1 Measure and cut four landscape timbers to the desired length and width of the raised planter.Avoid making the width wider than 4 or 5 feet, so you can access plants easily in the center of the planter.Lay the four timbers in the desired location for the raised bed with the ends butted against each other.2 Trace along the edges of the boards with a spade shovel, trowel, digging bar or similar object.Cut through the turf layer using a spade and scrape away the grass using a flat shovel.5 Spread a 2-inch layer of pea gravel inside the trenches and pack it firmly with a hand tamper to create a solid footing for the timbers.6 Drill 1/2-inch diameter pilot holes through each of the four base timbers, spaced every 2 feet along each board.8 Measure and cut 1/2-inch diameter rebar to lengths equal to the height of the landscape timbers plus 12 inches.Drive the rebar pieces through the pilot holes and 12 inches deep into the soil, using a hand sledgehammer.The number of courses needed depends on the dimensions of the landscape timbers and the desired height. .

Are Landscaping Timbers Safe for Garden Use?

However, before 2004, landscaping timbers were treated with a solution that contained arsenic, which may not be safe for use in your garden, particularly if you’re growing edible plants or have pets that might chew the wood.The Concern Landscape timbers used as garden edges or as part of raised beds are in constant contact with the soil.However, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, as of January 2004, manufacturers voluntarily stopped using CCA for all products intended for use in residential applications. .

How to Build a Raised Bed using Landscaping Timbers

To ensure our content is always up-to-date with current information, best practices, and professional advice, articles are routinely reviewed by industry experts with years of hands-on experience.Building a raised bed with landscaping timbers has many advantages for you and your garden.It makes it easier for plants to grow because the bed can be filled with richer soil than what is available naturally.Also, if you have back pain or spinal injuries, you will have an easier time since you won’t have to bend down to do your gardening.Remove the landscaping timbers and you should now have two rectangular outlines on the ground, one inside the other.Place the 4-foot and 8-foot timbers in the trench and line up the corners in such a way that they join together in a clockwise order. .

How to Build A Raised Planting Bed

Learn how to build a raised flower bed in the steps below.If you use the same beefy 6x6 timbers shown here, you shouldn't go beyond 10 feet because the timbers will get too heavy.For the bed itself, line the bottom with more gravel and drill weep holes through the timbers' sides.Most of the precision and muscle work in building the bed comes in digging the trenches and leveling and squaring up the first course of timbers.Then you simply add a railing, shovel in the topsoil, and plant your new garden.Clear the site of obstructions and arrange 4 timbers in an outline of the planned bed, butting each timber's end against the next timber's side.Using a spade or square-edged shovel, mark the bed's outline by cutting vertically through the turf both inside and outside the loose-laid timbers' perimeter.Fill the trench with 2 inches of gravel.Lay the timbers in the trenches with all the pilot holes vertical.Using a 4-foot level and framing square, level and square the four timbers, adding or removing gravel as necessary.Fasten the frame with rebar.Using a sledgehammer, drive a length of rebar through the pilot holes in the timbers and at least 1 foot into the ground.Using a drill/driver, drive timber screws down through the top course and into the timber beneath, two at each corner and one in the center of each side.Using an extended ½-inch spade bit, drill weep holes for drainage through the second course every 4 feet.Lay the third course of timbers clockwise on top of the second, lapping the corners again.Drill a horizontal pilot hole through the rails edge and across the mitered corner.Fill to within 2 to 3 inches of the top of the bed. .

