Some people prefer gardening in raised beds, which have many benefits that offset the added cost of building and filling them with soil. They enable you to bring in nutrient-rich soil (free of any possible toxins), reduce the strain on your back and knees while gardening, provide visual interest and separation to your space, and can even deter some animals from eating your veggies. Raised beds can be custom-sized and shaped for your space (you’ll need to book a consultation for an estimate on custom-sized beds), or a great standard size is 4′x8′ (so you can reach the whole garden bed from the edge).
We will try to use reclaimed wood if you are interested, however the availability of different types of reclaimed wood can vary a lot. So please state your interest in reclaimed wood and we will let you know what type of wood is available for your beds. Currently, we mostly get reclaimed fir beams. We can install reclaimed wood as-is, or plane down the edges for a fresh clean look (this will cost extra).
Spruce Lumber (economical option)
We build many raised beds using spruce lumber. It is affordable and looks great. We typically treat spruce wood with a food-safe mineral-based wood stain called Lifetime Wood Treatment, which can preserve the length of life of the boards as well as add a silver shine to the wood. Our beds are constructed using industrial strength angle iron and galvanized nuts/bolts to ensure the raised beds maintain their form and structure for years to come (we estimate 10-15 years).
We also build raised beds out of cedar and fir lumber using industrial strength angle iron and galvanized nuts/bolts. The available lumber sizes can vary more than spruce.
Beams are a great way to build a strong and long-lasting raised bed. It can be done in the form of garden edging (for a large bed) or as a stand alone raised bed. Although we can use angle iron for beam beds (and longer bolts), we usually recommend the cheaper option of using large 8-12" nails vertically to hold the beams in place (rebar can also be used). We often have reclaimed fir beams in stock for garden edging.
Rabbits can be an issue, even in raised beds. Some people find rabbits do not jump into their raised beds, but others have more courageous rabbits. We build custom hinged rabbit fences that we can add to most raised beds, that way you still have easy access to your veggies, but keep the rabbits away when you aren't using the beds.
Key Benefits of Raised Beds
Better for your back and knees -- less bending over
No chance of soil contamination
Warms up faster (which can dry out soil -- water regularly!)
Clear delineation between garden and other areas