Unusual materials from making raised beds?

wbcountrygirlJanuary 23, 2014

This year I would like to heighten the sides of our raised beds. We have 3 central beds made from rail road ties, and I'm ok with those, it's the long bed that encircles the garden that I'm looking to heighten. As it is now, the sides are made of 4x4 pt posts.
I'm wondering if there is a material I'm not thinking of that will do the job? I hate to spend a ton of money on lumber as it's a large garden and most of my budget would go toward wood and not plants. The most economic material I can think of is landscape timbers. They are, I think, 8 feet long and about $4.00.
Any other suggestions?

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planatus(6)

We live near a sawmill, and when we need boards for our terraced beds we go see what they have in terms of rough-hewn rejects, which are very cheap. Sometimes all they have is poplar, but a few years ago we got some thick hemlock boards that are nice. We use rebar stakes to hold the boards in place, pounded in flush with the tops of the boards. Each spring, we spend maybe an hour replacing boards that have rotted.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 9:49AM
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wbcountrygirl

Great idea!!! We have a mill not too far away. I'll drop by and inquire. Thanks :)

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 10:45AM
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littlelizzy123

That is an incredible garden! It's beautiful! I used landscape timbers with rebar pounded in. Worked great. However, plain old 2x8s work well too. Not as permanent, but give some height without being bulky.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 6:09PM
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wbcountrygirl

Thanks LittleLizzy! We love it and spend most summertime evenings in the garden together, so it's entertainment for us too. I love the idea of 2x8's and the two boxes at the far end of each side are made out of 2 rows of 2x8's, but they are just so expensive and it's a big garden. I was hoping for a more economical solution, but we've just about come to the same conclusion. I think treated 2x8's are the way to go. Thanks!!!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 10:20AM
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charlieboring

It is a beautiful garden. I agree with you that 4 inches is not high enough. When I built my raised beds, I decided to use landscape blocks since they last longer than wood. Wood is much more simple to erect. Here is what the landscape blocks look like in some of my beds.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 10:44AM
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charlieboring

Here is another bed near my patio.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 10:45AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

If you want your design to look nice, there are not many choices and the all cost a bit of money and work.

Beside lumber, there are concrete blocks/ bricks, genuine bricks, stones.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 8:32PM
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dajsnipe

You may want to rethink the rail road ties, they have a been shown to leach creosolte into your soil.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 10:30PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

Try to get black locust. It is highly decay resistant. That's why it is used for fence posts. If black locust is plentiful in your area a local sawmill may be able to supply it rough sawn at a reasonable cost.

Jim

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 5:43PM
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