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Post  lturner on 2/16/2012, 2:46 pm

We have been pricing materials for our boxes. I have read some posts and watched many videos. I have seen a few gardens that have used the Trex building materials (they never rot). Financially this sounds like it is worth the extra cost up front, but the problem is the size. The Trex we have found is only 5.5 inches deep. Has anyone had any success with this material? It would be very convenient not to have to stain all the wood and it is guaranteed not to rot. I look forward to any responses! Smile
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Post  morganfam7 on 3/22/2012, 1:46 am

No experience, sorry!

Sam's has a kit for around $70 for a 4x4x6":

The ‘Green’ eco-friendly, durable Composite Timbers are manufactured
from 60% recycled, post-consumer plastic and 40% wood flour – sawdust
from Pine and Poplar trees. They never rot, warp, splinter or lose their
color - which just weathers naturally like real wood and are easily
secured with two stainless steel screws into the revolving plastic
brackets on the heavy duty ‘green’ plastic joint stakes to make a 48”
section from joint to joint. Because they are hollow they retain the
heat of the sunshine to diffuse the heat throughout the night to and
keep the soil at a constant temperature.

I'm not so sure that last sentence is a good thing in Middle South area in the summer.

I've seen people mention these, so I'm sure someone here is using it and could give some feedback about it.

Sorry I couldn't help with the other one.

http://www.samsclub.com/sams/shop/product.jsp?productId=201834&navAction=
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Post  B maier on 3/22/2012, 3:55 am

See this thread here for what I'm doing

https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t10982-cheap-plastic-2x3-boxes

$13 for a 2ft x 3ft x 8in box

go nuts
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Post  TechnoHippie4351 on 4/5/2012, 11:29 am

I just built 3 4x6x1 boxes using fence posts from Lowes. I bought 24 fence boards at 1.59 ish a piece. They are treated, I know some people shy away from that... I think you can find cedar ones for a little more $. I used a tutorial from Ana White Homemaker as a jumping off point, and I changed some things to make them turn out to be bigger beds and no wasted materials. I actually had 2 boards left over. I could share how I did them if you like.

The 3 beds were about $35. The only other materials we used were some 4x4s used for corner bracing, but my DH had those lying around. Here are pictures https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t11257-i-did-it
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building material for SFG box Empty Sam's kits

Post  kgooding on 4/15/2012, 8:26 am

I bought three kits from Sam's. The only problem with the kits that I found were that each kit actually made 2- 3.5' squares, instead of 4' squares. Now, at the time I didn't think it would be that big of a deal to have half squares, I'd just have to make the grid to adjust to them. In reality, it's a bit more of a pain in the butt when you start building cages to protect and cover things and next year I'll be rethinking my crop placement to account for this. I would say that I'd just replace them and build my own in a few years when they wear out, but they are made of trex and I'm thinking I'm going to have them for a long time. I did see at Home Depot they now have individual parts that they sell in the garden section that are trex and corner posts so you can pretty easily assemble a raised garden bed, if you have a home depot I'd check it out. Good luck!
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Post  TN_GARDENER on 4/15/2012, 9:01 am

@kgooding wrote:I bought three kits from Sam's. The only problem with the kits that I found were that each kit actually made 2- 3.5' squares, instead of 4' squares. Now, at the time I didn't think it would be that big of a deal to have half squares, I'd just have to make the grid to adjust to them. In reality, it's a bit more of a pain in the butt when you start building cages to protect and cover things and next year I'll be rethinking my crop placement to account for this. I would say that I'd just replace them and build my own in a few years when they wear out, but they are made of trex and I'm thinking I'm going to have them for a long time. I did see at Home Depot they now have individual parts that they sell in the garden section that are trex and corner posts so you can pretty easily assemble a raised garden bed, if you have a home depot I'd check it out. Good luck!

Also, don't forget if/when you do make your own boxes that four, four foot boards do not make a 4 foot square. You'll need your boards to be just a bit longer than 4 feet so the inner dimensions are four feet.
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Post  lisaphoto on 4/15/2012, 10:45 am

I saw white plastic/trex boards at lowes yesterday in all types of lengths and widths. There was a 12 foot long board that I think was 12 inches wide (or it may have been 8 inches) for $39. You could make a 4x4 out of just one board, so the cost wasn't too high.
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Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 4/15/2012, 11:02 am

@lisaphoto wrote:I saw white plastic/trex boards at lowes yesterday in all types of lengths and widths. There was a 12 foot long board that I think was 12 inches wide (or it may have been 8 inches) for $39. You could make a 4x4 out of just one board, so the cost wasn't too high.

