I'd like to build some raised vegetable garden beds this weekend. (This is the
design I have in mind:
Lowe's in Chantilly seems to have cedar 2x6s, but not cedar 4x4s. (The guy I got
on the phone at Lowe's recommended Douglas Fir, but I know that's going to rot
too fast in the ground.) Where can I find cedar 4x4s (preferably, on a weekend)?
Falls Church, VA
You might try a fencing store or garden center that sells fencing. Cedar
posts are often used in fencing... Then again, for what the 4x4s are doing
you could use cedar 2x4s singly or doubled up. Failing the stores having
cedar 2x4s, a cedar 2x6 would work.
Not sure how the "graphic" will hold up through the web/rec, but lapped like
this is all you need--the 2X4 is in the inside corner.
_ ___| |
design I have in mind:
got on the phone at Lowe's recommended Douglas Fir, but I know that's going to
rot too fast in the ground.) Where can I find cedar 4x4s (preferably, on a
The only ones I've seen lately are mail box posts. Assuming you mean
eastern red cedar. An Anecdote: 20 years ago I built a double gate
with a short cedar post for them to shut against. The short post
stuck up about 4 inches. A couple of years later it got wobbly so I
dug it up. It was eaten up by termites. Something I thought could
not happen. That was in north eastern Texas.
Redwood / Cedar - it all depends on the oil.
I used to live in a Coastal Redwood wood forest. I have plenty here
in East Texas from my old forest area. Termites like Redwood.
They can't eat into the bark but if the tree is felled and cut - they
enter the center core - it is white - and eat a hole down the trunk.
This used to help various groups make Pipes for water and sewer. Bugs
get the hole started then you ream the hole larger.
Check up on Yellow Wood - trade name for treated. I seem to recall it
is safe to eat on an such. Check before you buy. Might be ok to touch
and insert hand into mouth but not grow. They should have a web page.
On 5/4/2013 7:11 AM, Jamie Jackson wrote:
I'll add to that. I can't say exactly what variety of cedar it was, but
in nearby central Maryland, I've seen treated lumber 4X4 posts outlast
2 generations of cedar fence pickets. And the pickets weren't even in
When the game is over, the pawn and the king are returned to the same box.
Larry W. - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar.org
SFWIW, I did this back in the 70's using reclaimed railroad ties.
Haven't seen them in almost 25 years, but back then (late 80's), they
still looked like they did when they were installed.
This was commonly done around here too. I recall that when old railroads
tracks were removed from defunct lines in this area that ties were readily
available to the public. Times have changed! They are maybe OK for
ornamental planting beds but not for vegetables... and possibly banned for
such use depending upon the state in question. The EPA identifies Creosote
as a possible/probable (I've seen it expressed both ways) human carcinogen
and it "has no registered residential uses." As of 1/1/2008 New York bans
repurposing creosote treated industrial products (e.g., telephone poles,
rail road ties) for residential purposes. All that said, I recall slopping
creosote on logs from 1 gallon cans purchased at a local store when I was a
I looked into this recently as I'm involved in building a new rail trail on
a corridor that hasn't been used in about 35 years. The corridor still has
rails and ties along most of it’s length. The rails, plates, spikes, etc.
will be sold for scrap or "banked" for possible future use but the ties need
to be disposed of as hazardous waste... most are not suitable for reuse by a
That's so ridiculous. I would think that re-using them poses no real
hazard, they were always on power/phone poles on every property. And
like you I put it on the posts when I was a kid and had to rebuild our
fence gates. Certainly recycling the use is better than putting them in
a haz waste dump, they are probably not very toxic now.
Out of all the readily available, untreated _wood_ choices you have,
Western Red Cedar will give you the best longevity for ground contact.
Best, if you can find it, would be Black Locust posts:
The rock concept is true. It allows the post to ride above the wet - or
simply not sit in the mud.
Another trick is to paint the end with copper cheate (sp) it is green.
But in a garden - I'd use a bare copper line under the board - might
keep out the bugs for a while as the copper leaches into the soil.
On 5/4/2013 6:29 PM, Sonny wrote:
On 5/4/13 10:42 PM, Martin Eastburn wrote:
>> An old saying: Place a rock at the bottom of your post hole and when
>> the rock rots away, it's time to replace your (Locust) post.
It was a joke, not advice.
And the rock would work until the first rain.
Water doesn't rot wood.
Water carries tiny critters that eat the wood, and it feeds bigger
critters that eat wood. That's what rots wood.
It doesn't matter if it's sitting on or in water. If the bugs like to
eat it, they will, water or not. If the bugs don't like to eat it, it
If water rotted wood, there wouldn't be a single lake dock in Minnesota.
"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
The old saying is specific to Black Locust, as for as I know, and an exagge
rated compliment to its longevity as fence post material.... and, in effect
, seconding Karl's opinion/fact of BL being the best wood for posts.
Additionally, getting away from helping the OP:
In some cases, catalpa makes for long lasting fence posts, despite the wood
being soft and porous. Many split rail posts take root and grow into tree
s, hence, lasts a long time.
Our old homestead had a fence line, as this, until Hurricane Gustav blew do
wn most of the trees. I had some of the upper trunks milled and the sawdus
t or unseen chemistry, when working the subsequent boards, was very irritat
ing, even when slightly inhaled. That was some potent stuff, when sawing,
working with it. The wood is a pretty, chocolate brown. Here's a small be
nch from that catalpa cache - http://www.flickr.com/photos/43836144@N04/532
exaggerated compliment to its longevity as fence post material.... and, in
effect, seconding Karl's opinion/fact of BL being the best wood for posts.
being soft and porous. Many split rail posts take root and grow into trees,
hence, lasts a long time.
most of the trees. I had some of the upper trunks milled and the sawdust or
unseen chemistry, when working the subsequent boards, was very irritating, even
when slightly inhaled. That was some potent stuff, when sawing, working with
it. The wood is a pretty, chocolate brown. Here's a small bench from that
catalpa cache -
I turned some bowls out of catalpa. Almost like balsa.
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