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The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › materials for building raised beds

materials for building raised beds

A former member
Post #: 10
hey permies! we're planning on building some raised beds this year. i'd like to cut down on costs and am wondering if anyone has any great ideas on non-toxic recycled materials that still look nice?
Gorham, ME
Post #: 590
Old bricks, pavers and concrete blocks for the sides are pretty effective.

Maybe make q pseudo hugulkulture mound by using arborists wood chips for the bottom layer of the beds, so you only need 6" or so (perhaps less) for the top layes.

Jesse S.
user 29709632
Harrison, ME
Post #: 74
Sawmill slabwood may not fit everyone's idea of 'aesthetically pleasing', but they can often be had for free at a mill or saw site. Also Hancock lumber sells bundles of 4' length 'chipstock' boards quite cheaply that can be also used to form the sides of raised beds. Decent sized logs can work as well. I've had great luck with making raised beds sheet-mulch style within a frame of staked pine boards with wood ash, manure, leaves(weed block), manure, compost, subsoil(on top), mulch for a total height of 6-8" Squash, beans, greens grew great on these. I build them right on top of existing sod or grass a couple weeks at least before planting into them and they work nicely to prep that spot for perennial tree/bush/vine the following year(less grass competition, fertility).
David L.
user 41803752
Portland, ME
Post #: 12
One could use logs, if they are available.
Large diameter, though hard to move, would last the longest.
Small diameter logs (poles) could be stacked, log cabin style. Plastic insect screening, stapled to the inside of the poles, would keep the soil in. Use stainless steel staples, from Sears or Hamilton Marine. Hold the corners together with stainless screws or wire, both available from Hamilton.

Good luck!
user 5846522
Portland, ME
Post #: 298
Rough sawn hemlock may be a consideration
Amy G.
user 44116742
Limerick, ME
Post #: 6
i am interested in learing more about the sheet-mulch technique???
Lisa F.
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 2,293
Here's another local sheet mulching hands-on event in Scarborough April 21.­

But if you google sheet mulching, you'll find loads of information. Sometimes called lasagna gardening. There's no ONE right's flexible and most people I know have a technique and a recipe that they like based on free or very low cost materials.
Amy R.
user 45476542
Portland, ME
Post #: 2
I have 4 cinder blocks that are looking for a new home if anyone wants them.
A former member
Post #: 1
I'll second the rough sawn Hemlock. I picked up some from in Gorham. It wasn't very expensive and I was able to quicklyy lag bolt the corners together. They've held for years. For inexpensive, untreated, rot and moisture resistant wood it's hard to beat.
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