Raised beds: What to use for the sides?

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by Kris64, Aug 31, 2015.

  1. Kris64

    Kris64 In the Brooder

    Oct 8, 2014
    Black Mountain, NC
    Any suggestions for a siding on a raised garden bed that will double as a dust bath when no plants are in it? I looked at cedar, and it was too expensive.
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    How big a bed are you building? How long do you want it to last? IF you don't want to have to continue re-building it, cedar or hemlock are your best bets. There's also red wood, but that's even more pricey. What ever you use, treat the wood with a good quality stain. I once built raised beds out of cedar, stained the wood, and lined the inside surface of the cedar with plastic. They lasted 20 years. I predict that pine will rot out in around 5 years. Can you find used materials? Perhaps pallets, or hauling stuff out of the burn pile at your local dump (still doable in rural areas. I'm always bringing goodies home from the dump.) Look for cull lumber at the lumber yards, contact some local builders. Look for the smaller businesses who specialize in smaller remodeling projects and offer to be at the job site to haul off the lumber being removed. Got any trees that need to be removed? You could make a bed by putting your logs around the perimeter.
    1 person likes this.
  3. lakones

    lakones Songster

    Sep 14, 2014
    Zachary, LA
    I have cedar around mine, but some of the other things I considered were cinder blocks (cheap), old tin (with a wood seat around the top) and re-purposes shutters (redwood).
  4. islafarm

    islafarm Chirping

    Jun 26, 2015
    Costa Rica
    Wine or other glass bottles neck dug down. If you're going for utility rather than looks plastic 2 liter bottles filled with sand and dug in neck down works.
    Depending on the depth you want and your location you might be able to use firewood logs on their ends, if you live somewhere you can grow bamboo, that works well, have to replace it but sustainable.
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    Or, you could do raised beds without borders. I often do this, and it works well with my mulching system. I just lightly loosen the soil in the bed area, then shovel the soil out of the path on either side and onto the top of the bed. Then, all I have to do is lay newspaper and flakes of hay on the sides of the bed. Easy peasy, and it will stay in place for at least 2 years, perhaps longer. Really, there's no reason you couldn't keep it going indefinitely. You'd just need to occasionally tidy up the sides, and renew the flakes of hay every season.
    1 person likes this.
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I've also done the borderless beds. They're not always as tidy and neat as the wooden edged beds, but they grow food quite nicely. Plus, they allow for flexibility in case you later find out that's not the best spot for a garden bed [​IMG]
  7. Jesusfreak101

    Jesusfreak101 Songster

    Sep 2, 2015
    My Coop
    Old telephone poles that people were throwing away have worked great for me.

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