advice on building a raised garden - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-30-2013, 09:06 PM
 
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once it warms up here a lot (-40c/f) I am building a raised garden in my back yard. I am trying to decide what to make it out of. I have 3 choices so far

1. standard lumber, cheapest but what about rot?

2. ceder more expensive but rot free for the most part

3. some sort or brick, cinder block.

 

I am building 2 for now with the plan on expanding to more down the road, also planning on collecting rain water soon but not this year. I am also gonna somewhat be organic, seeds are regular seeds but will not be using any sort of chemical treatment.

any advice?

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#2 Old 01-30-2013, 10:01 PM
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I'm going to be building a raised garden this year, too. I didn't want to do masonry, so I didn't look into that. Seemed too heavy and labor intensive to build for me and don't think masonry is all that cheap either. Treated lumber has chemicals, so that was 100% no for me, since I'll be growing food. I'm going to check the prices for untreated lumber soon, but I think I'm going to go with the cedar because it was last longer. I'd rather just build the thing once and use it for a long time. I've heard other untreated lumber can last a few years, but my dad (who's helping me build it) hasn't had good luck with non-cedar untreated lumber. Have you priced out the different options?

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#3 Old 02-02-2013, 12:16 PM
 
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Don’t overlook rectangle cinder blocks, they last forever, no mortar is needed and it’s a lot like building with lego blocks.  If you fill the holes in the bricks with soil you can plant in them as well.  Two rows high makes a great raised bed garden for most everything you will want o plant.  Tamara52

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#4 Old 02-02-2013, 12:31 PM
 
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Another nice thing about the cinder blocks is that if you decide in future years that you don’t like the shape or location of your raised bed garden you can shovel the dirt out of the raised bed and into a wheelbarrow or onto a tarp and take the bricks apart and reset them in another configuration.  More important than what you make your raised bed garden from is what kind of soil you fill it with (drainage matters).  If I sound like a know it all it is because I have made just about every mistake possible when it comes to gardening.  A sane person would have given up gardening decades ago but since I don’t know of a twelve step program for gardeners I keep at it and am proud to say that I think I’m getting the hang of it.  My goal is to sustainable grow food year round in Eastern Oregon.  Tamara52

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#5 Old 02-03-2013, 07:29 AM
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I like the cinder block idea- anyone know of obtaining them cheaply/free?

 

I posted this on another thread which seems to be overlooked.

The balcony garden thread. Maybe they could be merged?

 

 

http://lifeonthebalcony.com/how-to-turn-a-pallet-into-a-garden/

 

Search "skid gardens" for more ideas!

 

I have arthritis in my knee and it's been worse this year, so I'm definitely going to do that this spring so I don't have to bend so much.

 

Thank you for bringing up gardening! I read about this last summer and looking around am getting some great ideas!

Herb garden in an old BBQ! I'm always seeing those charcoal grills with garbage!

 


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#6 Old 02-03-2013, 08:23 PM
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I built 6 beds at my parents house 4 years ago. Here are 3 of them. Still in good shape. But I wished I used cinder block and stacked them 2 high. That would have made them 15" tall and would have given me a nice 6" wide ledge all the way around that I could sit on. The front bed here is only 6" tall, with no place to site. Those back beds are 12". The closer the bed is to the ground, the more bending over I have to do. Last Saturday I was out there 3 hours bending over and digging and planting, and I was sore for the next 4 days.

 

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#7 Old 03-10-2013, 10:38 AM
 
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New raised beds we put in earlier this year.  We will be filling them with soil and planting soon.

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#8 Old 03-10-2013, 04:56 PM
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Nice


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#9 Old 04-02-2013, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamara52 View Post

Another nice thing about the cinder blocks is that if you decide in future years that you don’t like the shape or location of your raised bed garden you can shovel the dirt out of the raised bed and into a wheelbarrow or onto a tarp and take the bricks apart and reset them in another configuration.  More important than what you make your raised bed garden from is what kind of soil you fill it with (drainage matters).  If I sound like a know it all it is because I have made just about every mistake possible when it comes to gardening.  A sane person would have given up gardening decades ago but since I don’t know of a twelve step program for gardeners I keep at it and am proud to say that I think I’m getting the hang of it.  My goal is to sustainable grow food year round in Eastern Oregon.  Tamara52

This is not a bad idea.  I already built two raised beds myself.  Last year I  planted my tomatos in the ground that I had turned up and tilled, sort of, but my tomatos didn't do well, they never got that big, and they had blossom end rot.  Even my green peppers had blossom end rot.  I am new to this area, as I used to live in Illinois, and what works in Illinois does NOT work in Kentucky.  The soil is absolutely TERRIBLE here!  Clay, dense, horrid clay.  I got spoiled in Illinois because all you had to do was dig up the grass in a small spot, and plant your plants, and they grew like weeds, the soil there was rich and loamy and black.  Here I am having to tear up the ground, put in raised beds and buy bag after bag of garden soil from the garden center and add compost to try to add nutrients to the soil.  So I think my two raised beds...which I built with cedar 6in wide X 8ft long, will do pretty well. The raised beds are both 8ft x 4ft. 

 

I also have the problem that my back yard is on a slope, a south facing slope.  Which is good for growing things, but bad for building things.  Made building the raised beds more challenging.  Right now I am tearing up a 12ft x 12ft area of grass to put in a tiered raised bed.  I may use the cinder block idea, I think that may look nice, and it would last forever.

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