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High Yield Gardening: Raised bed: Plastic or Wood??

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drumlin
Rockport, ME
(Zone 5b)

January 17, 2011
5:32 PM

Post #8316085

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?
Malus2006
Coon Rapids, MN
(Zone 4a)

January 18, 2011
4:57 PM

Post #8317871

It seem like no matter what you use, they all seem to go bad in 20 years so it doesn't really matter.
JAMIESMITH
Decatur, MS
(Zone 7b)

January 27, 2011
2:36 PM

Post #8333736

I would be terrified to put wood in the ground so close to my home. It just seems like you're inviting the termites!
drumlin
Rockport, ME
(Zone 5b)

January 27, 2011
5:06 PM

Post #8334010

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.
shune
Burien, WA
(Zone 7b)

January 28, 2011
9:21 AM

Post #8335095

There's concrete blocks, but they are not that attractive.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 28, 2011
5:58 PM

Post #8398799

Brick-colored paving stones look nice to my eyes. But they cost up to $1 per linear foot, and might only give you 12-16" high walls.

When I'm feeling cheap or want more square feet but haven't made much soil lately, I run 8"x16" pavers the long way, and then the raised part of the bed is at most 8".

Corey




drumlin
Rockport, ME
(Zone 5b)

March 1, 2011
4:10 AM

Post #8399334

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.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

March 1, 2011
6:28 AM

Post #8399663

I'm entering a fith season of using plain pine boards. Some of them are beginning to rot, so will have to be replaced next year.

ten-inch wide by eight-foot boards from Lowe's are $5.47 each here - so it's a small investment.

No termites seen as yet.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

March 2, 2011
10:05 AM

Post #8402308

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.

Corey

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

March 2, 2011
10:07 AM

Post #8402315

>> 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.

Corey

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 2, 2011
12:24 PM

Post #8402547

A "Raised Bed" can be a high yield gardening vehicle...
Aquannie
Jacksonville, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 3, 2011
10:50 AM

Post #8404571

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.
AYankeeCat
Fairfield County, CT
(Zone 6b)

April 15, 2011
8:35 AM

Post #8497565

I build 4' x 8' beds out of Trex and they are on their third year and look exactly the same as the day I put them in.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 15, 2011
11:08 AM

Post #8497829

AYankeeCat - I would have chosen "Trex" too, but I think those boards would out live hubby and me.
Pfg
(Pam) Warren, CT
(Zone 5b)

April 15, 2011
5:02 PM

Post #8498533

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.

Pam
SpaceCase418
Annapolis, MD

April 15, 2011
5:26 PM

Post #8498618

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.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

April 15, 2011
6:01 PM

Post #8498709

I thought my paving-stones-on-end were even cheaper than wood, at around $1 per linear foot, 8 or 12 inches high.

Since I don't mortar or glue them together, they can be re-arranged like furniture. (I just lean them inwards a little bit.)

12"x12" - $1.19 - $1.29
8"x16" - $0.89 - $1.19

Corey
JAMIESMITH
Decatur, MS
(Zone 7b)

April 18, 2011
8:19 AM

Post #8503804

I spent $70 on a 40x3' flower bed this weekend made out of 6" stone pavers from Lowes. It looks really nice :)
SpaceCase418
Annapolis, MD

April 18, 2011
8:24 AM

Post #8503816

Looks like pavers stones win the economy race wish I had known that before I built mine
Pfg
(Pam) Warren, CT
(Zone 5b)

April 18, 2011
1:37 PM

Post #8504383

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.

Pam

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

April 18, 2011
7:42 PM

Post #8505267

I rent in a manufactured home park, and one neighbor and I never quite agreed where the spaces' boundary was.

After she moved out, I moved that wall of the raised bed about two feet her way, in 5 minutes!

If the next residents have a different opinion about the boundary, AND want to plant things, they can plant in that part of the bed.

Corey

bariolio

bariolio
Houston, TX
(Zone 9a)

April 19, 2011
8:42 AM

Post #8506322

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

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

April 19, 2011
3:24 PM

Post #8507019

Here's a work in progress, showing a deep trench with corrugated, perforated drainage pipe.

Corey

Thumbnail by RickCorey_WA
Click the image for an enlarged view.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

April 19, 2011
3:25 PM

Post #8507022

Part of a series of conencted beds, walls not yet very tidy:

Corey

Thumbnail by RickCorey_WA
Click the image for an enlarged view.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

April 19, 2011
3:27 PM

Post #8507029

Here's a 3-foot by 3-foot 12" tall bed for bulbs.

Corey

Thumbnail by RickCorey_WA
Click the image for an enlarged view.

JAMIESMITH
Decatur, MS
(Zone 7b)

April 20, 2011
8:14 AM

Post #8508613

This is the flowerbed I started working on over the weekend.

Thumbnail by JAMIESMITH
Click the image for an enlarged view.

JAMIESMITH
Decatur, MS
(Zone 7b)

April 20, 2011
8:17 AM

Post #8508620

Another angle.

Thumbnail by JAMIESMITH
Click the image for an enlarged view.

JAMIESMITH
Decatur, MS
(Zone 7b)

April 20, 2011
8:18 AM

Post #8508621

From the back door.

Thumbnail by JAMIESMITH
Click the image for an enlarged view.

JAMIESMITH
Decatur, MS
(Zone 7b)

April 20, 2011
8:19 AM

Post #8508622

And a close up.

Thumbnail by JAMIESMITH
Click the image for an enlarged view.

AYankeeCat
Fairfield County, CT
(Zone 6b)

April 20, 2011
10:33 AM

Post #8508883

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.
cathy4
St. Louis County, MO
(Zone 5a)

April 20, 2011
12:41 PM

Post #8509167

great pictures and powerpoint. My hubby insists on a lawn so I can only plant the borders.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

April 20, 2011
12:52 PM

Post #8509186

Hmm!

I never thought of raiding the metal-recyling bin at work for painted steel shelving. If corrugatewd "tin" works as walls for rasied beds, painted steel should do even better.

Corey
AYankeeCat
Fairfield County, CT
(Zone 6b)

April 20, 2011
12:59 PM

Post #8509196

I hate to mow the lawn and pull weeds so I put the whole back yard in raised beds and walkways. :)

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