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Raised bed border

45 ACP

Active Member
Messages
170
Location
Texas
Planting Zone
8B
What do yall use as a border/retaining wall if you have raised beds? Most of you have seen my raised beds. I used UNtreated 2x12's as the border. I basically screwed the boards together to make the box, then cut some 2x4's into stakes and drove them into the ground inside the bed to secure the main bed in place. I didnt use treated wood cause I didnt want any chemicals leaching into the soil.

My original bed was built just prior to planting my 2013 spring garden and the wood is already rotting away. The 2x12's look ok, but the stakes it is secured to are literally crumbling apart. I will make it last through this winter, but then i am going to re-do it with something more permanent like stone so that I am not having to repair it every other year.

Do yall have any suggestions on what to use? I really like the way WR Ranch's stone turned out and am considering going that route. Only thing I dont like is that the stones are 7" depth, and if I did that each bed would likely take up 2 more additional feet in width. I am limited on space so would prefer something not so bulky. Any suggestions? What do you use? Heres a pic of mine for reference.

 

w_r_ranch

Master Gardener
Administrator
Moderator
Plus Member
Messages
5,646
Location
South Central Texas
Planting Zone
8b
I'll stay out of this discussion to see what others come up with...

I will offer the suggestion of enlarging the garden by merging your 2 existing beds into one for the following reasons:
  • It give you a 61% larger planting area (187 sq. ft. vs. 116 sq. ft)
  • It will lower the cost of materials by decreasing the number of sides you have to deal with, thus decreasing the cost per linear foot.
  • It will decrease the amount of line trimming & mowing by eliminating the grass strip between the existing raised beds.

You currently have a 17'X4' & a 12'X4' (74' of border). By merging them, you will have a 17'X11' (39' of border). Just something else to consider...
 

Mike

Might know the answer
Messages
977
Location
Kentucky
Planting Zone
6b
@45 ACP I've just used mill cut cedar wood for my raised bed. Granted it's only a year old but still looks great. Cedar is great for resisting rot and should last a good long while.

Another possibility that I was reading about a few month ago is using HDPE, recycled plastic, to build the raised bed. The HDPE will last forever, is recyclable, and you can get them in different colors. Though they are pricey too.

Or you could go all out and do as Sam does and use brick. :D
 

45 ACP

Active Member
Messages
170
Location
Texas
Planting Zone
8B
WR Ranch.... why didnt I think of that? This is a very good possibility!

Mike, I really want to do something different than wood. I am interested in the HDPE however. Where have you seen this? Link?
 

w_r_ranch

Master Gardener
Administrator
Moderator
Plus Member
Messages
5,646
Location
South Central Texas
Planting Zone
8b
It is a 'TREX' type of product... Here is a link: http://plasticlumberyard.com/plasticlumber.htm As Mike said, it is expensive per foot (I priced it to replace the wood deck on a trailer a couple of years ago & almost choked). As an example for your application:
  • 2"X3"X8' (for stakes) run from $28.32 - $40.96 each, depending on the color
  • 2"X12"X16' (for the sides) run from $198.56 - $296.00 each, depending on the color
You can do the stone for a pittance of that (39 stones X 3 courses = 117 stones) (117 X $1.79 = $226.71 out the door at Home Depot). Both products will last forever... unless there is a fire, in which case the stone will still be there.

Let's see what product/ideas the others come up with... I've always enjoyed seeing what others do in their gardens.
 

Mike

Might know the answer
Messages
977
Location
Kentucky
Planting Zone
6b
Let's see what product/ideas the others come up with... I've always enjoyed seeing what others do in their gardens.

One of the neatest ideas I've seen was where someone used old metal livestock watering containers and used the sides for their raised garden border. This wasn't the standard rectangle design as it as much larger with curves, they either had it custom made using a lot of old containers or maybe the sides are available for sale else where, but it looked pretty neat.

This isn't the garden I've seen before but gives you an idea what material was used:


Speaking of metal here is a good looking multi-tier garden:
 
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