Thursday, March 11, 2010

Rasied-bed support group

I'm getting ready to build my rasied beds this weekend and next week, to prepare for all the plants I will need to be picking up in a few weeks!!

I'd love input from you all if you have built rasied beds before.
Am I doing it right?
  • Looking to get 8 boards that are 1"x12"x16' # 2 Pine from a local lumber place here, in Plymouth.
  • Seems like the boards themselves will be about $190.00, including tax. Does that seem like a lot of money? I compared to Lowes and Home Depot and they seemed to be right about the same price.
  • Can I seal the boards so they last longer if I line the inside and the sides of the bed with landscaping fabric like so?:

I don't want chemicals leeching into the soil, but I also don't want to re-build my bed frames every 4 years. That could get pricey! My goal is to get the beds built by next weekend, March 20th!


  1. There are a lot of options when it comes to raised beds. You are right to avoid treated lumber because it will leach into the soil. Landscape fabric may stop that, but I'm not really sure. Here in Mpls we found an eco-friendly sealant you can paint on your wood. Even if it's sealed it will break down eventually - that's what wood does.
    Oh, and I hope you meant 2x12 and not 1x12. If you fill those beds up it puts a lot of pressure on the boards to bow out and 1 inch is kind of flimsy. Of course you can attach lots of stakes to keep it in line.
    As far as price, that does seem a bit high. Have you tried Craigslist? We actually built our raised beds from the boards we removed from our roof (the original 2x12 or 16 xreally-long. You may be able to find cedar on Craiglist (which is a good option). We used old fence posts for one garden bed. You can also use cinder blocks - and you may be able to find enough on CL.
    It all depends on how much money you want to spend and how you want it to look - random and cobbled or pretty and perfect. Frankly, when your garden explodes you may not be able to see much of your beds. =)
    If I think of anything else from our experience I'll pass it on!

  2. Hey Arika, here is a fun idea for using cinder blocks:

    The sealant we used is called AFM Naturals Clear Penetrating Oil. It's organic and plant based and low VOC. We used this on our chicken coop actually, not our raised beds. My husband suggests the best thing is to put in your wood and then put plastic down on the inside where the wood will be touching the dirt - that barrier will also help protect the wood. We got the sealant at Linden Hills Natural Home here in Minneapolis.