Sunday, March 11, 2012

Cedar Raised Beds

After building the cinder block bed I realized how much work it was to move those blocks from my driveway to the far backyard.  And how many more I needed to build what I wanted.  I planned on two 4 x 8 beds, a compost "bin" area, and several more 4 block lettuce areas.  Around 100 more cinder blocks minimum for a bed 1 block deep. And I wanted one deeper.  So much work!

So, I broke down and purchased a 4 x 8 cedar raised bed off Craigslist.  That would save me the work of one of the cinder block beds.  The cedar bed looked better in the picture, as is often the case.  It is thick wood, with screws, so it will last for quite a few years.  It cost me $80.  That was not bad compared to others I had seen advertised.  But, within 2 days the man was advertising them for $65!  I like to think he was charging customers $15 for delivery, since mine was delivered free. 

That is Boo's head in the photo.  He is one of the Craigslist dogs!  He is never far from the action. 

As I mentioned before, I may try to put together a smaller bed myself.  I believe I can handle a 4 x 4 if the hardware store cuts the 8' boards to 4' for me.  The do that. I know they don't do lattice, because I needed to replace some rotted lattice on an overhang and they wouldn't do it.  I had to settle for less attractive (though sturdier) lath nailed up in stripes.  I watched numerous YouTube videos on building raised beds. Some were so complicated.  One though was very helpful and simple.  As expected, I can't find it right now.  I suppose it is out there lost among thousand of other videos entitled "How to Build a Garden Box."  The man was building it on a large porch, and a young peacock was watching him.  It wasn't old enough to have the fancy tail, but it tried to show off anyway.  The man turned the camera on the bird, who was doing his best to raise his tail feathers in the air like a big boy!  It was quite cute.  Anyway, no fancy construction, just 4 boards, 4 fasteners/hangers (sort of like joist hangers, but not quite, they just hold the two boards together at the corners) and nails (though I would use screws).  I think this may have been the video where he used old picnic table wood.  I have been regularly checking Craigslist for old picnic tables, to no avail.  People seem to think anything made of wood is worth plenty.

Being from CA I would normally think of redwood as the go-to wood for raised beds.   Fences too. But, here in Oregon we use cedar.  It is a debatable issue which lasts longer, but the man who build mine said it would last many years.  Many being more than 5.  Much longer than pine at least.  Not nearly so long as my cinder blocks though!

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