What was the thickness?
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Post  TN_GARDENER on 4/15/2012, 2:06 pm

@lisaphoto wrote:I saw white plastic/trex boards at lowes yesterday in all types of lengths and widths. There was a 12 foot long board that I think was 12 inches wide (or it may have been 8 inches) for $39. You could make a 4x4 out of just one board, so the cost wasn't too high.

12 foot?

If you had a back wall or fence, then yes. Otherwise, you'll need just over 16 feet of board to make a 4'x4' box with butt joints (use corner braces and you can make em from 16 feet of board)

A real economical way to make boxes with bought boards is to look at fence boards or pallet boards. They aren't very thick (usually about a half inch) and aren't quite 6 inches, but with a little creativity (mainly excavating an inch or two of subsoil) they can work.

If you don't want to excavate subsoil, you can double stack them and still save some cash (often the fence boards go for $2 or so).



credit www.littletexasgarden.com

building material for SFG box Cedar-Fence-Board-Raised-Bed
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Post  philct on 4/15/2012, 6:56 pm

I bought 1x6 cedar deck planks unfinished in 16 foot sections that I had them cut to size for me. The price was 9 bucks for each 16 foot plank... The post was a cedar post, but more expensive, I think I paid 20 bucks for it... So for a bed 4'x8'x10" cost me about 50 bucks.

[img]https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/building material for SFG box 00412[/img]
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Post  dgram41 on 4/17/2012, 8:04 pm

@philct wrote:I bought 1x6 cedar deck planks unfinished in 16 foot sections that I had them cut to size for me. The price was 9 bucks for each 16 foot plank... The post was a cedar post, but more expensive, I think I paid 20 bucks for it... So for a bed 4'x8'x10" cost me about 50 bucks.

[img]https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/building material for SFG box 00412[/img]

Where did you buy this cedar?
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building material for SFG box Empty yes I used trex (veranda)

Post  greenehousemike on 4/24/2012, 10:44 pm

I made my boxes out of a trex like decking boards. I used a brand named Veranda. I got it at Home depot for around $12 for 8 foot by 5.5. This is the second year I have bought it at this price. Start looking in Jan.

I have 4 boxes now (4x8). I stacked up 2 layers making my boxes 11in deep. 2 of the boxes have been in for a year. There is no sign of decay and still looks great. There is one thing you must do if you use this type of decking. If you have 2 layers you must support the long side. I used a 2x2 made of the same materal on all the corners and in the middle of the 8ft sides. I made them 15in long and dug the extra length into the ground giving support to the sides. There was one side I could not dig in and that side is bowing out a little.

I would highly recommend using this. If you can find it cheap.
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building material for SFG box Empty look around you may not have to pay for anything

Post  metal8lover on 4/25/2012, 12:29 am

@lturner wrote:We have been pricing materials for our boxes. I have read some posts and watched many videos. I have seen a few gardens that have used the Trex building materials (they never rot). Financially this sounds like it is worth the extra cost up front, but the problem is the size. The Trex we have found is only 5.5 inches deep. Has anyone had any success with this material? It would be very convenient not to have to stain all the wood and it is guaranteed not to rot. I look forward to any responses! Smile

hey when we build stuff we try never to spend a dime because we live in a warehouse district we all ways have access to shipping palets in fact we build our greenhouse wth some. so just look around alot of times people have free wood at their finger tips and don't even know it good luck:face:
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Post  cheyannarach on 4/25/2012, 2:34 am

@metal8lover wrote:
@lturner wrote:We have been pricing materials for our boxes. I have read some posts and watched many videos. I have seen a few gardens that have used the Trex building materials (they never rot). Financially this sounds like it is worth the extra cost up front, but the problem is the size. The Trex we have found is only 5.5 inches deep. Has anyone had any success with this material? It would be very convenient not to have to stain all the wood and it is guaranteed not to rot. I look forward to any responses! Smile

hey when we build stuff we try never to spend a dime because we live in a warehouse district we all ways have access to shipping palets in fact we build our greenhouse wth some. so just look around alot of times people have free wood at their finger tips and don't even know it good luck:face:

Yes, I love that, we see "scrap wood" piles at construction sites and stop and ask if we can "clean up" for them we have gotten some great lumber that way, I'll post pictures tomorrow!
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Post  Goosegirl on 4/25/2012, 5:23 am

@lturner wrote: The Trex we have found is only 5.5 inches deep. Has anyone had any success with this material? It would be very convenient not to have to stain all the wood and it is guaranteed not to rot. I look forward to any responses! Smile

5.5" is the actual width of any surfaced supposed 6" lumber (a 2x6 isn't actually 2 inches by 6 inches unless it is rough-sawn, not sanded/smoothed/planed). It is not an issue with planting. It is more than enough room for crops. If you have a bottom on your box, roots will just go sideways if they hit it - makes for some interesting looking carrots! If you want parsnips or straight long varieties of carrots, make a little top-hat for a square or 2. Or do one box with the side boards 2-high.

