Raised garden - Knowledgebase Question

West Seneca, Ne
Question by meorgek
June 4, 2010
Can you give me any tips on what type of wood/size wood to use for a raised garden in my yard. I'd like to skip pressure traeted as I want to make this as chemical free as possible. Also--what type of soil ?

Answer from NGA
June 4, 2010


Your garden can be any length and width you want but it should be at least 18" deep to allow for root growth of your plants. 24" deep is even better. As for what materials to use, you're in good company! The debate is still on as to the danger of using pressure treated wood in the garden. While little leaches out of intact timbers in a garden, some gardeners prefer to avoid it. Non treated woods will decay so fast that they are not worth the time and money. You may be able to extend the life of the wood by treating it with linseed oil. It's food grade and acceptable to organic gardeners. It's a treatment you'll need to repeat every two or three years. There are other woods that work well and resist decay, but may be very expensive. These include cedar, redwood and cypress. Other materials you might use to build a raised bed include cinder blocks, decorative stone, and preformed retaining wall stones sold by home improvement centers. Then again, you could just use a non-bordered raised bed and count on doing some occasional work to keep them maintained as erosion wears them down. I'm sure I didn't solve the debate but I hope you find the information useful.

You can fill your raised bed with garden soil amended with compost, aged manure, or just about any other organic matter available. I mix my own by using 2/3rds garden soil to 1/3rd organic matter by volume. Incorporate the two and then fill the bed. If you don't have garden soil you can purchase topsoil. Mix organic matter into it and then fill your raised bed.

Best wishes with your garden!

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