Thursday, September 8, 2011

Daily Inspiration

Raised beds done right.
Raised beds are all the rage right now! There are so many great styles out there, but to tell you the truth, I get a bit overwhelmed about where to start. Should you use pressure treated wood, un-pressure treated, 2x10s, 2x10s stacked, 2x8s, bricks, stones, resin...the list goes on and on. We came across this easy and efficient raised bed style (pictured above) when on our nursery tour in Seattle in July. The owners of one of the nurseries lived right there at their business sight, so they allowed us to tour their own personal garden space. It is such fun to get a glimpse of how other people do things! 

To be honest, I would normally dismiss any plan that had pvc pipe in it, but I just love how this style looks! I think painting the pvc black or dark gray would amp it up, but leaving it white looked charming as well! 

69 comments:

  1. I love this!!! This is so great. I have been looking at doing a series of raised beds and looking at different plans. So did he use pressure treated wood?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did the beds, ordered from http://www.metalgardenbeds.com/. I put down cardboard to kill the grass. the lined the bottom of the beds with 1/4 inch wire. All I need to add is the hoops and automatic watering.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Anonymous. Good idea. I make same.

      Delete
  2. Use PVC electrical conduit... It's already gray!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. i used pvc and then draped plastic over for inprovised green house. this looks good...by the way I sure hope you didn't use pressure treated wood ....it's usually got arsenic in it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. treated lumber is no longer treated with toxic chemicals. I use 2x8" myself. I've been gardening from 4 beds like this for over 20 yrs. we've just replaced a board here & there once in awhile. :)

      Delete
  4. I love those trellises!

    I would never use pressure treated wood for anything, it has toxic poisons that seep into the ground, making to soil around it unusable and poisonous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pressure treated wood no longer has toxic poisons (arsenic) in it. Got this info from our agricultural center. We used pressure treated without fear.

      Delete
    2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromated_copper_arsenate

      Delete
    3. I will be using rough cut hemlock....natural and will hold up for years.

      Delete
    4. Pressure treated wood has not been treated with toxic chemicals in over a decade....globally.....do your homework before espouse inaccurate information.

      Delete
  5. I built two raised beds out of redwood 2x6's but have used cedar fence boards in the past. Even pine/spruce/fir would be better than treated...

    I think I'll attach some short lengths of a slightly larger diameter PVC to the sides that the other "hoop" pipes can slip into that way they can be easily removed until needed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great idea, thanks.

      Delete
    2. They made it clear they didn't build this, they saw it in a nursery garden owners personal space. It's not their own work, but someone elses yard.

      Delete
    3. If they are giving correct information i.e design and materials used, what does it matter who built it?

      Delete
  6. You guys should research pressure treated wood. While it used to be treated with arsninic, they have stopped doing that. Now it's treated with copper. That's why when you buy it at the store it feels damp. The MSDS (material safety data sheets) now have no cancer warnings or ingredients linked to causing cancer. Just an FYI. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I still wouldn't grow anything I'm going to eat in PT wood. Just me. Call me silly, but I'm not exactly trusting the companies that make this stuff to tell us if it's safe or not...

      Delete
    2. I agree - I still won't use it either... there are still chemicals in it and even excess copper is not good. We had treated landscape timbers and the WSU garden experts told me to not use it for edibles...we ripped out and are re-building with untreated cedar.

      Delete
    3. What you all are missing, the CCA treated wood does not leach into the soils , do some more research

      Delete
    4. What about the recycled "plastic wood" planks, used for decks, etc.?

      Delete
  7. I assume you used schedule 200 PVC pipe and not schedule 40. Can you confirm? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  8. We've had raised beds for years, starting out with wood and gradually changing over to cement block (lots less upkeep and more permanent).

    We did something similar w/ PVC, but I like this entire set up. PVC for covering stuff w/ netting or plastic, and trellis' for growing upright.

    I have no issues with PVC pipe, but if someone decided to paint it for whatever reason, be careful of the paint used.

    I wouldn't use pressure treated wood in my garden either, but that's just me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carole, how did you used the cement blocks, did you place the in the ground with cement, what about the height, and dimensions? I have over 100 blocks and was thinking of using them but don't know how to go about it.

