En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Sides for raised gardens

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - May 01, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Container Gardens, Planting
Title: Sides for raised gardens
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am wanting to put in raised gardens. What is the best product for the sides? Wood? If so, what kind? Thank you

ANSWER:

Construction work is a little out of our line, but since we know a lot of gardeners, particularly in Central Texas where there's not much dirt in the ground, are moving towards raised beds for drainage, enrichment, etc. We are going to recommend some websites that will answer your questions a whole lot better than we can.

First, this eartheasy site Raised Garden Beds has detailed construction specifications, materials recommendations, etc. In particular, note the paragraph about treated wood. Treated lumber has several types of preservatives, among them different types of arsenates. There is growing concern about the dangers of arsenic leaching into the ground or rubbing off on people's hands from the treated wood. Rather than treated lumber, if you wish to use wood, try red cedar, black locust or redwood. Recycled composite plastic lumber is another alternative.

Another website, Texas A&M Horticulture Extension on Building a Raised Bed Garden, addresses some other materials you might want to try, like brick or stone. And, most of the home improvement and garden stores carry modular molded cement blocks that can be stacked mortarless in varying shapes and sizes. You will have to make the decision on which product works best for you, based on cost, labor, and how much area you want to have in raised beds.

 

More Planting Questions

Native Desert Willow and bunchgrass for Lubbock TX
July 29, 2013 - We live in Lubbock and have decided to try to make our front yard as native as possible. It has been a very difficult process finding native species locally (even the local Aggie nursery sells a lot ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Philadelphus Innocence mock orange from Paris TX
June 20, 2012 - What is the best place in the garden to grow Philadelphus Innocence mock orange in Paris, Tx? Also, how long after transplanting do flowers occur? Any tips appreciated
view the full question and answer

Plants native to Hudson River
December 03, 2010 - What plants grow along/in the Hudson River?
view the full question and answer

Putting in native grass in June in Manor TX
May 31, 2012 - We are moving into a new-built house in the middle of June. We opted to not have them put in Bermuda grass as we wanted to seed a native mix. From my understanding, mid June will be too late to start ...
view the full question and answer

Soil for native Chilopsis linearis and Salvia greggii
February 08, 2010 - I want to plant a desert willow and a salvia greggii in my small lot. The developer used sandy loam to fill in the small garden in the front. I am 73 and a bit impaired. Do I really need to remove ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center