raised garden bed - Knowledgebase Question

Mesa, Ar
Avatar for r00sterfish
Question by r00sterfish
October 2, 2009
What materials should I add to a raised garden bed and how does one figure out how much of it I need. Size will be 8 x 4.

Answer from NGA
October 2, 2009
Choosing a building material can be tricky. Many people prefer not to use pressure-treated lumber for growing vegetable crops, fearing the chemicals used to treat the wood will leach out. Raised beds made from untreated pine will last a few years but will rot and need to be replaced. "Plastic lumber", made from recycled plastics is another option--perhaps not as attractive but certainly long-lasting. Redwood or cedar are other long lasting materials and concrete blocks make attractive raised beds, as well. A mixture consisting about 3/4 good topsoil, and the other quarter made up of aged compost, well-rotted manure and/or shredded leaves or grass clippings should work well. Depending on the soil type, you may want to add some lime to raise pH, and/or some bonemeal for phosphorus. Two by six lumber is perfect, as it is easy to work with and will give you six inches of depth. Your bed should be at least 12" deep - 18" is better as it provides more room for root growth. Staff at your local Home Depot can help you calculate just how much lumber you will need for your project. Best wishes with your garden!

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