Lumber for raised beds

I want to make some raised beds for gardening. I'm going to use pipe supports, which I have a lot of. I want to make 4' x 12' x 12" deep or so beds. What would be a good lumber for this? I want something that is going to last for a while, although I know nothing lasts forever.
Steve
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wrote:

I use rough cut cypress. 5/4 thickness, 6 in width.
I have had some in contact with the soil for 15 years and still good.
Charlie
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If you have a local lumber mill, go for locust. It's a tough wood that's been used many years for fence posts and has a proven track record. I had my boards cut to 8-inch width. My beds are deep enough to grow very good and long root crops (carrots and parsnips) in those beds. There are a couple of boards that have warped a llittle, but it's only cosmetic. I've had my beds in place for five years now and they look good. Life expectancy for the locust boards is probably 25 or 30 years. . . I hope I live to see them rot.
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SteveB wrote:

I made some raised garden beds with green-treated lumber a few years ago (the new green stuff, not the good old arsenic kind.) I had read that you have to use hot-dipped galvanized nails, or the salts in the wood would rust the nails completely in two in a short time. I used 16d bright common nails, not galvanized at all. I knocked one of the beds apart this spring, and the nails were rusty but still strong and holding. Maybe the problem is just with flash-galvanized nails?
If you want a wood that's just naturally decay resistant, cypress is about the best there is -- assuming you can find cypress lumber.
Bob
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Galvanized or stainless requirement is for homebuilding. IE: generally in the framing portion where treated lumber is used. One example that comes to mind is the sole plate that is usually treated lumber. Over a period of many years, a hand driven concrete nail may rust through. The bottom of the framing is loose in the wind as a result so to speak. Stainless "shot" nails, and ceramic screws don't have this problem. This is typically used. Oddly, its common to see the nails holding the studs to the sole plate are the same old ones. Another method used to hold the sole plate is dropping all-thread into the concrete when its smoothed out at time of pour. Typically, was 3/8" diameter, now, requirement is 1/2" diameter with newer treated lumber. A hole is drilled into the sole plate to accomodate the all-thread, nut and washer secure.
--
Dave



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I forget whats its called out I changed mine out to the plastic wood stuff Lowes sells. They will last forever and they look good. Its not cheap put my other ones rotted away. They use the stuff for decks and you see it on boat docks.
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I found using treated lumber works well it use use the trea cotta clay inserts so the dirts does not come into contact with the wood. You can also look at composite lumber as well. This stuff does not rot but will color fade a little. Good luck with your boxes. DaveP
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Yeah, rough cut cypress that's the ticket.
- Billy
To sit home, read one's favorite paper, and scoff at the misdeeds of the men who do things is easy, but it is markedly ineffective. It is what evil men count upon the good men's doing. -Theodore Roosevelt - The Outlook December 21, 1895
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I made mine out of used roofing galvanized iron supported by a treated wood frame held together with stainless steel screws. Expensive, but the iron was free and I have yet to see any proof that there is signifigant leaching from the wood. These beds are about 18" deep so I could plant citrus and asparagus in them. The supports are buried in the ground and the sides are wired together on top to keep them from spreading, as they are 2 yards wide. You can sit on the edges and work without squatting, a consideration for us older folk.
Mike
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