Survivalist Forum

Advertise Here

Go Back   Survivalist Forum > Survival & Preparedness Forum > Farming, Gardening & Homesteading
Articles Chat Room Classifieds Donations Gallery Groups Links Store Survival Files



Farming, Gardening & Homesteading Country lifestyle, homesteading and living off the grid.

Advertise Here
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-17-2011, 08:58 AM
Jeffrey's Avatar
Jeffrey Jeffrey is offline
Opinionated old fart.
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: South Carolina
Age: 47
Posts: 8,044
Thanks: 1,261
Thanked 6,988 Times in 3,332 Posts
Default Plywood for raised beds?



Advertise Here

Hi all, my wife wants to put in some raised beds for fresh vegs. I'm totally with her on this. We wanted 4x8 beds using landscaping timbers, but we have several 4x4 plywood boards in the garage. She asked if we could use them to make 1 ft tall 4x4 beds. Will 1/2" thick painted plywood will support raised beds? How fast will the plywood break down? We have been getting a lot of rain here. Will the price of rebar to keep the plywood in place be more than buying timbers?
Old 03-17-2011, 10:21 AM
blackswan's Avatar
blackswan blackswan is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Candy Mountain
Posts: 159
Thanks: 91
Thanked 211 Times in 88 Posts
Default

In my experience the plywood breaks down pretty fast and has a tendancy to "bow out" when the soil gets wet.
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to blackswan For This Useful Post:
Old 03-17-2011, 10:26 AM
Jeffrey's Avatar
Jeffrey Jeffrey is offline
Opinionated old fart.
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: South Carolina
Age: 47
Posts: 8,044
Thanks: 1,261
Thanked 6,988 Times in 3,332 Posts
Default

Yeah thats what I was thinking.
Old 03-17-2011, 10:39 AM
WSierra's Avatar
WSierra WSierra is offline
RESET CONGRESS!!
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Midwest
Posts: 9,465
Thanks: 13,489
Thanked 12,413 Times in 4,749 Posts
Default

Plywood might get you through a season or two. ..would need to be supported.
Since you already have it, you wouldn't be out the $$ and could grow some more stuff.
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to WSierra For This Useful Post:
Old 03-17-2011, 10:48 AM
fire65's Avatar
fire65 fire65 is offline
This site sucks
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: nun ya
Posts: 1,993
Thanks: 617
Thanked 2,076 Times in 825 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by WSierra View Post
Plywood might get you through a season or two. ..would need to be supported.
Since you already have it, you wouldn't be out the $$ and could grow some more stuff.
When it rots out you can always salvage the dirt and make a new one.
The Following User Says Thank You to fire65 For This Useful Post:
Old 03-17-2011, 11:21 AM
cranky1950's Avatar
cranky1950 cranky1950 is offline
My Temperature is Right
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Neither here nor there
Posts: 5,578
Thanks: 1,323
Thanked 4,130 Times in 2,318 Posts
Default

Yeah you can use plywood but it won't last long, especially if you live in a damp environment. The thicker wood the better. Probably cinder blocks are best. Of course stone is free.
The Following User Says Thank You to cranky1950 For This Useful Post:
Old 03-17-2011, 01:08 PM
methemom's Avatar
methemom methemom is offline
Survivor
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: northern mi
Posts: 3,593
Thanks: 5,569
Thanked 3,452 Times in 1,669 Posts
Default

I know people who have used plywood for aquariums!
(YES aquariums for raising and breeding tropical fish and plants for sale to pet stores) that said, the key is preparation. Make sure you coat your plywood with good quality water resistant primer and paint, read labels on the paint. Using a couple coats of polyurethane varnish will accomplish the same thing, but make sure the surface is well prepared to get best adherence. This is extra labor but will make the plywood last a lot longer in the long run. wishing you luck!
The Following User Says Thank You to methemom For This Useful Post:
Old 03-17-2011, 01:15 PM
Eagle Scout Survivor Eagle Scout Survivor is online now
Hunter
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: WI
Age: 22
Posts: 1,110
Thanks: 462
Thanked 5,375 Times in 520 Posts
Default

Your plywood will really only be strong enough for one season, maybe two if you are lucky but the second year it could break at any moment. I have left plywood outside on the dirt before and it falls apart after two seasons. You will have moisture on it all the time. Use the landscape timbers. It will save you money in the long run.

