Ask a Question forum: Price of raised beds?

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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
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Jai_Ganesha
Dec 19, 2016 11:58 PM CST
This coming spring I'm considering getting a couple raised beds delivered. I don't have a truck to get the materials (lumber and soil) myself so I'm curious about how much they should cost.

Last year (technically still this year, I guess) I saw several people advertising that they could build/deliver them on Craigslist but the prices varied quite a bit. I don't want to get ripped off but I'm willing to pay for the quality.

I'm just curious what the ballpark range is, and in particular (if you're willing to share) how much you've paid in past years, or how much it "should" cost.

I live near Pittsburgh, if that matters.
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Dec 20, 2016 5:44 AM CST
I'm not in the USA so can't suggest exactly what you're looking for but we built two raised beds without a truck. We were able to squeeze 8ft pieces of cedar into our car but here Home Depot will rent a vehicle to take stuff home, I think it is about $25 for a short trip. Then we got the bags of compost etc. in the car and made two or three trips for enough to complete the beds. We got corner brackets for the raised beds from Lee Valley - they ship by mail but we're lucky to have a store nearby. If you're far from a town this may not be practical of course, nor if you don't have a car at all. You can find the cost of lumber online, we made our beds 8 x 4 so it took 6 pieces of wood. Then you can calculate how many square feet of fill you need and price that online, we got ours from Walmart.
[Last edited by sooby - Dec 20, 2016 5:48 AM (+)]
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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
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Jai_Ganesha
Dec 21, 2016 12:42 AM CST
Thank you. I'm looking specifically to buy them for the reasons you stated. My car is tiny and I cannot drive a truck safely.
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Dec 21, 2016 9:28 AM CST
There would be a number of different factors that would affect the cost -- the size of the beds and the material used (plain lumber, treated lumber, cedar... the price goes up in that order) would be the two biggest factors, I would think. When you say 'raised beds,' do you mean the type that are actually large containers on legs, where the whole bed is raised up off the ground, or the raised beds that are just a framework on the ground that is filled with planting mix?

Gardeners Supply sells a 2x8' cedar elevated planter box for $279 ( http://www.gardeners.com/buy/p... ), without the planting mix, so I would think the price should be lower than that if someone locally built one for you.

If you mean the on-the-ground type of raised bed, that would be a much simpler project and a lot cheaper.

Either way, if you think you might like to tackle the project yourself I don't believe it would be too hard to find someone with a truck that would like to make a few dollars by picking up the materials for you. Smiling
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Dec 21, 2016 9:32 AM CST
You might take a look at what Gardeners Supply has on offer and compare that to the costs you're being quoted. Might also give you some ideas.
http://www.gardeners.com/buy/g...

edit: Sandy beat me to it!
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[Last edited by woofie - Dec 21, 2016 9:33 AM (+)]
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
Dec 21, 2016 5:30 PM CST
You can make your own walls if you are OK making them only 8" or 12" or 16" tall.

I use concrete paving stones standing on end, and leaning in slightly for stability. They never rot, they don't leach copper or arsenic or anything else I know of, and they are easy.

I think they are cheaper then wood when you count up how many planks each wood wall needs, and the hardware to screw them together, and rebuilding them every ??? years when they rot. I also like that I can change the size and shape of beds very fast and easily.

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Concrete paving stones fit in any trunk and cost around $1.25 each, and each one gives you so many linear inches of wall:

8"x16"x 3/4" paver: 8 inches tall and 16 inches long, - - - - $0.94 per linear foot of wall
12" x 12" x 1" paver: 12 inches wide & 12 inches long - - - $1.25 per linear foot of wall
8"x16"x 3/4" paver: 16 inches tall and 8 inches long, - - - - $1.88 per linear foot of wall

They are easy to set up and move around. Pile up some soil in a row next to the line where you want a wall. Lay some pavers down on the ground right next to where you want them.
- Pull one paver upright and set it down where you want the wall to start.
- Hold it upright with one hand.
- With the other hand, drag enough soil over against the paver so it will stand up upright.
- - - - - repeat for every paver in the wall.

Now level the soil off and tidy up the pavers so they all lean around the same amount and fit flush next to each other. Fiddle with the corners until they look nice enough for you. I find that even a big gap hurts nothing, it just lets a little soil out at first.

Water seeps out between pavers and even diffuses right through the concrete, drying out the bed. If you don't need THAT much drainage, line the insides of walls, or at least the corners, with heavy plastic film, such as bags of compost come in.

Rather than buy all-new soil, I would rather buy amendments and mix them into preexisting soil.

Thumb of 2016-12-21/RickCorey/6dc819

Thumb of 2016-12-21/RickCorey/867b13 Thumb of 2016-12-21/RickCorey/1a572d




Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Dec 21, 2016 6:59 PM CST
Crying Blinking Confused

Four pieces of wood, connect at the corners and you have a raised bed. Very basic carpentry skills and a few tools.

