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Building beds......lumber? Toplef10Building beds......lumber? 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Building beds......lumber? I22gcj10Building beds......lumber? 14dhcg10

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Building beds......lumber?

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choksaw
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new2this
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Building beds......lumber? Empty Building beds......lumber?

Post  new2this 3/9/2010, 9:30 am

I am curious about using regular pine (untreated) for my beds. Is there a finish I can use on the inside that is "safe" for the veggies? I am also thinking that painting the outside colorful and fun would be kinda cool. Are there suggestions for products to use for sealing/finishing the lumber?

OR....do I go with cedar?

I want to do this right the first time and not have to fix rotted corners or anything.

Suggestions?

Thanks
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Post  boffer 3/9/2010, 10:36 am

Hi new2this,

Welcome to the forum and thanks for the question-it hasn't been asked in awhile.
There's no one 'right' answer. Wood selection is based on your preferences and circumstances. Here's some ideas to consider, and I'm sure others will chime in with theirs.

Lots of folks use unsealed pine or fir. I can only think of one person who mentioned replacing boards in a box due to rot-that was at the 5 year mark, but she had started with used lumber to begin with. Linseed oil is probably the most frequently mentioned natural sealer that is used. Personally, I don't think that there is a non-toxic sealer that will withstand the rigors of being in constant contact with damp soil.

My climate is very cruel to exposed wood. I use pressure treated wood for all my boxes. I line the inside with 6 mil plastic to prevent possible leaching of chemicals into the soil. From what I've seen, folks who use PT wood are in the small minority.

There's no doubt cedar will outlast pine. But that goes back to pocketbook priorities. If you're able to scrounge used lumber, a rotted board isn't a big deal other than the time it takes to replace it. A rotted board isn't like a tire blow-out; it's more like a slow leak. You have a chance to repair it at your convenience-like at the end of summer after harvest time.

Let us know what you decide, and be sure to post some pictures when you have a chance
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Post  choksaw 3/9/2010, 11:45 am

i recently built my boxs useing $2 2x4's from lowes regular pine they even cut them for me to make transporting in my 3000gt a little easier lol i treated the outside of the boxes with a linseed based stain trying to be as careful as i could not to get any on the inside.

A handy little trick for waterproofing/staining your box:
get a piece of cardboard as you go a long the top edge of the box with the brush place the cardboard on the inside of the box just below the lip work your way around the box with the cardboard useing it as a splash sheild its not 100% effective but for the most part it keeps the splash to a minimum oil based products are such a pain to paint with cause they flow so freely.


Ive never seen a cedar tree but i have seen a cedar pine tree kinda makes you wonder why one will outlast the other once its processed
choksaw
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Post  Jessie 3/9/2010, 1:09 pm

I am also new to SFG this year and have been doing a lot of research on it. I have been told to get untreated wood and paint vegetable oil on them, or even better or food grade flax seed oil. If you decide to use linseed oil check the label to make sure it has no toxic preservatives because some do.
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Post  critterculler 3/10/2010, 8:35 am

Hi, You can always use cinder blocks and never worry about replacing them, and also have extra planting spots. Seeya Phil
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Post  SirTravers 3/10/2010, 2:45 pm

I've been looking into wood preservatives and have found a product that is safe to use on the inside of the beds as well. It's called One Time Wood
The makers of the product intended it to be for decks and roofs and such, but I contacted them and they assure me that it's completely inert after it cures. It's a lil pricey, but it's guaranteed for 7 years.
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Post  mommix3 3/11/2010, 10:10 pm

how do you use cinder blocks? We just removed a cinder block fence from around our property and saved the unbroken bricks to be reused.. I would love to be able to use them to SFG. I'm a newbie so I'm totally clueless.. Thanks

Angie
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Post  boffer 3/11/2010, 10:23 pm

I went for the 'rural' look. I threw them on the ground and didn't pay too much attention to how straight the line was. I think you can see that in this pic.

Building beds......lumber? Spacen13


I ran out of blocks so I finished with rocks. I've seen pics from only one person who poured a footer and layed blocks properly, he went up two courses. The holes in the blocks can be used to grow lettuce, beets, rads, or ?
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Post  mommix3 3/11/2010, 10:27 pm

Awesome!!!!Thanks for the pic. I know what the kids and I are doing over spring break..

Angie
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Post  choksaw 3/12/2010, 4:11 pm

actualy looking at boffers garden it never occured to me that a cinder block border is an awesome idea granted the holes are not a sqaure foot but would make a perfect place to plant marigolds (for pest deffense) and other flowers to help attract benificial bugs and maybe some humming birds. hmmmmmm that gives me a few ideas for some of the left over lumber that i have lol drawing board here i come
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