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Mores

Planter Bed

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I'm wondering what people think about the following methods of building a planter bed.

I have already built two 4'x8' beds out of treated landscape edging.  If I were to do it again, each bed would cost about $50 to $90 in materials plus a lot of labor.  The disadvantage is that the screws nails or bolts would either rust or cost much more to get stainless bolts that work.

The next option is to build a pre-made kit that is about $140 whoops!  They just cut the price nearly in half $80.  The labor is minimal.  It is made of cedar which doesn't rot.  But I question the dove-tailed connections.  I don't see how they will endure the constant stress of the dirt pushing the walls out.  And the height is just a couple inches shorter than ideal.

The next option is to lay down flat concrete bricks.  The total cost would be $55.  They are heavy.  Shipping and moving are a big deal.  But the labor on location is minimal.  Very durable.  Aesthetics (I think) are less desirable.  And the concrete will have the tendency to raise the pH of the soil.  This could be offset by using peat moss and wood chips (which we were intending on using anyway) in the soil.

Now, my wife has actually approved the cheap method (which is great for my pocket book).  But that means that the old beds and the new beds won't match.  I can't believe I care more about aesthetics than money, and she's ok with sacrificing aesthetics for durability.  But that's where we are.

Any opinions?

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Rabbits.  My opinion is rabbits.  I once had aspirations to grow things out of the ground, but then rabbits happened.   And some sort of grub worm thing happened too.  Everything was eaten by the rabbits and the worms.  

So whatever you decide on, give some thought to critters or bugs that will happen along to ruin your beautiful stuff.

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My opinion is... do square-foot gardening and use the discounted cedar.  All you need for a square foot garden is 6 inches of an equal mix of the following:  Peat Moss (I personally don't like peat moss because it takes a big environmental hit on its harvest) or Coco Coir, Perlite or Vermiculite, Compost (use as many diverse ingredients as you can manage - making your own is always best).  A 4'x4' box is great so you can reach all parts of the garden without having to step on the soil.  The succeeding plantings, you don't have to change out the soil.  All you need is to add compost into the mix, year after year.  If you compost your own kitchen scraps, this could possibly become a self-sustaining garden.

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20 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

Rabbits.  My opinion is rabbits.  I once had aspirations to grow things out of the ground, but then rabbits happened.   And some sort of grub worm thing happened too.  Everything was eaten by the rabbits and the worms.  

So whatever you decide on, give some thought to critters or bugs that will happen along to ruin your beautiful stuff.

That was the most fascinating thing about my visit to Colorado.  Where we have pesky squirrels in Florida and pet rabbits, you have pesky rabbits and pet squirrels.  I tried feeding the wild rabbits and my host cried out in horror.

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1 hour ago, NeuroTypical said:

Rabbits.  My opinion is rabbits.  I once had aspirations to grow things out of the ground, but then rabbits happened.   And some sort of grub worm thing happened too.  Everything was eaten by the rabbits and the worms.  

So whatever you decide on, give some thought to critters or bugs that will happen along to ruin your beautiful stuff.

We don't have rabbits here. We've got deer.  But our dog barks at them and they leave.

As far as bugs, we're treating for them.  The last remaining critters are caterpillars.  And all the other stuff I put on the plants don't affect them.  So I'm using that bacteria stuff that eats caterpillars.  But it's been raining so much lately, I haven't had the opportunity to use them.

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So, my wife just asked me about the sprinklers (out of the blue).  Based on that conversation it looks like I'm postponing the planter beds a few months.  She really wants sprinklers.  So, I'm going to be spending a lot of time digging this weekend.

Because of the seasons around here, we can't plant anything new this month.  We'll have to wait till August or September to do any new planting.  So, the beds would be useless. 

She's been spending a lot of time watering the existing beds.  So, she wants a nice sprinkler system installed so she doesn't need to worry about it.

Edited by Mores

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1 hour ago, Mores said:

So, my wife just asked me about the sprinklers (out of the blue).  Based on that conversation it looks like I'm postponing the planter beds a few months.  She really wants sprinklers.  So, I'm going to be spending a lot of time digging this weekend.

Because of the seasons around here, we can't plant anything new this month.  We'll have to wait till August or September to do any new planting.  So, the beds would be useless. 

She's been spending a lot of time watering the existing beds.  So, she wants a nice sprinkler system installed so she doesn't need to worry about it.

A suggestion if I may.  My husband installed drip lines in our garden instead of sprinklers.  This way, the water goes exactly where he wants it and not where he doesn’t.  Also keeps our chickens from getting wet.  

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14 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

A suggestion if I may.  My husband installed drip lines in our garden instead of sprinklers.  This way, the water goes exactly where he wants it and not where he doesn’t.  Also keeps our chickens from getting wet.  

Yep.  That's my intent.  

"Sprinklers" is just a catch all term.

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If you are growing food for humans to eat, don't use pressure treated wood. The stuff that is used to pressure treat the wood is toxic to humans. It is drawn up into the plant and humans end up getting it into their systems. Same for the bug killers. Toxic to humans. If you want to get rid of the vegetarian aka bad bugs, then plant flowers to attract the carnivorous aka good bugs.

Deer really hate tomato leaves, when I did my 1500 sq. ft garden, I hung cherry tomato plants in planters on the 6 ft horse fencing. Kept the 4 Does out of my garden.

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5 hours ago, Iggy said:

If you are growing food for humans to eat, don't use pressure treated wood. The stuff that is used to pressure treat the wood is toxic to humans. It is drawn up into the plant and humans end up getting it into their systems. Same for the bug killers. Toxic to humans. If you want to get rid of the vegetarian aka bad bugs, then plant flowers to attract the carnivorous aka good bugs.

Deer really hate tomato leaves, when I did my 1500 sq. ft garden, I hung cherry tomato plants in planters on the 6 ft horse fencing. Kept the 4 Does out of my garden.

Not anymore.

https://www.news-leader.com/story/life/home-garden/2009/04/26/most-pressure-treated-lumber-no-longer-contains-arsenic/77200928/

https://www.finehomebuilding.com/2004/01/01/the-new-pressure-treated-wood

You're still worried about CCA lumber.  Today's pressure treated is ACQ lumber.  It has no arsenic and is considered safe for planter and agricultural use per EPA.

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