Buy the wood when it is on sale or...at Home Depot they have 75 % off. I may buy the wood one piece per week but eventually I have enough to create a raised bed. Several of my neighbors are in construction and they know that I'm happy to take any leftover lumber (for free! Thumbs up ).

This is a small/short bed; one of two that I made for my daughter so she could have a kitchen garden.
Thumb of 2016-12-21/greene/ccbb95 Thumb of 2016-12-21/greene/a0ac2a

Mostly I create 'soil' by making compost then add fine bark chips, manure, etc. But if the store has a good sale price, I purchase as much as I can.
nThumb of 2016-12-21/greene/8045b8

I have a very small car but I managed to stuff a bunch of bags inside the car and the trunk.
Thumb of 2014-08-02/greene/5d5919 Thumb of 2014-08-02/greene/7c57b7




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Name: Dave
Southern wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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Nhra_20
Dec 21, 2016 7:35 PM CST
It varies by material and size. I found at Menards,they have lumber called Cedartone. Suppose to last like cedar, but not as expensive. You can also make one out of retaining blocks and such. Nice thing about a raised bed it you can easily add to it later if need be.

If using lumber, I add pieces of wood to go from front to back to keep it rigid and add support. Along with the corners. I added a 4×4 cut to same size of the boards. Then I screed I screwed it together with 3 inch deck screws
[Last edited by Nhra_20 - Dec 21, 2016 8:18 PM (+)]
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Dec 21, 2016 7:46 PM CST
Lots of good suggestions here, Jai -- I hope they are helpful to you!
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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
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Jai_Ganesha
Dec 21, 2016 8:39 PM CST
Thank you all. There are some good ideas here.

I have to be careful with the appearance of the bed because I could be fined if it is an "eyesore." So that is another element but I have to consider – – if I build it myself it is more likely to be an eyesore because I am not a professional carpenter.
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Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
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NJBob
Dec 21, 2016 9:59 PM CST
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Old...
These make putting together raised beds easy. Watch the video.
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
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Jai_Ganesha
Dec 21, 2016 11:38 PM CST
NJBob said:http://www.homedepot.com/p/Oldcastle-7-75-in-x-5-5-in-Planter-Wall-Block-in-Tan-Brown-16202336/206501693
These make putting together raised beds easy. Watch the video.


I have never heard of those, but they look very useful. Thank you!
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Dec 22, 2016 9:13 AM CST
Hey, I'd never seen those either! Cool!
Unfortunately, they aren't available around here. At least, not from Home Depot. Neat, though. Gonna have to look around.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
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Jai_Ganesha
Dec 22, 2016 9:23 AM CST
Have you ever seen the metal ones? I have seen them used on raised beds before, but I don't know where they come from.

They aren't as blocky though I would imagine they are more expensive. They basically look like giant modified hinges.
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Dec 22, 2016 9:30 AM CST
Gardeners Supply sells some like that.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
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Jai_Ganesha
Dec 22, 2016 9:36 AM CST
What are they called?
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Dec 22, 2016 9:41 AM CST
Ah, and here are some less expensive ones on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00I8PDP9W/

They are called "Raised bed corners." Here are the ones at Gardeners Supply:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00I8PDP9W/
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Dec 22, 2016 10:02 AM CST
Depending on what kind, and amount of gardening one is doing, large containers make for good "raised beds" too.
I use a large number of plastic pots which are 20 to 25 inches in diameter, and about the same depth.
This fall I acquired "Rubbermaid" bins which are about 40 inches long, 15 inches wide and deep. I did not buy the lids, and will drill drain holes in each, and then fill with compost. I think that I will try growing three vege plants in each.

These bins cost $10 CDN each at end of season.
[Last edited by CarolineScott - Dec 22, 2016 10:03 AM (+)]
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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias Gardens in Buckets
Region: Pennsylvania Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Jai_Ganesha
Dec 22, 2016 10:25 AM CST
CarolineScott said:Depending on what kind, and amount of gardening one is doing, large containers make for good "raised beds" too.
I use a large number of plastic pots which are 20 to 25 inches in diameter, and about the same depth.
This fall I acquired "Rubbermaid" bins which are about 40 inches long, 15 inches wide and deep. I did not buy the lids, and will drill drain holes in each, and then fill with compost. I think that I will try growing three vege plants in each.

These bins cost $10 CDN each at end of season.


My neighbors have been fined for having similar looking things in their yard. So I have to be careful. I don't think I could get away with regular Rubbermaid bins. I don't have a backyard, just a really big front yard.
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Dec 22, 2016 10:51 AM CST
Are you planning on growing vegetables or just flowers? I ask because another member mentioned not being allowed to grow vegetables in his front yard.
And would raised beds made of cinder blocks be acceptable? I've seen some very attractive raised beds made with them.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.

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