      Delete
    2. We just built a cement block raised bed, 4 feet by 24 feet, 4 blocks high. No cement or in ground blocks, just staggered the stacked blocks. We live in the Nevada desert, so will be looking for some sort of sun protection for the summer. We have 9 tons of fill dirt with 30 1.5 cu. ft. bags of garden soil on top and have 96 sq ft of garden space. Seems pretty solid at this point and so much easier than in-ground gardening.

      Delete
  9. I got some recycled treated wood from a neighbor that replaced his deck. It was 3-4 seasons old so I felt most anything would be leeched out by then. I've had no issues with it. I've been raised bed gardening for about 8 years

    ReplyDelete
  10. You could also use black agricultural pipe

    ReplyDelete
  11. I bought 6mil clear plastic to drape over pvc pipes. How would you attach plastic and secure it to ground with it having a parachute effect with the wind?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Make that "without having a parachute effect" ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some people staple the plastic, but everywhere you staple creates the potential of tearing. If you bought the hardware store plastic you might as well staple because it's not UV protected anyway and will break down after a couple seasons. If you bought greenhouse UV plastic that you want to last a few years without tearing, then you can also find wiggle wire clips and tracks from greenhouse supply outlets.

      Delete
    2. I am courious about the concrete block design for endurance. What kind of block and did you mortar it to stay in place?

      Delete
    3. Use rebar in the ends of the pvc and push into the ground, my son actually created a greenhouse over an airstream trailer which his family lived in for three years in Maine, he recycled used discarded greenhouse plastic given to him.

      Delete
  13. But where are directions and details?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Bamboo could always be used instead of PVC, I seem to remember seeing a massive greenhouse built from bamboo hoops somewhere online.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I used 2.4 meter long Decking boards from the cheapest DIY store for mine and just cut some in half so my beds measure 2.4 x 1.2 meters.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I really do like this design! Been using raised beds for several years and think I might try out their idea. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I couldn't believe how expensive pvc pipe was at Home
    Depot. The cost would have been well over $100 just for my raised beds.

    Cost Prohibitive! There must be something just as good out there at about 10% the cost of PVC pipe

    ReplyDelete
  18. What is the purpose of the PVC pipe? It looks really cool, but I am wondering if I missed the reason for putting it up? THanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can drape netting or plastic sheeting over it, I would keep netting over it to keep birds out of my berries!

      Delete
  19. Wrap the plastic around a 2x4 at each end and staple to the wood - this will keep it weighted - you can also make the plastic long enough to place concrete blocks or rocks on the 2x4s if it is very windy

    ReplyDelete
  20. I have raised beds made out of cinder blocks. At 3 blocks high, it is comfortable for weeding. It takes a lot of dirt to fill up. Also, you can use straw bales for a few seasons to slowly fill it up. Yes, you can cement them for a permanent box, or stack them for a moveable or redesigned box. My boxes are 8'long x 4 feet wide.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. be careful of straw bales...usually full of weeds/seeds

      Delete
    2. Use straw bales, not hay bales. Straw is mostly stalks and not as likely to sprout. I use them for straw bale gardening.

      Delete
  21. I have 6 raised beds, 4'x8'x20" high made of regular wood 2x10's, 4 are uncovered, 2 have lattice covers 8x8 pergola style, they have irrigation to them too, looking at covering 2 with this PVC style greenhouse for early spring planting, as I live in the desert I can plant in Feb with cover and March with the pergola cover..also thinking that the watering could come from the hoops too...small holes and spaced just right...

    ReplyDelete
  22. "Lumber Pressure Treated With Chromated Copper Arsenate...However, one of the components of CCA-treated wood, arsenic, is a known human carcinogen. Therefore, any reduction in the levels of potential exposure to arsenic is desirable. source:"http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/8790.html

    ReplyDelete
  23. Want raised beds so badly, but on my very limited income, I can either make 2 beds or buy the dirt to fill them since our dirt is very heavy clay. Right now I am going to try using straw bales enriched with nitrogen and manure tea and compost tea . It's 20.00 per row for me raised and straw"dirt" I can afford a few rows of that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you'll get lots of weeds using straw bales

      Delete
    2. I grew squash in alfalfa bales and had no weeds, but great plants and fruit.

      Delete
    3. You can create your own dirt if you're willing to wait a season. Layer cardboard, newsprint, leaves, fresh grass clippings, vegetable and fruit scraps, and a little bit of dirt or potting soil. Leave it for the whole winter, and then just dig a hole where you want to plant something. I did that in a 4 by 4 raised bed. the next season, I planted two small tomato plants that I purchased at a farmers' market. Those two plants grew to cover an area larger than 12 by 12. (I will be sure to give them something to climb on next year!