My dad always told me when I was doing something "son you can go half @$$ on this project but you will end up spending twice as much time redoing it as it would to build it right the first time."
The Following User Says Thank You to Eagle Scout Survivor For This Useful Post:
Old 03-17-2011, 01:46 PM
Blaik Blaik is offline
Target Shooter
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Kansas
Age: 35
Posts: 530
Thanks: 1,123
Thanked 358 Times in 204 Posts
Default

Also depends on whether you're using true plywood or just particle/pressed board. Most people use plywood to define all of them. True plywood should hold up substantially longer than the pressed board. Pressed board is basically wood chips mixed with glue and compressed till the glue dries. works great where it's not gonna get wet, but is not nearly as strong or durable as plywood (although usually significantly cheaper). as soon as pressed board gets wet, that glue starts breaking down. I would guesstimate true plywood for a couple or three growing seasons, depending on your rainfall and overall humidity, but a max of two seasons for pressed board.
Old 03-17-2011, 01:48 PM
PrincessKraken PrincessKraken is offline
I love this forum
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 24,618
Thanks: 17,504
Thanked 29,990 Times in 13,204 Posts
Default

A benefit would be you don't have to spend a bunch of money upfront. Use what you have, and then you can add cinderblock around the bed (don't even bother removing the plywood, when the plywood starts to fail.

This way you are spreading the cost out over a number of years rather than having it hit you all at once.
Old 03-17-2011, 04:03 PM
rncmomx2's Avatar
rncmomx2 rncmomx2 is offline
Bleach blonde on fire :p
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Rockingham NC
Posts: 6,196
Thanks: 24,983
Thanked 9,452 Times in 3,793 Posts
Default

I used recycled metal roofing to make a few of the ones we had year before last...also used vinyl siding to make some 3x3 beds (its like $4.00 for a 12 inch tall by 12 foot long piece so $4 a bed lol).

Here is ya some pictures of how mine were done (not pictures of mine but the ones I built mine to look like)
Attached Thumbnails
cypress top raised garden beds_640.jpg   raised garden bed corner_640.jpg   merbau garden bed_640.jpg  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to rncmomx2 For This Useful Post:
Old 03-17-2011, 04:28 PM
Survivalguy72 Survivalguy72 is online now
Survivor
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 11,872
Thanks: 0
Thanked 9,105 Times in 4,527 Posts
Default

I am starting to like this idea over planting in the ground.
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Survivalguy72 For This Useful Post:
Old 03-17-2011, 05:12 PM
cranky1950's Avatar
cranky1950 cranky1950 is offline
My Temperature is Right
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Neither here nor there
Posts: 5,578
Thanks: 1,323
Thanked 4,130 Times in 2,318 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by methemom View Post
I know people who have used plywood for aquariums!
(YES aquariums for raising and breeding tropical fish and plants for sale to pet stores) that said, the key is preparation. Make sure you coat your plywood with good quality water resistant primer and paint, read labels on the paint. Using a couple coats of polyurethane varnish will accomplish the same thing, but make sure the surface is well prepared to get best adherence. This is extra labor but will make the plywood last a lot longer in the long run. wishing you luck!
Actually we used urethane resin to make a plywood darkroom sink, but that will inflate the cost to the extent that 2X10's would be affordable.
Old 03-17-2011, 05:16 PM
cranky1950's Avatar
cranky1950 cranky1950 is offline
My Temperature is Right
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Neither here nor there
Posts: 5,578
Thanks: 1,323
Thanked 4,130 Times in 2,318 Posts
Default

You can use field stone. If you register at frugal squirrels Manetti posted a pic of one of his raised beds made with a stacked field stone enclosure. They tend to be more round than square, but they do of course drain extremely well and the enclosure is free.
The Following User Says Thank You to cranky1950 For This Useful Post:
Old 03-18-2011, 09:59 AM
ForestBeekeeper's Avatar
ForestBeekeeper ForestBeekeeper is offline
Farmer
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Maine
Posts: 16,098
Thanks: 18,339
Thanked 22,295 Times in 9,063 Posts
Awards Showcase
Outstanding Helpful Post 
Total Awards: 1
Default

Do not use plywood.

