Has anyone ever used those new-fangled raised bed products? There's orcaboard; there's composit timber and plastic; and then of course just brackets where you provide your own wood. There are some really gorgeous mortise and tenon kits as well that just use wood, but I'm afraid I'd put a lot of money into them, only to have them rot relatively quickly. What do others use?
Jamiesmith, that's what I'm thinking! I expect that just about anything will degrade over time, but it just seems that wood is SUCH an inefficient material for this purpose. I'm leaning towards the PVC material. That will break down too. I'm just a little concerned about any chemicals that will leach into the soil. I'm sure it's fine for flowers, it's vegtables I'm a little concerned about. I'm paranoid, I know, I know.
Don't know how this thread got in to High Yield, but anyway...I'm beginning to be very impressed with discussions about covering cinder block with various stucco or staining products. They're not very expensive, are sturdy to sit on, and can be very attractive when covered with something else. I didn't even think to go there until I read the forums! I suppose they would crumble over time, but so am I, so cross that bridge when we come to it.
My yard is so small that I would begrudge the square feet consumed by cinder blocks. My paving stones are only 3/4" to 1" thick.
They don't produce a very stable wall, but it takes only a hard tap or kick to nudge them back into alignment. And they deter anyone from walking on the beds!
I keep my beds narrow, except for one about 5 feet wide - that spot gets sun and is well-drained, so I maximised it.
I'm thinking about embedding a few stepping stones into it, to mkake it easier to reach into the cneter. Thaqt is only if I can figure out a way for them NOT to compress the soil under them (or knock the RB walls over!). Something like relatively narrow supports that go down to a hard layer, then 1" pavers set flat on top of them.
>> Don't know how this thread got in to High Yield, but anyway...
The very original request for a new forum was about raised beds, but more people in the Vegetable forum wanted a "high yield" forum. There was an extensive debate about the name.
I think the admins moved many related threads into the new forum, to centralize discussion of things like Square foot gardening, raised beds, intensive practices, inter cropping, succession planting and so on.
I have traditional landscape timbers for my large beds but love the black plastic small beds that I use for my 3'X3' areas. They just snap together and never rot. I currently am using five of them and had them up and running in 10 minutes apiece. They are called Grow Beds from Gardeners Supply. No rot and no constuction skills needed. I am a gardener, certainly not a builder (but wish I was). Thry are pricey but easy.
This discussion is so timely for me...today I bought 1x8 pine boards to finish my raised beds. Home Depot didn't have cedar, and pine was the cheapest. I'm really feeling my way here- very old property, once home to a plantsman specializing in unusual perennials and alpines, pretty much on its own for several decades between then and now, I'm trying to make sense of it all. The veggie garden is an extra, not a landscape feature. I decided to keep the investment to a minimum, also minimize the permanence, and make the space I want now.
i would rather spend $60 on wood and have to replace it every 15-20 years than spend hundreds of dollars on masonry and never be able to move it once its down. i don't know about you but i like having the option of re-arranging things.
I agree about being able to move things around...I just started my beds last fall and already re-arranged! I finally got to plant a few things yesterday- hallelujah! Spinach, peas, radishes, beets, lettuce...and lots of starts indoors waiting for the nights to stop dipping back into the 30's. Spring is springing, construction is over...at least for a while.
Hey, hey, hey. Pictures, please!! I have a hard time visualizing dimensions, measurements, etc. (which is why I did so poorly in organic chemistry in the late 70's, before computers!). I'd love to see paver gardens, and trex and grow beds and whatever else people have used and are happy with. We just have green, peeling, 4-5 inch steel strips, supposed to be used to keep weeds out? Doesn't make much of a raised bed. Thanks for sharing PICS!! Janet
I did a little powerpoint presentation of my raised beds. http://youtu.be/z6vq7nuH-c8 Take into account that the before pictures were in the winter and the after pictures in early September - so the change isn't quite as dramatic as it seems. The beds are all 4' x 8' trex.