Using strips of sheething for raised beds?

nikki1977January 31, 2012

Last year I had made a raised garden bed for my friend who does not like to work outside or get her hands dirty. She seriously pulled a few weeds all season long and had plenty tomatoes and herbs and flowers. Meanwhile I'm busting my butt weeding my huge vegetable garden over and over. I really want to make a bunch of raised beds this year so I don't have as much work to do. The problem is I want 12 raised beds and I only have about $100 or less to spend. :/ So I was looking into using a few boards of sheething, which are only about $12 each. I can cut them into 8 foot strips and use them for the borders. I was wondering if that was a bad idea for any reason before I go and do all this work. Any advise on how to put them together? I think when I nail them together I may crack the wood since it's so thin. Any help from all the awesome gardeners out there would be so much appreciated! Thank you!

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Nikki, how did you make your friend's raised bed? If you only have $100 I would just stick to what you have now, and keep up with your weeding.

You can use newspapers to cover bare soil, and cover it with dried grass clippings so it doesn't blow away, if you have a lawnmower and lots of leaves, then crunch those up and use the chopped leaves as a mulch to keep the weeds out.

Using sheathing is not a good idea, you have already noticed it is too thin to nail easily, and when you add the soil, it will break! Don't buy it!

Making your own compost and chopping those leaves is the best way to keep out weeds, and to make great soil! If you don't have any leaves or grass clippings, get some from your friends if you don't have any trees.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 10:32AM
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Belgianpup(Wa/Zone 7b)

The sheathing also won't take much moisture.

Mulch the areas between the plants to keep the weeds down. Newspaper or cardboard with straw, grass, leaves or even weeds on top.

If you have neighbors that put out bags of lawn clippings (no poisons), de-thatching results, leaves, etc, haul them home. If you don't have one, watch Freecycle and Craigslist for a larger kid's wagon -- or ask for one. Make a bottomless wood box that fits inside so it will hold more stuff. I don't know what I would do without my Radio Flyer!


    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 11:04PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

I totally agree with belgianpup and phoebe. To go with your huge vegie garden you need three huge compost bins. Every time you take out a crop, or when a leafy crop is coming along, cover the bare earth with mature compost to keep the weed population down.

And, if you are able to use one, a good sharp hoe, or one of those spintiller thingies, to dislodge the baby weeds before they become well-fed monsters.

If you want to try out a smaller area as a raised bed - logs pushed together can serve the purpose for a few years. As they rot down they also hold the water and put some nutrition into the soil. Whatever is locally available (so long as it's not willow, which could throw out roots and start growing again).

And, if you don't mind, if someone locally is remodelling, and you have transport - used bricks or concrete blocks made into low walls can be both easy on the wallet and effective.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 10:21PM
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