First Raised Beds
I checked the FAQ and key-word searched this forum, but I came up empty. If I somehow missed where this info might be, my apologies.
What I"m trying to do is put a raised garden bed in front of a south-facing window, both for aesthetic reasons (it's pretty bland out there; I've tried to attach a picture, but who knows if that'll work) and for environmental reasons (the greener we can responsibly make the world, the better). The two beds would be 5 1/2' x 2 1/2' x 12"(so that two would fit in front of my window and still have a nice shape), which I could make out of three 2" x 12" by 12' boards, with the leftover pieces after the initial cuts (4' worth of wood that could make eight 6" pieces) used for corner supports and to attach an aluminum brace to prevent bowing in the middle.
After pretty intensive searches, I keep running into the fact that cedar and redwood are the best woods for raised garden beds. So I started pricing those types of wood...and, wow, expensive.
What I couldn't find explicitly mentioned was if there were other woods that were good (though clearly not "best") for garden beds: maybe not great, but a decent alternative when price is a factor, especially as I might make a total botch out of my first garden beds. I read here and there that some people had used Douglas fir, but no mention was made (either by the posters or by the commenters) if it had been a good idea, if they had held up and if it was felt that the savings in cost was a good trade-off for less durability.
Here are some numbers that might be useful to look at: I can get 2x12x12 fir for about $16 here in California, while 2x12x12 redwood goes for about $34, which means that I can spend either $48 or $102. I had a hard time finding cedar, so I gave up trying.
And if there are "good" woods, are there also "bad" woods, those to avoid for whatever sound reasons?
I really don't mind spending the extra if it makes sense; i'm just not sure that it does.