GG
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Post  SwampCatNana on 4/25/2012, 2:05 pm

Is white cedar okay for the boxes? I could make a 4x4x8 bed for just over $18.00. Lowe's has 1x8x8s for just $8.45 a board.
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Post  curio on 4/25/2012, 2:14 pm

I would think it should be. Cedar is one of the longer "lived" woods that can be used outside.
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Post  SwampCatNana on 4/25/2012, 3:47 pm

I just came upon this from Home Depot. A raised bed, 4x4, cedar for $34.97. http://tinyurl.com/7ao53d8
building material for SFG box Ac47694c-bd32-41f5-b475-cb1a700e7463_300

The boards are 1x8

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Post  gwennifer on 4/25/2012, 6:59 pm

@lturner wrote:...the problem is the size. The Trex we have found is only 5.5 inches deep.

I used vinyl fence rails and posts and the rails are also only 5.5". I did excavate a bit inside the bed before lining with landscape fabric to get that extra 0.5". Wish I'd gone deeper to allow for headroom inside the rails because having it filled to the brim makes it easy to spill precious Mel's Mix when transplanting or pulling out spent plants.

BUT, if I had to do it again I wouldn't go two rails high or dig deeper inside... I'd make a table top!
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Post  givvmistamps on 4/25/2012, 7:18 pm

@SwampCatNana wrote:I just came upon this from Home Depot. A raised bed, 4x4, cedar for $34.97. http://tinyurl.com/7ao53d8
building material for SFG box Ac47694c-bd32-41f5-b475-cb1a700e7463_300

The boards are 1x8
This is the one that I got. The boards are rough, but we haven't gotten any splinters. Cedar is known to be termite- and rot-resistant. It will rot eventually, but it takes a lot longer than pine or whatever. It's actually constructed of 1"x3-1/2" boards, stacked 2 high. You still get a 1" clearance once you put in 6" of soil mix. Happily, the interior completed measurements come to 4'x4', so marking off 1' squares is simple.

Here's what they look like with trellises made per the ANSFG book's instructions:
2012.04.14.02
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Post  SwampCatNana on 4/25/2012, 8:11 pm


This is the one that I got. The boards are rough, but we haven't gotten any splinters. Cedar is known to be termite- and rot-resistant. It will rot eventually, but it takes a lot longer than pine or whatever. It's actually constructed of 1"x3-1/2" boards, stacked 2 high. You still get a 1" clearance once you put in 6" of soil mix. Happily, the interior completed measurements come to 4'x4', so marking off 1' squares is simple.

Here's what they look like with trellises made per the ANSFG book's instructions:
2012.04.14.02[/quote]

They look great. However much I would love to get them, I better stick to making my own. Thanks for the photos.
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Post  Cosmo on 1/30/2013, 1:55 am

Instead of going the wood (composite wood) route, my wife & I decided to make our 4X4 boxes out of new cinder blocks. Yes, it was literally a pain, but we are in this for the long haul.
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Post  jmsieglaff on 1/30/2013, 9:02 am

@Cosmo wrote:Instead of going the wood (composite wood) route, my wife & I decided to make our 4X4 boxes out of new cinder blocks. Yes, it was literally a pain, but we are in this for the long haul.

Agreed, we used split-faced tan blocks (a little more decorative if that is a concern). We bought 56 blocks for 4 4x4 beds (which next year we'll probably convert into 2 4x11 foot beds by getting rid of the two paths and connecting the small beds). I want to say we paid $1.89 per block; that combined with a delivery fee and a pallet of various composts was a little bit under $200. Cedar can be very expensive and still has to be replaced at some point. Hauling and moving the blocks is some hard work though, but well worth it.
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Post  toledobend on 1/30/2013, 10:58 am

I'm still new at this but one advantage I've found with 4x4 boxes is that you can have a trellis at the north end of each box. I also have a 4x13 cinder block box that could have more than one trellis, but I would be shading plants with a second trellis in the middle.
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Post  quiltbea on 1/30/2013, 11:13 am

SwampCat....Refigure that price. You'll need 3 boards, not 2. Two long ones and one cut in half but its still a great price for cedar which will last a long time.
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