I am thinking about a raised redwood box to plant a small
garden in on the side of my house.
So far I have decided to make it redwood because 1) it takes
a very long time to rot, and 2) no chemicals to screw up my
organic gardening. Does this sound right?
And, I would like it twenty feet long and three feet wide.
Three feet so I can reach over and weed the thing with out a lot of
stretching and stooping. Does this also sound right?
1) what goes on the bottom? Nothing so water can drain out?
Do I put a floor on the underside of the box? The dirt (ha ha)
it will be sitting on is "decomposed sandstone" (like decomposed
granite, only way, way uglier.) There is no nutritional value
in it -- everything has to be replaced, amending does not work.
2) how tall should the box be? Obviously, the taller, the
less stooping but the greater expense in filling it. Root
need some root to grow.
3) screws or nails? As redwood dries out, nails tend to fall
4) what do I fill it with? Straight compost? or a mixture of
both? What ratio? (The compose place sells both.)
Anything I missed?
Redwood sounds fine to me. Leave weep holes/spaces for drainage, for
air to enter, and for expansion... I'd leave an 1/4" space between
boards... when redwood gets wet it expands considerably.
I'd make it 4' wide, you can reach in from *both* sides... also 4' is
a better dimension for dividing standard lumber, less waste. If
you're tall make the bed 6' wide, it's not very difficult for anyone
over 5' 10" to reach in 3'. And there will be many times you'll find
chores easier with you up into the garden, so have a step stool handy
too. I'd make your raised bed as large as you have space, if you make
it small you will be sorry later.
If you can eliminate the sandstone down to soil that would be best.
Some people make a bottom of stainless steel hardware cloth to keep
moles out but I'd not bother.
Height depends mostly on your height, but if it's 2' tall or more you
will have plenty of depth for roots. Fill is the least expensive
material, don't concern yourself.
Obviously screws. Sometimes steel corner brackets are a good
A mixture of about 80% good topsoil is a good start, depends what you
grow. Compost will continue to decompose so you will need to add more
each year... you may decide to add more topsoil and less compost,
depends what you grow and results.
Nails won't hold where temps go below freezing, nails won't hold well
even in warm climes; wet soil exerts tremendous pressure. Often even
screws aren't enough, galvanized steel corner braces are manditory on
the outside and fish plates inside.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.