Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Building a Raised Box for Gardening

Growing vegetables in a wooden container box gives us more control of the kind of soil, nutrients, and amendments used.  It gives us easier access to remove weeds and check for insects and diseases.  It is also easier to hand water the garden when needed.

My husband and I have been talking about gardening in a raised box but we have always disregarded the idea until recently.  The idea of having a box for growing our vegetables in has slowly grown on us.  Last Friday morning, we bought pressure treated lumber from a home improvement center to build an 8 x 4 foot box for less than $50 including screws for the wood.  We decided on pressure treated wood because of its durability.

The improvement center associate cut the lumber for us at no extra cost.  We had him cut one of the 8 foot long boards in half to be used as ends.  He also cut the two 2 x 4 x 8 pieces in half to be used as "legs" in each corner.

We wanted to have legs in each corner of the box.  One foot of each leg would go into the ground for stability.  Another foot would house the box itself.  This would leave two additional feet for future use.  We could easily add another box and secure it to the legs.

Material Used for a Garden Box
In addition, we could easily cover the box with a frost blanket if needed and secure it to the legs.  Or we could use the legs to secure a sun screen during the sunniest part of the growing season.

Raised boxes may of curse be constructed with less expensive material and without legs and in various sizes.  This is the material we used for an 8 x 4 foot box:

Three (3) 2x8x8 ft Pressured Treated Weathershield
Two (2) 2x4x8 ft Pressured Treated Weathershield
One (1) box of 3" Exterior Screws (for pressured treated wood)

I started to question the safety of pressure treated wood not that our box is almost completed.  What if the chemicals used to treat the wood should leach out into the soil?  What affect would that have on the soil and the vegetables?  To find an answer to my nagging concern, I checked with the YellaWood and found the following:

Scientific studies have proven that any copper that may migrate from the treated wood becomes biologically inactive, thus causing no eco-toxic or other environmental impact.  YellaWood products are gentle enough to be used in raised gardens and durable enough to provide long-term protection.

The building of a raised garden box will continue.

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