Raised Bed Borders
Posted: Feb-23-2004 at 9:41am
I know this topic has been covered on and off, but I have several of those redwood border round boards. Can I use them for the borders around my raised beds? I know pressure treated stuff has chemicals, etc. Those redwood timbers may not be made from redwood, but they are reddish in color...and are pretty commonly sold.
Posted: Feb-23-2004 at 1:57pm
Bryan, As far as I know they have no chemicals in them but they will rot fairly quickly. You might think instead about using cedar fence boards that will last a few years longer.
Posted: Mar-03-2004 at 1:45pm
We have been gardening for probablly close to 40 years and have always used raised beds, On a wierd whim, what started as a terrace, has now become my favorite way of constructing a raised bed. Instead of wood that rots and twists, I use cement blocks 6'w x 16'l x 8'h. You can change the shape without much difficulty, it doesnt rot and it collects and provides warmth, and it lasts for a very long time. It is easy to amend the soil, and it all stays where you want it. Fill the holes in the blocks with good soil and grow basil, cilantro, garlic marigolds, lobelia in the squares. they seem to thive in those warm blocks. It is easy to use a Little Wonder tiller inside the boundry, My main raised bed inside measurment is 4 feet wide by 40 feet long, and it holds lots of veggies, with flowers--usually slug repellant marigolds-- in the blocks. After one rain, the dirt filled blocks are pretty much locked in place. Finally, it is nice to know that you have at least 8 inches of good healthy soil to start you plants in, and by doing some hard prep digging, you can get parsnips to grow straight and reach their full potential of 12 to 14+ inches long! If you decide to move--heck,dont get mad,just pack up and take your garden blocks along!
Posted: Mar-09-2004 at 1:16am
I agree with both Debbie and cj. The ones you are talking about are worthless. (You're right they aren't redwood. They're painted with something that has a red tint. I painted some of mine with a sealer and they were still worthless.) Unless money is an object these aren't great. Almost all of mine need replaced. The cedar will last much longer and the cement will never rot. Either is better. I do a lot with cement, and rock- almost all has been given to me, which is great. I get a lot of stuff from people that are tearing stuff up. LOL. How much of a 'handyman' are you. You could build rock walls instead of the cement. Just cement them together. ??? Even I have to think about that last idea a little more. I'm not sure how that would work out. It'd look great tho. Herbs growing out of the little cracks. Esp. the vines- big ol' squash, pumpkins, mariglods. We're doing another garden bed this summer (the last one got filled with flowers, don't know how that happened, LOL) We are using railroad ties for that, the new bed. But first I am going to find out if they do anything bad to your plants. Esp. since it's a vegi garden.
Posted: Mar-09-2004 at 3:01am
I have long understood that the leaching of the creosote in the railroad ties is far worse than the CCA products, especially for vegetables.
You can view an EPA info sheet at:
Posted: Mar-23-2004 at 12:57am
Thanks Gary. I don't think I will use them for the garden. I wont 'buy' any either, but I may still use what I had given to me for steps or something away from our food or the pond. These are pretty old... so maybe most of the bad leached out at the house where they came from. At least that is what I am thinking right now. I am going to check out the site when I am done posting. It wouldn't let me go there from here. Thanks a bunch for the information!