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Best Wood For Raised Bed Gardens of 2024

Lorin Nielsen
  May 20, 2024 3:38 PM

We spent several hours searching the internet for best wood for raised bed gardens, reading reviews, and drawing on our own personal experiences to compile our list of the top 11 best wood for raised bed gardens now available on the market.


Overview

The possibilities for making your own raised beds are undoubtedly familiar to those who are contemplating a garden. There are countless options in terms of design, size, and wood. To get the finest outcomes, it's important to choose the correct materials. Wood for raised bed gardens: here are your options.


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Buying Guide

Redwood

In terms of garden boxes, redwood offers the best of all worlds: it is long-lasting, safe for plants to thrive in, and aesthetically pleasing. Redwood is one of the most abundant renewable resources in California, making it both high-quality and inexpensive. The heartwood of the Redwood tree, which gives the wood its strength and durability, is found deep within the tree's trunk. Since the wood in your garden box will be partially exposed to dirt, this is extremely crucial Redwood is a lovely variety of wood that adds a dash of elegance to your yard.

Cedar

J&W Lumber has Western Red Cedar and Alaskan Yellow Cedar, both of which are excellent possibilities for making a garden box. When it comes to ground contact, Cedar is just as good as Redwood, and it will last far longer than woods like Douglas Fir (a termite favorite). If you want to keep your garden box stable, you'll want to use Alaskan Cedar, which is a particularly robust wood.

Rough Wood

A quarter-inch thicker than milled woods, rough woods are the preferable material for garden boxes because they haven't been flattened or smoothed off. The more dense the wood, the less likely it is to split. A wide range of sizes are available for rough woods, so you should be able to find something that suits your needs. Rough Merch Redwood from J&W Lumber is a high-quality rough Redwood that is difficult to come by, but is really stunning in any garden.

Native Eastern Hemlock

The Eastern Hemlock is a common native plant in New Hampshire. At a fraction of the price of cedar or fir, we've discovered that this material can last up to seven years in the ground. For raised-bed gardening, it's a no-brainer to use this type of wood.

Additionally, Eastern Hemlock is a "local" and "ecologically responsible" species in these following ways:

 

  • New Hampshire is home to the sawmills that process the logs.

  • A local economy is bolstered at every stage of production thanks to the sale of hemlock.

  • New Hampshire has a wide variety of trees, and the logs are easily available.

  • Avoids long-distance transportation costs and pollution.

  • Reintroduces a native species to the environment upon decomposition or disposal.

Western Red Cedar

Western Red Cedar is also easily available in the western portions of the United States. A knot-free grade may be preferable if you plan to use the raised beds primarily as planter boxes on your deck, which is designated by "A+" or "CVG" (clear vertical grain.)

The "mill run" or "knotty grade" of Red Cedar can be a better option if you still like the idea of it but can't afford the higher price tag. As expensive as Eastern Hemlock is, it's a far cry from the clear grade's exorbitant price tag.

Juniper

Juniper is a great choice if you prefer long-lasting and rustic wood. This wood may last for more than 50 years, and it's also reasonably priced. ' Modern gardens will benefit from the wood's rustic appeal. However, if you want to grow a vertical garden, this species isn't the best choice.

Douglas Fir

Despite its short lifespan of about 5-7 years, Douglas Fir is the least priced option. As a raised garden bed, the species is a good option if you plan on moving in the near future.

There are a number of wood species that can be used to build raised garden beds. If you can afford it, the best woods to use are cedar, juniper, redwood, and black locust.


Faqs

What is Raised Bed Gardening?

A raised bed is simply a standalone garden bed placed on top of existing soil or grass and used for no-dig gardening. In most cases, it is framed in to keep the soil contained, but the dimensions might vary. Stepping onto the garden bed is strongly avoided in order to prevent dirt from compacting.

How Deep Should a Raised Bed Garden Be?

This is a question for which there is no definitive solution. In some cases, a wheelchair user can access higher beds. The majority of them are considerably smaller. And if the bed is designed correctly, the roots of your plants will grow into the soil below the frame; they are not constrained to the depth of the frame.

Most of our beds are between 8 and 10 inches wide. 12′′ to 18′′ is the ideal depth for a raised garden bed if you are planting in a location with poor soil drainage, such as a marsh or rocky terrain.

Is it OK to Use Pressure Treated Wood in a Vegetable Garden?

Yes, but the pressure treatment is what makes the difference. Pressure-treated wood has been used by gardeners for decades to build long-lasting raised beds and posts. Chromated copper arsenate (CCA) was the preferred chemical for pressure-treating wood (CCA). Manufacturers stated that CCA was safe and healthful because it did not seep into the soil and plants could not absorb it. But there were suspicions that the arsenic in the compound leached into the soil, making CCA less safe than originally thought. As a result, on the last day of 2003, the EPA banned the sale of wood treated with the substance. Residential wood treated with the CCA compound was voluntarily discontinued after the ban and the concerns of those who use it. Cupola-based pressure-treated lumber is now available, which has been shown to be safe for plants and humans alike.

Alkaline Copper Quaternary, Micronized Copper Quaternary (MCQ), Copper Azole (CA), and Sodium Borate are some of the new wood-treating chemicals (SBX). Insecticides and fungicides such as ACQ and MCQ are safer, according to agricultural specialists. Sally Brown, an assistant professor at the University of Washington, said that consumers who use CCA-treated wood needn't worry because plants can only absorb the metal if they are lacking in phosphorus.. This will not be a problem if you use a lot of compost. There is no danger in using copper-based treatment, she says. Overconsumption of copper causes premature death in plants. Furthermore, the quantity of metal that a plant may absorb is too small to have any negative impact on human health.


Conclusion

Beginners should start with the less expensive option initially. Determine whether or not this is a hobby that you intend to keep up before spending a lot of money on cedar.

Cedar appears to be the ideal wood for raised bed gardens if money isn't an issue for you and you only want to make them once or twice, assuming you decide to continue. However, as compared to pine or fir, the cost savings are substantial.

However, don't wait till you can afford cedar to start using it. Just get started. Go ahead and get your hands dirty in the dirt!

No matter whatever wood you use for your raised bed gardens, the fun doesn't end there.


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