Category Archives: Raised Bed

New Gardens This Spring

Unless your soil is just rock and hard clay, there’s a new way of gardening which is much easier – No Till.

The basics of No Till are to cover you soil and weeds with cardboard and then six inches of compost. I would probably cut the grass and weeds as close as possible to the ground, but you don’t need to till or dig the soil. Brand new compost which you buy from a supplier can be quite “hot” literally so you may need to let it cool off before you do any planting. Ideally, you would put it on in late fall. I buy my compost from If you have a friend with a pickup truck, you can buy compost for $28/yard.

Even though I put down a tarp, I burned the grass since this compost was so hot. I now have it delivered to my concrete driveway.

Another advantage to using compost is that you don’t need any fertilizer.

Below is a demonstration of the No Till method. He calls it No Dig, but it’s the same as No Till.

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Filed under Compost, Gardening, Raised Bed, soil, Soil Amendments

Starting No-Dig Gardens in Winter

If you’re interested in starting a No-Dig garden in the spring time, early winter might be a better time using Charles Dowding’s methods. In the video below he starts a garden using just compost. The problem I have is that the compost I buy from St. Louis Composting is still quite hot when I get it and 8 to 12 inches of it would burn and probably kill new plants.

The trick is to buy it now and let it sit all winter so that it will be ready for planting in spring. Here’s is Charle’s method in the video below.

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Filed under No Dig, Raised Bed

Fasteners for Raised Beds

While there are many online videos on the mechanics of building garden raised beds, none that I have found actually talk about which are the best fasteners to use.

The video below goes into the holding power of different nails and screws. To cut to the chase, the deck screws hold the best and are corrosion resistant, but are more expensive than other options.

It appears that the St. Louis group Gateway Greening uses deck screws in their raised beds.

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Treated Wood for Vegetable Beds

If you take advice from  Rodale’s Organic Life, you won’t use any sort of treated lumber for your garden beds.

On the other hand, Gateway Greening uses a type of treated pine call Lifewood in all their gardens. Here is a great article on their decision.
They get their lumber from Fehlig Lumber.

Chromated copper arsenate (CCA) is a type of treated lumber that is not allowed for residential use since Dec. 31, 2003.

There are many other choices that the industry uses. Here are some articles about these choices and their possible health issues.

Wood Prices- 2″ x 12″ x 8′ three pieces

$27- Prime Kiln-Dried Southern Yellow Pine

$45 – Cedar-Tone Pressure-Treated Lumber –


This Old House Video – Cedar,,20263013,00.html


Pine – 4 x 4 Raised Bed


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Filed under Misc, Raised Bed, soil