Best Wood and Lumber for Building Raised Garden Beds
Raised garden bed offers many benefits to home gardeners. If you plan on building your own raised garden bed platform then it’s important to be able to pick the right materials. If you are building the frame using wood then it’s important to pick one that fits your vision and needs. As you read through the article, you will learn that certain types of wood are better-suited for certain conditions and environments. Ultimately, you want to build a sturdy raised garden bed that doesn’t break apart for many years. To start you off, here are three types of wood that you may want to consider when building the raised bed frame.
Redwood, also referred to as Sequoia sempervirens, is one of the tallest trees in the planet and is known for their longevity. edwood can only be found along the Pacific coast of Northern California and Southern Oregon. Redwood provides a number of benefits for gardeners who are building raised garden beds. For example, Redwood lumber is known for its durability and weather resistance. This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering that these trees could last over 2000 years. Redwood is popular among gardeners for aesthetic reasons as well. The red tint gives a nice color to the garden bed, which means you wouldn’t have to stain the wood for added color. Old growth redwood is hard to come by as there is no more cutting of ancient forests. It is available only through reclaimed lumber sources (you could add my link here). Second growth lumber is rot resistant compared with other woods, but more vulnerable to the elements than wood from older trees.
Cedar are attractive conifer trees that grow in many different places across the world. It’s not uncommon to find a cedar in your neighborhood, especially if you live somewhere in the Northwest of the U.S. where there is a lot of rain. Like Redwood, Cedar is also known for its versatility outdoors. Cedar is resin-free, which means it provides an ideal surface for a wide variety of finishes (such as dark stains). Cedar wood is also resistant to rot, decay and insects. It is also very flexible and will not split if made to conform to a curved shape.
Our final recommendation is Juniper wood. Like Cedar and Redwood, Juniper is long-lasting, environmentally-friendly, and chemical-free! Juniper trees are typically found in areas that have a cool temperament, like Oregon. Keep in mind, however, that Juniper wood doesn’t appeal to everyone because of its somewhat rustic appearance. It is cheaper than Redwood though so if price is a factor then add Juniper to your shortlist.
When you buy wood for the purpose of building structures like raised garden beds, make sure the wood itself was sourced sustainability. For example, for Cedar, you should only get it from a FSC-certified supplier (click here to access the FSC database). FSC certification is a recognition that the wood came from a responsibly managed forest. It’s a slightly different story with Juniper trees, however, as the act of harvesting Juniper is seen as a way of improving the ecosystem in places like Oregon.