I'm going to be building a raised garden bed out of pressure-treated
landscaping timbers, and I wanted to know how long re-bar would last in
First off, this is for a flower garden only, not a veggie garden, so
anything leaching from the PT lumber will be of no health consequences.
Secondly, this will be in a relatively hidden part of the yard, so it
don't need to look incredibly purdy. For this reason, staining from
the metal vs. wood is also of no consequence.
I'm planning on predrilling holes through the timbers, then pounding
re-bar through and into the ground about two additional feet. So my
question is two-fold:
1. How long would this re-bar last before it rusted so badly from the
PT chemicals that it lost it's holding abilities?
2. Is there a better material I could use similar (and as cheaply) to
re-bar that wouldn't rust so badly?
The bed will be three timbers high, so roughly 6 - 9 inches in total
Not much will be cheaper than rebar. If you have a chance, make sure
you interlock your corners. I have found this to be the best way to
If I build one of these, I put the frame or design (if it is just a
wall) and tack it together with some small galvanized nails on the
edges. Once assembled, I take my drill with a spade bit and a 12"
extension (HD or Lowe's, $6) and chuck up the 5/8" bit. Drill every
16 inches if it is on unlevel ground, and only go about 16" into
If the ground is pretty level, then the stakes are only about 24"
apart. In all cases though, you need to make sure your timbers have
some 40d galvanized at the joints if you have them in the field. Also,
no matter what the length, drill though your corner or turn joints and
stake those. I never go more than 16" into the undisturbed soil, and
never use less than a 1/2" bar.
If I were afraid of rust, I would simply spray the bars with car
undercoating before installing. At any rate, I still see one that I
put in many years ago (7-8?), and nothing has failed anywhere on it.
It looks like it has a few years left, and nothing was done to prevent
rust. I don't think rust will be a problem for you, regardless of the
PT you are using. And if it is just plain old landscaping timbers
which are mostly dipped/soaked, not PRESSURE treated, you won't have
problems. When you cut one, you will see what I mean. I don't think
I have ever seen one of those things that the treatment material went
more than 3/4" to 1" into the wood.
I line mine completely with plastic like visqueen, rolling the plastic
all the way up to the edge to be but off later for appearance sake.
This will help keep unwanted plants from sneaking in as a root or
On 30 May 2006 08:07:45 -0700, wood firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I have about ten years in now on mine done the same way here in
Houston. I used half-lap joints at the ends. 24 inches down was way
overkill - both from the standpoint of pounding them in, and later
getting them out if necessary. I recently had to pull a couple out,
and gave up and pounded them all the way in (gumbo grips!) - too much
There was no significant rusting of the rebar, and minimal staining of
I've done this is in the past, and agree with the other posters. However, I
recently had a job doing a large retaining wall with railroad ties. The
owner didn't want rebar, so I broke down and tried Timberlock screws.
They're great. You'll need a 1/2" drill to drive them in, but they're quick,
easy, and solid as rock..... They are a bit pricey, but then it only takes
about 15 seconds to drive one, aas oppoased to drilling, then driving in
I built a retaining wall using 4x4 Sunwood Pressure treated lumber. The
wall is 3 feet high and I secured by driving 1/2 rebar through holes I
drilled with a larger auger and drill and driving the rebar at least 2' feet
into the ground. Its been 10 years and I cannot see one instance of any
movement or structural degradation. The wood itself looks great and even
still has the red color
Rebar is overkill for a three level flower bed.
This is an excellent reason to go buy a new tool !!!
Go get a palm nailer and some 5" ring shanked spikes
designed for this purpose. I can assure you that once
these spikes are driven in pt, they will NEVER, EVER
come out for any reason.
The flower bed will never move and in the event you
outlive the PT wood, who will care.
If you can find the wider landscaping timbers, they
can be mitered at the ends for a very nice look.
Most folks just half lap or just stack them up.
wood email@example.com wrote:
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