I’m planning on growing some veggies this year. Mainly maters, peppers, and onions. I want to build a raised bed and I’m looking for ideas. Preferably economical materials.
I built my first beds out of the rafters of my neighbor’s garage when he took it down, and when those rotted after several years I replaced them with treated lumber treated ( treated might not be a good idea) and in a corner near a fence I used field stone. We put heavy landscaping fabric between the beds and laid down a layer of pea gravel for walking. It’s best if you can have the bottom of the planks and inch or so below grade to prevent erosion.
Later I added the stock panels to keep deer out.
Don’t use lag bolts to fasten the long planks to the cross pieces- they’ll eventually work out. 16 penny nails actually work better. Wouldn’t hurt to fill the joint with construction adhesive to help keep water out as much as to bind them, I suppose, but we didn’t and they’ve held up for maybe 20 years or so now.
We kept them to 4 feet wide, originally expecting to work the beds from either side. When I added the fencing (stock panels) we still found that you can manage OK from one side. Sometimes I lay a plank down to help.
I’ve rebuilt my non-treated lumber beds 3 times over the past 15 or so years. 5-6 years seems typical. 2x12x10’ boards aren’t cheap, so is last time I went with cinder blocks. I realize that the blocks will/might affect my pH, but I use a lot of compost which tends to buffer such things, that and I test pH and in the past 2 years it has not been an issue.
if you can find cedar or juniper boards for a decent price they can last 20 + years. my father used white cedar and his beds were 25 yrs old before needing replacing.
I’ve read somewhere that the new treated lumber isn’t toxic like the older ones were. anyone else hear this?
Thanks I’ve heard that as well but aside from rumors I’ve not heard anything to back it up
Agreed! I think I would go with Pex if it were in the budget.
They may have different kinds. The pressure treated just has copper in it. Keeps fungi off. But they don’t last very long anyway. Cedar or paver stone is the way I’m replacing wood in my beds.I need some replacements this year. I’m going to look at various options. Cedar would be easier since they are wood already.
Here’s mine! I terraced and raised them up to get the sunshine over the fence. The retaining wall pavers are cheap from CraigsList or local FaceBook for sale items from people moving out or renovating. They last forever and easily configurable. Very good to stack to create a raised bed or a wall.
I just make edges with a single row of cinderblocks butted together with the holes facing up. I line under the whole thing with landscape fabric to keep weeds from coming up under. Cinderblocks are the perfect depth, cheap, easy and they last forever. Can make any shape you want, and change it in an hour. Sometimes I plant marigolds in the holes in the cinderblock. Not the best picture but you get the idea…
I didn’t think about cinder blocks. Have have a stack of about 15 of them leftover from my maple syrup evaporator. Hummmm…
That’s what got me started using them. Had some leftover from a pit I made for roasting a pig. It worked so well I kept with it. When I roast a pig now I just borrow some from my garden for the weekend…
I never used any materials for raised beds. I just shoveled the soil from the rows onto the beds and raked the bed flat. Worked really well. In the fall I would place leaves from the lawn in the rows and it would stay there until the following fall when I would place that decomposed material on the planting beds and that years fallen leaves on the rows to act as mulch/weed barrier and to break down until placed on the beds the following fall. About 4 years ago I gave up the raised beds, tilled it flat, and continue with the same repetitive process with wide row planting beds and I made the lower 1/4 of the bed a place for perennial veggies and herbs (rhubarb, asparagus, thyme, oregano, et.al). But this is the “kitchen garden”, I have another 6500sqft of veggie garden on a location farther away from the house.
Where did you get that dump trailer. I need one of those.
I got that cart from Lowes and here is the link
TSC has them too.
I have also used cinder blocks for many years. To cover over the rough edges, I top them with 2x8 wood by tapping small pieces of wood into the cinder block voids and then screwing the 2x8 planks down to the small wood pieces. For a 2-layer cinder block bed, this also keeps the top layer in perfect alignment.