Raised garden bed building materials,backyard landscape ideas privacy,garden layout idea,st. mary garden statues - PDF Books

Composite timber - Made with a few different material depending on the company, it's commonly made of polypropylene and wood fiber.
Brick - Brick beds turn out just as lovely as the rock kind, it just gives a different look. Concrete and Concrete Blocks - Both of these offer a less formal look - but permanent beds. Beds made of lumber are usually attached joined at the corners with galvanized or stainless steel screws or bolts. Every time I open a plant catalog or see a television commercial for sale-priced $99 raised bed gardening kits, I cringe! You will be planting seeds and transplants close, because the beds are smaller and the soil is richer.
This 4 x 4-foot bed is crowded with productive peppers, cucumbers, a tomato plant and insect-repelling flowers that are edible.
Raised garden beds have become very popular in home and commercial gardens as gardeners learn of their many advantages. Most raised beds available today are made of cedar, recycled plastic or a composite material using wood flour and polypropylene. Garden beds and planters have been traditionally made using one of several varieties of cedar.
HDPE (High-density polyethylene) plastic is the type used for most recycled plastic raised beds.
It’s best to leave the cedar fence boards unstained and untreated when used for compost bins or raised garden beds. We used to sell vinyl raised beds until we learned the environmental implications of vinyl.
Even with these signs of decay, the boards may still give you years of use when put together for raised beds if they are cedar. With spring now upon us, I’ve been asked by several of my clients about the viability of raised bed gardens for growing vegetables and, in one instance, flowers for cutting.
Raised beds lend themselves to the development of complex agriculture systems that utilize many of the principles and methods of permaculture (agricultural ecosystems intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient).
If using timber to raise the garden bed, ensure that it is an untreated hardwood to prevent the risk of chemicals leaching into the soil. On the market are also prefab raised garden bed solutions which are made from long lasting polyethylene that is UV stabilized and food grade so it will not leach undesirable chemicals into the soil or deteriorate in the elements.
Sometimes raised bed gardens are covered with clear plastic to protect the crops from wind and strong rains. Some are made from recycled materials and can have UV ray protection to give it longer life. Back in the day (which wasn't that long ago *ahem*) pressure-treated wood was, indeed, a bad idea around veggies gardens. I've been wrestling with the "treated lumber" issue ever since I started using them (raised beds, that is). You don't need to spend that kind of money to build your own four-by-four-foot bed or even a 20-foot-long one. But, plants grown close together in raised beds mature faster, because they compete for nutrients and sunlight. Although you can fashion a raised bed out of other materials such as heavy timbers, landscape blocks or water-filled plastic, commercially available raised beds usually stick to tried and true materials, and designs which are easy for a gardener to assemble.
Many gardeners consider the aesthetic appeal of their gardens to be as valuable as the harvested crops.

