road or other horizontal surface." Any knowledge or ideas of cambered beds?

I saw an image somewhere on the web of the CPI garden where the rows seemed to be wider and taller than usual, with an actual furrow at the crest. I have been moving toward this type of garden, as it combines the advantages of raised beds, such as good drainage and ease of watering, with the economy and simplicity of construction of traditional garden rows.

Anyway, that's how I'm building my garden this year, except the rows will be taller and wider, and with more organic material, than those in the CPI images. We have high rainfall here in the spring, but it gets extremely hot and dry by midsummer. Also, the soil horizon consists of 6 inches or so of nice loose sand atop an impermeable clay hardpan.

I will document with photos here on the board.
 
I read somewhere that they put a camber on the top of the raised beds in some tropical areas to help the excess water in tropical downpours to run off. Cos you can have toooo much water.
 
My old man( I never had a mum) used to sing me to sleep many moons ago with a song about a cowboy leaving the red river valley. Is it the same place?

(just noticed that this was the "Dirty Harry" Post # 357)
 
My old man( I never had a mum) used to sing me to sleep many moons ago with a song about a cowboy leaving the red river valley. Is it the same place?

(just noticed that this was the "Dirty Harry" Post # 357)

Wow, that brings back great memories of my Dad putting us boys to sleep at night by playing cowboy songs on the harmonica.

Hey, thanks for asking. Yes, we all know that song here. There is another Red River that flows through the Dakotas, but I'm pretty sure the one that flows through North Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma is the one from that song. It is cowboy country, after all.

Here's a great aerial pik from Wikipedia. The pinkish sandbars a very typical, but you only see the water this clear during the late summer when it's stopped raining for a while. The rest of the time it's a murky light orange:

Redriverbonhamtx.jpg
 
It's good that you researched the name cambered first to give you an idea of what message they were trying to convey.

I use Edward Smith's book, "The Vegetable Gardenerer's BIBLE" and it thoroughly covers wide rows, organic gardening methods, raised beds and deep soil techniques. The book covers raised beds in 2 ideaologies: contained and opened. Contained being wood or some material to build walls that rise above the natural ground level then the area is filled with some form of growing medium (compost/soil). Opened is just soil piled in the cambered rows and cover a larger area.

I believe "cambered", like you have addressed, is a methodology, raise the ground level, to create a drainage channel along each bed side to allow for a drainage system. This year, I plan on building contained raised beds made of wood. several of these beds will make it easier for me to weed and feed.
 
Intrigued to know what a cambered bed is.

I am part way through making my contained raised beds at the moment. Mainly for the same reason as Burning Colon. Easier weeding and feeding.

They are not finished or filled. Once filled they will give me 16" of growing depth.

DSC02922.jpg
 
It's good that you researched the name cambered first to give you an idea of what message they were trying to convey.

I use Edward Smith's book, "The Vegetable Gardenerer's BIBLE" and it thoroughly covers wide rows, organic gardening methods, raised beds and deep soil techniques. The book covers raised beds in 2 ideaologies: contained and opened. Contained being wood or some material to build walls that rise above the natural ground level then the area is filled with some form of growing medium (compost/soil). Opened is just soil piled in the cambered rows and cover a larger area.

I believe "cambered", like you have addressed, is a methodology, raise the ground level, to create a drainage channel along each bed side to allow for a drainage system. This year, I plan on building contained raised beds made of wood. several of these beds will make it easier for me to weed and feed.

Thanks, BC! Now that I know what it is, I can be more aware of what I'm about. I really prefer the contained type beds, especially since they take up considerably less space, which in turn means I can grow more peppers in the same plot. Maybe next year.
 
Intrigued to know what a cambered bed is.

I am part way through making my contained raised beds at the moment. Mainly for the same reason as Burning Colon. Easier weeding and feeding.

They are not finished or filled. Once filled they will give me 16" of growing depth.

Nice! Besides the reasons you and BC mentioned, I like raised beds for their excellent drainage and increased volume of loose soil, which in turn allows for a larger root ball, which ultimately allows for larger plants and increased production.