I went to a conference yesterday networking farmers to institutions, on-site they were constructing raised-beds using 2X6s. We briefly discussed those raised-beds before the conference started. My problem with them is that years ago I built one like that. And then 5 years later I had to tear it down because the wood had all rotted away.

I like building stuff, but it gets me really depressed when stuff I made falls apart.

Using wood in a structure where it will be in contact with dirt is bad. In a few years, you will be ripping it apart and doing it all over again.

Here on our farm we have been using concrete blocks. 8" x 8" x 16" loose stacked. I can easily lift away one side and get in with shovel / rake or my tractor bucket to lift and re-mix the soil.

Our beds are only 8" deep, most crop roots only go 8" so who cares.

Also long ago when we had 3' tall raised beds, it took massive amounts of soil to fill them. One 3' tall raised bed [of any dimension] holds enough potting soil to fill 4 1/2 other beds of the same dimension. Tall beds are a huge waste of good soil.
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to ForestBeekeeper For This Useful Post:
Old 03-18-2011, 10:24 AM
brandontb92 brandontb92 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: East Tennessee (This region is so beautiful)
Age: 22
Posts: 65
Thanks: 43
Thanked 19 Times in 14 Posts
Default

I was in the same boat as you. I had some left over plywood and wanted to make a couple raised garden beds. I; however, just went ahead and made 2 garden beds. They lasted two seasons. By the end of the second though I had gotten enough cinder blocks to surround them and leave them up. It worked really great. I just kept an eye for cinder blocks on the side of the roads and at friends houses and places like that. I would pick up the available ones and ask for them from family and friends. by the end of the second season I had acquired enough of them (for free), to make three garden beds. So, all three of my raised garden beds didn't cost me a dime.
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to brandontb92 For This Useful Post:
Old 03-18-2011, 10:33 PM
JoeKan's Avatar
JoeKan JoeKan is offline
The Lord's Servant
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Kansas
Posts: 1,825
Thanks: 1,967
Thanked 1,769 Times in 650 Posts
Default

I hope this isn't off topic but I've been working on our new garden and I've been thinking of using all the trees we've cut down to clear out for my borders of our raised beds.
The garden is going to be so big (at least 1/3rd of an acre) I'm reconsidering and may just go with the traditional type garden.
Old 03-18-2011, 11:10 PM
Jeffrey's Avatar
Jeffrey Jeffrey is offline
Opinionated old fart.
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: South Carolina
Age: 47
Posts: 8,044
Thanks: 1,261
Thanked 6,988 Times in 3,332 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rncmomx2 View Post
I used recycled metal roofing to make a few of the ones we had year before last...also used vinyl siding to make some 3x3 beds (its like $4.00 for a 12 inch tall by 12 foot long piece so $4 a bed lol).

Here is ya some pictures of how mine were done (not pictures of mine but the ones I built mine to look like)
It doesnt bow out from the weight?
Old 03-19-2011, 02:00 AM
rncmomx2's Avatar
rncmomx2 rncmomx2 is offline
Bleach blonde on fire :p
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Rockingham NC
Posts: 6,196
Thanks: 24,983
Thanked 9,452 Times in 3,793 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffrey View Post
It doesnt bow out from the weight?
No there is a small 1x2 in the middle as a stake keeps it from bowing out...plus the mix is lightweight
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to rncmomx2 For This Useful Post:
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
backyard garden, home garden, home gardening, raised bed garden



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wicking Raised Beds 123Testing Farming, Gardening & Homesteading 5 11-18-2010 09:30 PM
How to prepare/plant raised beds lanahi Farming, Gardening & Homesteading 13 10-22-2009 10:28 AM
Raised Beds pkh42987 Farming, Gardening & Homesteading 20 04-20-2009 11:41 PM
Phatz raised beds 2009 Phatz Farming, Gardening & Homesteading 9 03-29-2009 03:31 PM
Ridding raised beds of ants dixieforge3 Farming, Gardening & Homesteading 7 02-13-2009 02:25 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:34 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright Kevin Felts 2006 - 2012,
Green theme by http://www.themesbydesign.net