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FeliciaWilliams82 Wednesday 4th May 2016 07:27

best material for raised bed
Anyone using raised beds ?
I have been thinking about installing raised garden beds in my backyard mainly because of two reasons. My mom had a surgery and can't follow the conventional way of gardening anymore because of severe back pain. That's the main reason and the other reason is the lack of enough space. My question is which will be the best material for raised beds ?
My neighbour has steel bed and a friend is using a concrete bed. Last day I discussed this matter with an expert from 'in the backyard', raised bed experts in Canada. He says cedar wood is better even though it's little expensive. What should I do now ? Is he trying to cheat me ?

Kits Wednesday 4th May 2016 09:42

We had raised beds put in some years ago and they are made of old wooden railway sleepers which have been treated so they won't rot. Seven years on they are still good.

PeterG Monday 23rd May 2016 04:29

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I've used ACQ treated pine sleepers to build raised beds in the vege garden. The sleepers are 20cm high and they are 2 high - so 40cm high in total. The sleepers at the sides are joined together by another 30cm piece of sleeper which is screwed into both the top and bottom sleepers and then the end sleepers are screwed into the ends of the side sleepers. The sleepers aren't set into the ground as once they are filled with soil, they are too heavy to move.

In Australia, there is 2 types of treatment for pine: CCA Preservative (Chromated Copper Arsenate) contains Arsenic. and ACQ Preservative (Alkaline Copper Quarternary) - does not contain arsenic and is safer to use. It is more expensive than CCA.

Reason I used treated pine was that it was relatively cheap, quick and easy to build, especially if you get the timber yard to cut the timber to the required sizes. All I needed to build them was some galv screws and a power drill with the necessary drill bits to drill the holes and then screw in the screws.

I've included a photo so that you can see what they look like.


Kits Monday 23rd May 2016 09:16

They look really good, Peter.

PeterG Tuesday 24th May 2016 06:14

Thanks Kits, I'm happy with how they turned out.

Actually the whole vege garden area turned out well - both the raised beds and the crushed rock pathways around the bed.

Was thinking of laying pavers, but that would have involved getting a landscaper in whereas even I can cart in the crushed rock and then spread and compact it.

In fact, the only downside to this area over the last few years is that weeds seem to germinate very easily in the paths.

Kits Tuesday 24th May 2016 11:31

When we had an area laid to gravel, the chap who did it laid a membrane over the ground before laying all the gravel to stop weeds coming up. It has worked well and we tend to get just the odd weed coming through at the edges where it adjoins a fence on one side and a huge hedge on the other. A friend has had the same done, and she isn't so lucky - lots of weeds still spring up in the gravel. In fact whenever I go round to see her, I pull weeds while I am waiting for her to open the door! =)

PeterG Thursday 26th May 2016 08:18

Hi Kits,

before I laid the gravel, I got rid of all the existing weeds etc. I don't have trouble with weeds coming thru the gravel - it's more that the seeds must blow in from the surrounding areas and then germinate.

In fact, there is a small garden bed on one side of the gravel terrace which contains several lavender plants - whenever I'm weeding the terrace (especially if it's been awhile), I'll find tiny lavender plants popping up all over the area in the gravel - very easy to identify with their distinctive leaves - usually pot them up and then try to find space for them.

Also, I've got a few Verbena bonariensis plants in the front garden and I've noticed seedlings of it growing in the gravel path at the side of the garage - several metres away from the parent plant.

cheers Peter

Kits Thursday 26th May 2016 10:09

Yes, wind blown seeds are a battle! Verbena is one of my favourite plants, Peter. Shame you are so far away or I would pop round for some seedlings!

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