Easy-to-Build Raised Bed Gardening Plans Using Reclaimed Lumber

Getting started in raised bed gardening is easy and offers a great many benefits to the gardener.


| January/February 2013



Raised Bed Gardening

Raised beds are an excellent way to grow healthier plants in a smaller space with less time, effort and expense.

Photo By Terry Wild

Raised bed gardening is an easy way to add more efficiency and beauty to your garden areas with little more than some good old-fashioned elbow grease and a little lumber. There are a number of reasons to incorporate them into your yard, if you haven’t already. Here are some of my favorites:

Create a pleasing design in your yard by installing raised bed gardens that function as architectural elements, delineating zones within an overall landscape plan. They can serve as focal points, direct traffic flow, or define outdoor “rooms” for eating, relaxing or entertaining.

• Easily condition your growing soil through the addition of compost and other amendments so you are not limited to what may be poor quality soil in a given location.

• Set boundaries for plants that might otherwise take over with elevated garden bed edges. Our friends have a chocolate mint bush that has taken over vast swaths of their garden, so when we took some cuttings for our yard, we made sure to plant them in a raised bed where they won’t get out of control.

• Provide structure to which you can attach trellises, hoop houses and row covers, allowing you to attain a larger yield and extend the growing season.

• Work with comfort in beds that have been built to whatever height works for you. This is particularly useful for people with limited mobility.

alfred green
5/5/2014 7:48:52 AM

***I have successfully and safely used new pressure-treated lumber for my raised beds. None of the chemicals used are dangerous like the formerly used arsenic, thanks to federal regulations.


rico
8/23/2013 7:42:20 AM

talking about framing I used trex decking for the sides and cedar for corner and side support. costly but I will never have to replace them in my lifetime or worry about contaminants.


doug lass
6/18/2013 4:39:58 PM

I have used the square foot gardening method in the past and found it to be very good for getting a lot of produce out of a small area. For the vertical portion I use electrical conduit and elbows that I staked in the ground. I'm not doing it this year because of health reasons, but I hope to get back next year!


eliazara campbell
5/10/2013 2:49:55 PM

I agree with Aruvqan... I am ALL for recycling as much as possible. But you should NOT use pressure treated wood with anything that you might eventually eat (fruits, herbs or vegetables). Way to many toxic chemicals to risk it. I would not risk it, even with a bed liner.


aruvqan myers
3/23/2013 4:02:14 AM

And I saw no warning about toxic chemicals used to treat some lumber. I really do not want preservatives leaching into the soil.


john vaughn
1/16/2013 12:09:59 PM

Do you varnish the "inside" of the boxes? How do you prevent them from rotting? thanks






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