Why should I consider a raised garden bed?
Raised garden beds offer many benefits over traditional row gardening. Raised garden beds are attractive, easy to maintain, and can
be designed to fit your needs. Raised garden beds require less work...no back-breaking tilling or digging required!
Raised garden beds are ideal for areas where soil composition is poor as they sit on top of the ground. Fill with a mixture of garden
soil and organic material such as compost and you've created a soil paradise for your plants! Or better yet, use garden soil with
organic worm castings and organic fertilizer to make your garden thrive like never before.
Raised garden beds are ideal for intensive gardening, which allows you to harvest a maximum amount of produce in a minimal amount
of space. Because a higher percentage of available growing space is used, there is less room for weeds to grow and water can be
used more efficiently.
Raised garden beds allow for easier cultivation, easier plant and soil maintenance, and easier harvesting. You can easily reach into
every inch of your garden.
Don't stop at just one! A system of raised garden beds allows you to concentrate soil preparation in small areas, resulting in more
effective use of soil that is perfectly suited for your organic vegetable plant needs.
Raised garden beds are better suited for people with back problems or other physical limitations that may otherwise prevent the
enjoyment and satisfaction of gardening.
Is cedar safer than pressure-treated lumber?
The verdict is still out. Pressure-treated lumber produced in the US is no longer soaked in a toxic stew of harmful chemicals known as CCA (chromium, copper, and arsenic). However, unnatural chemical preservatives are still forced deep into the cellular structure of the wood through a special pressurization process. CCA alternatives have been around only since 2004 and many independent and academic studies are still being conducted on the safety of these new chemicals.
You need to decide if you want to risk exposure to the potentially-harmful unnatural chemical preservatives found in pressure-treated lumber, or if you want feel safe knowing that our premium grade Western Red Cedar is untreated and contains only natural, organic, "green" preservatives.
Are tools or hardware required for assembly?
No! We've developed a proprietary slide attachment system. All hardware is already precision-attached to the boards and posts, so you don't need to worry about nails or screws.
Although no tools are required for assembly, we've found that using a rubber mallet or a hammer to secure the pieces into place makes assembly easier. As part of our kits, we include several pieces of wood which should be used as "tap-blocks" since it prevents marring the cedar.
Is Western Red Cedar considered "green?"
Western Red Cedar is one of nature’s truly remarkable building materials. Not only does it have distinctive beauty, natural durability and centuries of proven performance, Western Red Cedar is the ultimate green product. It produces fewer greenhouse gases, generates less water and air pollution, requires less energy to produce than alternatives and comes from a renewable and sustainable resource. Equally important, Western Red Cedar is carbon neutral...it's as Green as it can get.
For more information about the amazing benefits of using Western Red Cedar, please visit http://www.wrcla.org.
How long will Western Red Cedar last?
Western Red Cedar is one of the world’s most beautiful and durable woods. Natural resistance to moisture, decay and insect damage makes it the premier choice for your outdoor use. Western Red Cedar is naturally at home in the sun, rain, heat and cold all year long. When Western Red Cedar is used in above-ground applications, it will last for decades; and when used as a raised bed garden and in direct contact with ground, it will last for many years.
What kind of soil should I use?
To maximize your success, we recommend using a mixture of 1/2 garden soil and 1/2 organic material such as compost. To increase soil drainage, you can also add in some course matter such as sand or vermiculite.
Top soil will work, but the quality varies widely and most top soil contains dormant weed seeds. It is less expensive than garden soil, so if you choose to go with top soil in your mixture, make sure that it is premium quality. Remember, one of the greatest benefits to using a raised bed garden is that there is less work involved. You don't want to spend more time weeding than planting and harvesting delicious, fresh vegetables, do you?
How much soil do I need for my raised garden beds?
To determine how much soil you will need, you need to calculate the volume of your raised bed. Measure the length (L), the width (W) and the height (H) in inches. Multiply L X W X H and the result (R) will be cubic inches. Now take the result (R) and divide by 1728 (that's how many cubic inches are in a cubic foot). Your answer will be in cubic feet and most big box stores and garden centers sell soil in 1 or 2 cubic foot bags.
Soil volume requirements for our raised garden bed kits are listed with each product.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Which plants are best suited for where I live?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Plant Zone Hardiness Map shows in detail the lowest temperatures that can be expected each year in the U.S. These "average annual minimum temperatures" and are based on the lowest temperatures recorded for each of the years 1974 to 1986. The map shows 10 different zones, each of which represents an area of winter hardiness for agricultural and natural landscape plants.
Although there are other very important factors to consider such as daily sun exposure and soil quality, you should refer to the most current interactive USDA Gardening and Plant Hardiness Zone Map before deciding what to plant and when to plant it.
Not sure which hardiness zone you're in? Just click here!
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