The Q&A Archives: Constructing Vegetable Boxes

Question: I'm interested in constructing a vegetable box on the side of my home with either cedar wood or treated timbers. The dimensions would be about 10 feet by 20 feet. What material should I use? How is it constructed? And how should I go about amending thesoil?

Answer: For a raised vegetable planter area, use cedar or redwood, not treated lumber. 2 x 12's are popular but 2 layers of 2 x 6's make a stronger side. The length can be as long as the pieces of lumber you can find, but the width should never be more than about 4 feet which is as long as a human can reach from either side of the bed. A good soil for vegetables is 1 part good loam mixed with 1 part peat or truly composted wood shavings. 2 parts loam to 1 part peat is minimal. Let your mix age for about a month then take a sample to a soil lab for testing to determine future fertilizr needs.

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