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  1. #1
    New Member
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    f12 farmall100,h

    Default Raised garden beds

    I have 21-4x10 garden beds that I've had for 10 years now and the sides are falling apart.I need some ideas on new material for sides that won't cause me to take out a home loan! Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Super Star Member dave1949's Avatar
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    Industry, Maine
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    New Holland TC40

    Default Re: Raised garden beds

    Do you have any trees in the 6-8 inch diameter range? You could stack them, bore a 1" hole through, and pound in 5/8" rebar to keep them in place. They probably won't last 10 years, but if you have them, the price is right and they are good garden food as they rot.

    21 raised beds! What were you thinking?
    "Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end ..."
    When there is a huge solar energy spill, it is called a "nice day"!

  3. #3
    Elite Member
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Bobcat CT225

    Default Re: Raised garden beds

    I don't think there are too many really good answers to this question. On that scale, anything you're going to use is going to add up to some expense. Back when I was considering raised beds, I just threw in the towel and decided to plant in the ground.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member jeffinsgf's Avatar
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    Springfield, MO
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    JD 4410

    Default Re: Raised garden beds

    How tall are your beds? I've built raised beds from a wide variety of materials and in a wide variety of sizes. My oldest beds were the most ambitious design. They're 18" wide 2 inch thick cedar panels, glued up from lumber cut from trees that were destroyed by an ice storm. There's a 5 x 5 "post" at each corner and the beds are 4' x 4'. They're gorgeous, but they were a ton of work. The effort was monumental but the design used the downed trees efficiently. A few years later a wind storm (some say EF 0 tornado) took out several more cedars. This time I had them cut into 4 x 4's and laid the beds log cabin style. These beds aren't as efficient a use of the lumber, but were much easier to build and will last a long, long time. You could do the same with landscape timbers, which quite often go on a pretty serious sale at the home centers.

    The last beds I built, I just took some big cedars that the neighbor knocked down with his dozer, cut them to length with my chain saw and buried them slightly. They're a little over 10" deep and look very attractive in the garden.

    If you've got trees, use them. If you have to buy...there's no cheap road.
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  5. #5
    Gold Member DaveOmak's Avatar
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    Omak, Washington
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    '53 Jubilee

    Default Re: Raised garden beds

    At the big box stores, they have PVC fencing that is 2 X 6 lumber size... UV resistant, bug proof.... and should last forever.... 16' lengths are about $1 / foot..... Not bad when you consider it's the last time you will build a raised bed....

    Dave

  6. #6
    Elite Member
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    nicholson, pa
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    John Deer Lt160

    Default Re: Raised garden beds

    what about hugelkultur beds? I have used these in my front garden (flower bed and herb garden near the driveway).
    I have in my garden pt landscape timbers that i was able to get for 1.97 a piece when they were on sale. The beds are 4'x8', I have seen them made out of concrete block, bricks, field stone, etc. I would really like to do field stone ones but I have a few projects to do before I get to that point.
    How to Build Irrigation-Free Raised Beds with Hugelkultur : TreeHugger
    Is Hugelkultur Sustainable? : Arcadia Farms
    The Art and Science of Making a Hugelkultur Bed - Transforming Woody Debris into a Garden Resource Permaculture Research Institute - Permaculture Forums, Courses, Information & News
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  7. #7
    Super Member Scooby074's Avatar
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    Nova Scotia
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    BX 25, ZD 326

    Default Re: Raised garden beds

    I just got thru building a new raised garden, 4'x12'x24" high. Made out of PT 2x12. Cost me about $250! I cant imagine building 21 of them.

    Last year I built one of the same basic design, cost me around $175. PT wood has gotten crazy expensive. A single 2x12x12 is $39.50

  8. #8
    Bronze Member fordoutback's Avatar
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    Upstate, NY
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    Mahindra 4035

    Default Re: Raised garden beds

    I used the I-beam from a couple old mobile homes to build my beds. the beams were 12 inches high and I cut them at a 45 degree angle on the ends and welded them together. I was able to sell the axles for what I paid for the whole frames so the cost was only my time. I was able to build 3 of them in a day. I have had them for 5 years now and they are still in excellent shape. I just have to be a little careful when I use the Mantis to till them.
    The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work..........

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
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    Staunton, VA
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    John Deere 3038E

    Default Re: Raised garden beds

    All kinds of folks will warn you against using pressure treated wood because of leaching chemicals. I built some beds near the house this year out of recycled cinderblock. You can usually find some by talking to contractors, and it's a fraction of the cost of new. I cap them with solid concrete blocks as well. I do line the blocks with heavy plastic so they don't wick out moisture too much. And I put hardware cloth under them to stop moles, voles and other underground varmints. The beauty of blocks is that, as I age over the next few years, I can add additional rows (using rebar to stiffen) so that I can garden in my later years without bending so much.

    I have used logs - locust is best, but tough to work with. Two locust logs pinned with rebar work well and lasted me about 15 years.

  10. #10
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    f12 farmall100,h

    Default Re: Raised garden beds

    Well guys,there are some very good ideas here,so we'll see what comes down the road.Our beds are 10" deep.We'll be collecting material over the summer so we can start building this fall.

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