      Delete
  24. Can you share the directions? What size boards, etc. you used?

    ReplyDelete
  25. The pcv doesn't appear to be on the inside of the box & I don't see an issue with it. If it's not inside, it shouldn't hurt anything in it. I also seen a lot of people who use this design & have small holes drilled in the pcv with a garden hose hooked up to it for watering!

    ReplyDelete
  26. If you have a cinder-block outlet or company the produces for construction companies they usually do over runs and have several pallets of heavier blocks that actually have textured surfaces. we got our blocks brand new for 50 cents apiece and they are heavy enough that they are stable just stacking them without mortar. Had ours in place for 4 years and never a problem and looks brand new yet.

    ReplyDelete
  27. To attach plastic to PVC cut old garden hose into short lengths, slit open lengthwise and slide over plastic onto PVC in several places. Makes great clips and recycles old hoses. I was told cement blocks can leach chemicals into soil and shouldn't be used for edibiles. Is everyone just too careful?

    ReplyDelete
  28. What are the dimensions? I tried using "2 by" stock and had problems with bowing in the middle

    ReplyDelete
  29. i would suggest going to a local habit restore for used items to recycle like the pvc pipes

    ReplyDelete
  30. where are the plans and instructions to make these raised beds???

    ReplyDelete
  31. My son worked at one of the big box stores in lumber. The associates were NOT allowed to cut any pressure treated wood for customers due to the chemical compounds. Enough said.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I work at a big box store & we cut PT wood constantly.PT doesn't have the harmful chemicals of years ago, but if the potential bothers anyone you could line the interior of the box with a heavy grade plastic which will last many years

    ReplyDelete
  33. I purchased a shade cloth from my ACE store #7298441. Provides 80% blockage of UV rays and has rustproof grommets every 12". I used the garden twist ties(like bread wrapper ties only bigger) to attach to my PVC pipe. It measures 10x10. I have used it 2 years ad live in south central PA.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I have built many like this out of whatever wood I could find. The key is lining the inside of the container with some kind of food safe barrier for 2 reasons: wood rot and chemical leaching. I don't say plastic because I don't like plastic unless it's labeled with a food safe grading. Personally, I use the same barrier that is used in aquaponics. Search the internet for Aquaponics liners and you will learn a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  35. According to this article from University of Missouri Extension Office:

    “Pressure-treated lumber uses CCA (chromated copper arsenate) or ACA (ammoniacal copper arsenate) as a preservative. However, studies done by Texas A&M Agricultural Extension Service showed insignificant movement of these compounds into surrounding soil. Pressure-treated lumber has no proven effect on plant growth or food safety.”

    But, this is all a moot point because arsenic has not been used to treat lumber for residential use (with the exception of some woods for marine purposes) since December 31 2003.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I have built 2 - 4 X 8' raised beds 18" high. Used 4- 1/2 inch PVC pipe per bed to make hoops. All I did was pour sand in 4 holes in cement block and pushed the ends of the PVC into it for stability. I then tood 5/8 inch electrical conduit which is black and cut into 4 inch sections. Then cut out a 1/2" stip long ways to create a "snap on" for holding plastic cover secure along the PVC ribs...

    ReplyDelete
  37. PVC pipe was 10 ft long by 1/2 "

    ReplyDelete
  38. I have cemen blocks tha are made of the same material as brick, like to make planting boxes, but afraid of any chemicals, anyone has information? Also, It would be difficult & expensive to use mortar base, has anyone used them without mortar?

    ReplyDelete
  39. I have always done traditional gardening but I really want to do raised bed gardening. However my husband is not totally on board because of the amount of soil (dirt) needed. Any comments or suggestions about where to get good clean dirt at reasonable costs. I have thought about just digging it up from the garden but???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not sure where you're located but try checking with your city refuse, extension office or local university Ag dept's. Many of them have started recycling and composting programs and sell it to public inexpensively. Where I am in IL, I can get a truck load of great compost for $25 at the university! Good luck!

      Delete
  40. I have a cloche just like the one pictured but am having problems attaching the top, straight PVC pipe along the curved pipes. What kind of metal hardware did you use on the top of yours.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I spray arsenic on all my edibles to make up for arsenic no longer being used in pressure treated wood.

    ReplyDelete