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Old 03-04-2023, 10:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Building raised garden beds to outlast me

Here's a pic of some raised garden beds I built that I'm kind of proud of. Not for the craftsmanship at all but because I think it's a good, practical idea. They're really simple to build and the material is scrap cement siding that I found lying around. You won't find any expensive cedar wood that only lasts 10 years around here.

If you try to buy a similar raised garden bed at Home Depot or Lowe's, it will probably cost $80 or more from what I've seen.

Steps:

1) Scavenge 4 cement siding boards around a home construction site. You're looking for about 2'-3' in length, I would say.

2) Cut the boards to length to make either a square or a rectangle.

3) Find a 3/8" masonry drill bit, drill, and a circular saw.

4) Use the drill bit and the circular saw to cut a slot, halfway down the end of each cement board. So you now have 2 slots in each board, one on each end. I know this isn't explained very well -- just google "Scandinavian Saddle" and you will get the idea.

5) Just fit the 4 boards together like a log cabin and you are done.

I hope you can see the attached image.

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Old 03-04-2023, 11:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Not so easy to find such cement sidings here anymore, but the idea is good.
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Old 03-05-2023, 10:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Is that Hardiback ?
I just noticed you are in Austin.
I put up bundles of that stuff at work.
A lot gets broken. Let me know if you ever need some at a discount.
My mom gave me a Greenstalk vertical garden.
Just filled it with dirt yesteday, actually.
I also notice you have a Leaf.
I'm growing more and more interested in those after finding out some have quick charging.

Anyways, back on topic !
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Old 04-24-2023, 07:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Fun, I swear that I mentioned ordering Mom a raised garden kit, but I cannot find it, just this!

This is the second one I made her. The first rotted and I think had 2x6es.


This has 2x8s, but won't last forever, either.

It just needs to outlast Mom.

My sister has cedar raised garden boxes that are maybe two feet high and that seems much easier to use, but I thought "If two feet are good, what about three?!" and ordered one of these:

It was $140 shipped. I don't have any idea what wood they used, but the whole thing was 33 pounds.

How many plants can you actually grow in a 2x4 planter?

I tried finding the first picture and apparently I didn't share it on Facebook, but I found plenty of people selling cedar garden boxes.

There may have been better deals than the Amazon one of unknown wood, but none of them were local!

Mom says that it isn't deep enough.

I asked if she wanted me to add 6" of cedar.

"No, I will just suffer in silence!"

SFGate says "The root system of a tomato plant might extend to as much as 2 feet deep, but the main portion of the root system lies in the first 12 inches under the soil," so hopefully 18" would be enough? https://homeguides.sfgate.com/deep-w...row-59872.html
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Old 04-24-2023, 08:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Next year I might rebuild the raised beds using these concrete blocks and some pressure treated 2x6. Should last nearly forever.



I covered my tiny lawn in a yard of compost over the weekend and overseeded. If that doesn't get my lawn healthy, I'm going to concrete the whole stupid thing over.
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Old 04-24-2023, 11:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I always hear that you shouldn't use pressure-treated wood around plants which produce anything you consume.

I still see it, though.

Do you know what else you shouldn't do?

Make garden boxes from chemically-treated pallets.
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Old 04-25-2023, 01:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hadn't considered that. I'll have to research it. I would be surprised if a significant amount of harmful products end up in the food. It's not like they are treating the wood with lead and mercury(which are not chemicals), or something.

I generally regard people who makes the "it has chemicals" claims as being uninformed. Water is a chemical. People that bring up chemicals in a negative context need to state which specific chemicals, in which specific concentrations, which have a specific risk to health. Otherwise what they are really saying is "bad things are bad".
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Old 04-25-2023, 03:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Else redwood.
Quote:
https://www.mrhandyman.com › blog › 2020 › december › how-to-protect-wood-posts-in-ground
How to Prevent Fence Posts from Rotting - Mr. Handyman
Western red cedar - naturally rot-resistant wood with a long lifespan. White cedar or black locust - prevents the growth of fungi (suitable for marshy environments). Cypress or redwood - naturally water-resistant. Why Use Treated Wooden Posts Softwood posts in the ground that are not treated may only last up to 6 months!
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Old 04-25-2023, 09:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
I generally regard people who makes the "it has chemicals" claims as being uninformed. Water is a chemical. People that bring up chemicals in a negative context need to state which specific chemicals, in which specific concentrations, which have a specific risk to health.
That's the case when it comes to the agribusiness. Many uninformed (or even just plain evil) folks say that all chemicals used in agriculture are bad, yet they seem to forget it would be nearly impossible to grow some staple crops such as rice without chemicals. Once I went to a rice farm where a cropduster aircraft was being used to spread urea, which is used to replenish Nitrogen to the soil. The same chemical is also used on the DPF which is used in Diesel engines to decrease emissions. So, how would that chemical be inherently bad? Not to mention some skin care products also have urea on their formulation.
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Old 04-26-2023, 01:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Dont know about today but in basic training we were warned asians were using "night soil" in rice paddies. Def isn't labeled toxic so it would be edible, but yucch.

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