Raised Garden Beds

For those eager to get started in plotting and planning their garden this year, maybe it is time to consider building a raised garden bed. Not only is a raised garden bed, or garden box, an attractive addition to any yard, but their are benefits to growing your favorite flora in one. The soil in a raised garden bed is often warmer and better drained because it is above ground, allowing you to get started on your gardening earlier in the season and avoid soil erosion in the rainy months. The wooden barrier also protects your garden from pathway weeds and pests such as slugs and snails.

The biggest benefit to some gardeners is reduced back strain when bending over to tend to a raised garden bed compared to a ground level garden. If the beds are built right, the gardener can even sit on the edge of the bed while tending to their plants. This is especially helpful to older gardeners or people with bad backs.

The Hampton Garden rustic-landscape
Rustic landscape design by portland general contractor Rob Kyne

 

Raised garden beds can be made with relative ease with your choice of wood. Cedar and redwood are naturally water-resistant but can be expensive and hard to find. Hemlock, fir and pine are suitable materials for raised beds, but aren’t very long-lasting. Pressure wood is an option that is widely available at a comparable cost and will last longer than untreated lumber. The pressure treatment protects wood from rot, decay and wood-eating insects. Current treatments are deemed low-risk by the EPA, and designated safe for use around humans, pets, plants and vegetables. Even though the treatment is safe, many gardeners recommend using untreated wood for raised garden beds, especially ones that will be used to grow edible plants and vegetables, so there is no risk of any chemicals leaching into the soil and contaminating the plants.

Besides the type of wood, there are other factors to consider when building and installing a raised garden bed. It is important to know what sort of plants you plan to have growing there: how much sunlight they need and how deep their roots grow, so you can build your garden box accordingly.

When you are ready to get started on building a raised garden bed, or any other woodworking projects, call or stop by the Schutte Lumber Showroom and let our experienced staff help you get the materials you need.

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