At the end of its lifespan, a cedar bed can be left in a low spot of your yard to slowly melt into the earth. Once the bed is filled with soil it is too late to apply this treatment, since rot in cedar beds commonly begins on the inside of the boards, where the wood is in contact with the moist soil. This is an extremely durable and non-leaching plastic, commonly recycled from milk jugs, which is used not only for raised beds but for outdoor fixtures such as picnic tables, park benches, boardwalks, municipal waste bins and similar applications which must be durable, long-lasting and able to withstand the extremes of winter freezing and summer hot spells. The appearance of recycled plastic garden beds remains consistent even after years of exposure to weather. Recycled plastic garden beds can be cleaned easily by washing the surface with a wet sponge or power washer.
Should the time come to dispose of your recycled plastic beds, after decades of use, the material is still 100% recyclable. When the package arrives at your door, have a few dollars on hand to tip the deliveryman and have a friend or two ready to help you move it to the garden. So recycled plastic beds need some form of cross-bracing to stiffen the sides and prevent them from bowing outwards.
You need to be careful with the wheelbarrow and shovel because these beds will mark, or even crack, if hit hard enough by a heavy tool.
As a raised bed is taller and longer, the increased weight puts pressure on the sides and can bow them outwards.
Some reviewers feel the material is flimsy and the corner screws are not well anchored, but most reviews are favorable. They have been developed for gardening and are stable from any leaching to the garden beds. Putting a liner beneath is not recommended, as you want the plant roots to access the subsoil, where they will find trace minerals, garden amendments which have migrated downwards, and drainage. And if your objective is to grow tomatoes, building a raised bed against a sunny wall or fence means that heat-loving crops, such as tomatoes, will thrive and require less watering than those grown in pots. They can be used effectively to control erosion and recycle and conserve water and nutrients by building them along contour lines on slopes. They can be created over large areas using any number of commonly available materials and efficiently maintained, planted and harvested using hand tools. A double skinned wall provides an air pocket of insulation that minimizes the temperature fluctuations and drying out of the soil in the garden bed.
And here are 8 materials for raised bed gardens described in an excellent article in Houzz. I started out using 2" x 10" x 12' but that got rather expensive for the number of beds I wanted to make.
We’ve used them all in our own gardens, and have years of track records to help you decide on the ideal bed for your garden. Available in a variety of species, such as Western Red Cedar, Atlantic White Cedar, Yellow Cedar, Port Orford Cedar and Juniper, cedar is the wood of choice for patio decking, fencing, outdoor furniture and many styles of garden raised beds. Or the usable parts of the wood can be split into smaller pieces and used for garden stakes and trellises. It is difficult to predict how long a cedar raised bed will last since there are variables such as the type of cedar used, the soil conditions in your garden, and the weather patterns of different regions.
Because HDPE is a stable material it does not leach any chemicals, toxic or otherwise, into the soil within the garden bed. And because the color is added before the molten plastic is poured into its mold, the color runs through the boards, so if you should scratch the sides of the beds it hardly shows because the color is the same. This may not be necessary for most gardeners, but since recycled beds are available in different color choices, some colors (especially white or grey) may lend themselves to cleaning at the end of each gardening season.

HDPE plastic is so valuable that future recycling depots may even pay a premium for this material. A common solution is the use of aluminum “flat-stock”, which is just a straight bar of aluminum drilled on each end and secured to either side of the bed.
The raw material is costly to manufacturers of raised beds, and this cost is reflected in the price. They are designed to be used with flanged corner joints which can be stacked to make the bed any height in increments of 5.5”. Take special care when using the weedeater, or the plastic whip may scuff the bottom edges of the composite bed.
My answer is quite simple; if you’re serious about raising vegetables or creating a cutting garden, constructing a raised bed make perfect sense. Don't forget to check this helpful hardware before you purchase.I have to mention that some (okay, all) of the best raised beds that I've seen feature a ledge or cap that's been mounted to the top board of the bed.
I have now switched to using 1" x 6" x 12' which cut the cost to build the beds by more than half. After I situate the boxes (four or five grouped together makes a good sized garden), I put down three layers of newspaper to suppress errant weed or grass seeds that might sprout.
Beds of 13 feet or longer by 4 feet wide are cheaper to build using blocks than with cedar boards. Wood is a natural material, and lends itself perfectly for garden beds which complement the natural beauty of the plantings. The outside of the beds can be treated with an exterior finish such as Tung Oil Finish, which will brighten and preserve the original cedar color. Recycled plastics can also be considered an investment since they improve the perceived value of your property, so cleaning the beds can be of benefit especially if you plan to resell your home in the years ahead.
Some gardeners use this only on the inside of the beds, since beds deteriorate from the inside. These sitting areas can keep you out in the garden longer by making garden chores like weeding, cutting flowers, or harvesting more comfortable for you.
I buried these 6" deep and supported the sides with wooden steaks spaced at 3' intervals, giving me beds raised 12" above the paths. If you wish to apply such a finish, it is recommended to do this before the beds are assembled and crops are planted.
However, it is easy to calculate the long-term savings with recycled beds, since they do not need to be replaced. But in a commercial garden or garden center, the recycled beds make a lot of sense because they hold up to heavy use, occasional abuse and still look like new after a quick wash. Or you can ask a friend who knows wood identification, or take a sample to a building supply and they will know. I absolutly love raised bed gardening, it not only looks good but makes managing the garden so much easier. And creative gardeners will appreciate the myriad design styles available with the composite bed system.

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