Building a Raised Garden Bed

Our asparagus bed is located on some gently sloping ground at the corner of our property that in the past has grown acceptable crops of tomatoes and broccoli.I deep dug the plot in 2006, mixing copious amounts of composted cow manure, peat moss, bone meal, and lime into the soil before transplanting asparagus plants I'd grown from seed into it.I already had some of the required treated timbers on hand, so I decided to go ahead and build a permanent raised bed for our asparagus.Lacking surveyors tools (or skills) to accurately survey the slope involved, I later realized a second layer of timbers would be required on the high side, as the base would disappear into the soil.Mine wasn't terribly expensive, as I picked it up several years ago off the sale table at a local hardware store.I also keep a bag of builders' sand around to make filling the low spots a bit easier.I use a long, 3/8"x16" spade wood bit to drill through the timber before hammering in the rebar with a two handed short handled sledge.The photos below are from our main plot raised bed construction, but give a good look at rebar going in both at an angle (inset) and straight down.I'll add here that while my DeWALT cordless drill is a dandy, I did string heavy duty extension cords to the building site for the asparagus bed.Amazon , Plow & Hearth , and Garden.com all offer reasonably priced kits for 4'x4' and 3'x6' raised garden beds.The old CCA (chromated copper arsenate) treated lumber or timbers have the danger of leaching arsenic, a carcinogen, into your soil.Paul Calback shared his experience in building a raised bed for asparagus with me recently.The lush growth of asparagus hinders access, but a shorter reach in the new bed will be helpful.And of course, a 48" outside width allowed me to cut the end cap pieces from just one timber, helping hold the cost down just a bit.But even on the one end I did backfill, I needed a couple of lumber scraps to drive the rototiller into the new bed.I had lots of peat moss and screened compost available, so they were mixed with the existing soil to make what I hope will be an ideal growing medium.There's actually room for a wide aisle and one more narrow raised bed, probably similar in size to the one I just put in.It has taken a year, but I realized that I hadn't updated this page to reflect what probably will be a final raised garden bed on our property.I got started leveling ground and laying the base timbers on March 31, 2014, finishing the project the next day.Differences this time around were that I had a nearly brand new 4x4 truck to haul materials, and I'd found a new source for good compost with which to fill the bed.The compost was mixed with a couple of bales of peat moss and the native, underlying soil.The soil in the new bed got to settle for a whole week before I transplanted what would turn out to be a fabulous crop of broccoli and cauliflower.Defying proper crop rotation, we seeded the bed to kale after the broccoli and cauliflower came out.The area around the new raised bed is still low and subject to standing water after a heavy rain.But by using walking boards and/or farm boots, the bed can still be worked in pretty wet conditions.Fortunately, I'd tilled the bed in the fall and covered it with grass clipping mulch for the winter.In mid-March, I pulled back the mulch and seeded the bed to tall, early peas, which were just beginning to break the soil surface yesterday.But I keep looking at the area around our shallow well cover, thinking an herb garden in a raised bed might go really well there.I ran across a podcast today from Growing a Greener World that shows Joe Lamp'l building a whole bunch of raised beds using 6" x 6" cedar landscape timbers.But there are lots of nuggets of knowledge on building raised beds in his podcast and in his show notes at the bottom of the page that may prove helpful to my readers.If so, why not come back to our Senior Gardening List of Affiliated Advertisers the next time you plan to purchase something online.Clicking through one of our ads will produce a small commission for Senior Gardening for any purchase you make, and you won't pay any more than you would have by directly going to the vendor's site. .

How to Install Landscape Timber Edging

Drive the stake into the ground at one end of the border planting or grass area.Remove all weeds and other organic material from the bed area.Level and Tamp the Ground Prepare the ground at the edge of the border planting so that it is ready to receive the landscape timber edging.When you reach one end of the edging run, mark the last piece for cutting at the desired length.Join the cut piece to the end of the row with mending plates, as before.Construct the Corners Cut more straight pieces, as needed, to make 90-degree turns.Mark the edge of the timber at the protractor's center mark.Cut the timber along the line.You can secure the pieces together with screws driven at an angle through both pieces (drill pilot holes first), or you can bend a 90-degree corner brace to match the custom angle, and install the brace with screws. .

How to Make a Juniper Raised Bed for the Garden — Seattle's

To solve this problem, we attached the three corners that we could, then turned the whole frame on its side.Lay down the next level of the bed, alternating the pattern of the timbers so none of the seams overlap.Attach with 5” screws.We used one screw on either end and two in the middle to attach the second level to the first, and then repeated the process to attach the third level to the second. .

Gardening: all about landscape timbers

Using treated landscape timbers in vegetable gardens has been a controversial subject for many years.Some of the worry comes from the scary-sounding name of the chemical commonly used as a preservative to treat pine -- chromated copper arsenate, shortened to CCA in the lumber business.Why use treated timbers in the first place?The study, conducted under the auspices of the Department of Soil, Water and Climate, looked at six raised-bed planting sites across the metro area, each with treated landscape timbers at least 10 years old.The soil was tested for arsenic levels in several places at each site, starting about 1 inch from the wood.They also tested the soil about 5 feet away from the bed, for comparison.Arsenic levels found in the soil are the first part of the story.After eight weeks in the greenhouse, the plants were harvested and tested for arsenic levels.In all instances, the vegetables growing in soil taken 0 to 1 inch from the treated wood had higher levels of arsenic than those growing in soil taken 5 feet away, which confirms that some uptake does occur.For more information about this study, go to the Yard & Garden Web site at http://www.extension.umn.edu/projects/yardandgarden/. .

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