Dang, I'm ready to plant today. Right now it seems like forever till transplant time!
 
Found this image on the interwebs. It's from the book Sugarcane by Glyn James:

167536_1591142901733_1330704158_31464504_1094765_n.jpg


I'm guessing the super wide spacing between the furrows is to allow for a large tractor to straddle the beds. I don't think these dimensions would work for a hand-tended chile garden, because the gardener would not be able to reach the plants in the middle of the beds without walking on the cultivated part and compacting the soil.

What I want is more like 1 m across at the base, 0.5 - 0.7 m tall, with a furrow at the crest for watering. There would only be 1 row of plants, set right in the middle. Not a very efficient use of space, but the plants should be quite large if I do everything right.
 
I think cambered beds are really designed for the rural farmer not urban dwellers, unless you have enough land.
I am envisioning installing a neatly organized drip watering system and possibly neatly mulched or covered to keep in the moisture during the day.
 
I think cambered beds are really designed for the rural farmer not urban dwellers, unless you have enough land.
I am envisioning installing a neatly organized drip watering system and possibly neatly mulched or covered to keep in the moisture during the day.

Thanks! I have to agree with you. Even though my garden is far out in the country and there is plenty of room, that drawing looks like an application for a large-scale commercial farm. Maybe a smaller version would be good, however.

Amen to the mulch! I did use a nice thick layer (3") of shredded hardwood mulch last year, and it cut my weeding chores down to almost nothing. Also, I had read about other wonderful things rotting hardwood does to build soil, and it was readily evident. Those plants were at almost twice the size of the ones I had in containers or the ones I grew in the ground with plastic mulch or no mulch.

Drip irrigation probably would be better than what I did last year, however. I just sprayed water around the base of the plants until I thought they'd had enough to drink, and it seemed like about 80% just ran off down the sides of the rows. Most of it ended up puddling in the furrows for the rest of the day. I think that contributed to the problems I had with root rot and BLS.
 
I made raised rows about a yard in width and raised a foot above the soil level. You can keep the rows loose by not watering at the plants. Use the "trench area" between rows for all your walking and you can use them for watering too. I had some 18" long landscape stones around back in an area I no longer wanted for beds. I would take those and dam off the end of my rows. Now fill the trench with a few inches of water. Since the walkway is compact almost all the water is absorbed into the sides of the raised rows. By the time I filled the next row with water all that the previous row would absord was completed. Pull your dams and let the excess flow out. As a free bonus the extra watered my lawn! Made for keeping grass runners out of the garden hell though....

I didn't know it when I was watering this way, but it's the exact same premiss as bottom watering potted plants.
 
Wow, that brings back great memories of my Dad putting us boys to sleep at night by playing cowboy songs on the harmonica.

Hey, thanks for asking. Yes, we all know that song here. There is another Red River that flows through the Dakotas, but I'm pretty sure the one that flows through North Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma is the one from that song. It is cowboy country, after all.

Here's a great aerial pik from Wikipedia. The pinkish sandbars a very typical, but you only see the water this clear during the late summer when it's stopped raining for a while. The rest of the time it's a murky light orange:

Memories, So now I know where it comes from.
 
I made raised rows about a yard in width and raised a foot above the soil level. You can keep the rows loose by not watering at the plants. Use the "trench area" between rows for all your walking and you can use them for watering too. I had some 18" long landscape stones around back in an area I no longer wanted for beds. I would take those and dam off the end of my rows. Now fill the trench with a few inches of water. Since the walkway is compact almost all the water is absorbed into the sides of the raised rows. By the time I filled the next row with water all that the previous row would absord was completed. Pull your dams and let the excess flow out. As a free bonus the extra watered my lawn! Made for keeping grass runners out of the garden hell though....

I didn't know it when I was watering this way, but it's the exact same premiss as bottom watering potted plants.


Thanks, Woody! Yes, I've done that. It works very well.
 
Back
Top