Where to buy cedar boards for raised bed

jenniferg76(6a MA)January 21, 2013

Does anyone have suggestions of places that would carry something like 2x12 cedar boards in the Boston area (preferably a little northwest of Boston)? It doesn't have to be pretty, since I just want to use it for raised beds. I haven't had any luck with Home Depot or Lowes, and my Google searches haven't been very helpful, either.

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IMHO you want a lumber yard. There are several places to look; I'll link one, but I'm sure the yellow pages would work just as well.

They'll either carry un-planed cedar or they'll be able to get it for you. It's not only a little less expensive than planed boards, it's a tad more sturdy.

Here is a link that might be useful: NE Lumber Yards

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 8:41PM
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Is there a reason you want cedar? I built all my raised beds from regular home depot lumber.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 9:29PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

Ditto to Pixie_lou. In my neck of the woods, regular lumber lasts about 10 years.

This is what I tell myself as I look at the totally decayed, in desperate need of being replaced, 15 year old raised beds.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 10:49PM
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carol6ma_7ari(zones 6 & 7a)

How "raised" do you want the beds to be? I bought 1x4 cedar lumber at HD and it worked for me. But my whole veg. area is fenced, so no need to have higher bed sides to keep rabbits out.


    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 9:59AM
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jenniferg76(6a MA)

diggingthedirt - Thanks for the link. I find the idea of goign to a lumber yard a little intimidating, but I guess I will call a couple places and see how it goes.

pixie_lou - I'd read that regular untreated lumber would only last 3-5 years before rotting, and that cedar should last longer. How long have your beds lasted?

mad_gallica - Is the lumber you used untreated?

carol6ma_7ari - I'd like for them to be fairly high. I probably wouldn't bother with boards at all if it was just for a couple inches.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 2:15PM
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My boards were untreated. I used 2x8's. I add a couple every year, with my oldest being 5 years old. I've had no rotting at all. The beds are full of compost, and I've mulched around some of the beds with pine needles, around other beds with woodchips. The mulch is almost as high as the sides of the beds.

Since I mulched between the beds, in my mind I've decided that when the boards eventually disentegrate, I'll already have clearly delineated beds, and I doubt I would replace the boards.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 2:22PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

Untreated 2 x 8's. The inside of the boards started showing some signs of rot at about 8 years.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 4:38PM
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tree_oracle(z6b MA)

It's going to cost you a mint to get 2 x 12 cedar. That's a very unusual size even for the more common woods like pine and oak. Just the size part of it will cost a mint. You don't have to do it that way. I've built several raised beds from cedar and I used 5/4 x 6 x 8 lumber from Lowes. At the time, they had those boards on sale for around $6/board. I built mine similar to the one shown at the bottom of the webpage that I've linked to. As you can see from the scheme, you can stack the lumber to make the bed as high as you want. I built my beds around 4 years ago and so far there is no sign of rot at all. I would have no qualms about using pressure-treated lumber to build some raised beds if it would be cheaper to do it that way. They treat the lumber with a copper-based preservative now instead of the arsenic-based preservative that they used previously.

Here is a link that might be useful: Plans for building a raised bed

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 6:58PM
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tree-oracle - thanks for that link. I was thinking of building some planters for in front of my garage. This is the concept I was thinking of - a corner post with boards nailed on. So now I have a handy how to guide! Takes the guess work out of it.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 7:04PM
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jenniferg76(6a MA)

Good to know you guys have had luck with using untreated boards. So if I end up not finding cedar, I won't feel too bad about it.

tree-oracle - I just figured, the wider the better, since it would be less work to put together and probably sturdier too. If 12" boards are too pricey, I'm ok with smaller, but it seemed like it would be a pain to put together a taller raised bed with 2x4's. Maybe I can find something in between.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 1:47PM
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