The Q&A Archives: What Material Should I Use To Construct A Raised Bed On A Historic Site?

Question: I live in an old farmhouse from the 1800's. We would like to have raised beds near the house for our vegetables. We are concerned that material we select be somewhat historically accurate. we have cedar readily available, would this be an appropriate wood to use?

Answer: In most historic recreations it is a good idea to use easily available local materials just as the original builder most likely would have used. Since this is for raised beds, you could use the local red cedar tree trunks staked into place or perhaps some wide boards. You could also consider cedar shakes if they were available in your area, or local stones such as might have been dug up while preparing the soil. You could also use the "poor man's method" and simply pile the dirt with steep sides to shed the rain.

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