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Newbie Asks, 'Can I Make A 'Tufa Raised Bed?'

17 years ago

Hi, everyone --

I have a sloped front yard and would like to make a level bed at the top of it, so I'll need to build a 12' long, 6"-10" high (as the ground slopes) by about 3" thick wall around the border of the bed. It seems like 'tufa might be perfect for this project, but after reading all your (fascinating) posts, I have some questions.

I was thinking I could bend sections of wire mesh to make the frame of the wall and then just pack the 'tufa in and around it, but:

1) The bed gets some sun, and in the FAQs it says to dry the 'tufa in shade, and

2) Is the lime in the cement going to be an issue if I'm building the wall right where it's going to stand? I could run water over it before filling the bed with dirt, but I couldn't soak it, or anything. Or would it be better to put some sort of plastic backing on the side of the wall that will touch the soil? Here in SoCal, our soil is already so alkaline that adding lime is pretty much the kiss of death in the garden.

Any advice on this project would be *greatly* appreciated -- I'm happy to follow instructions to the letter, but I've never done anything like this before!



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