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la15ota 02-26-2008 04:23 PM

raised planter boxes
I want to build some raised planter boxes out of 2x12's and some 4x4 posts for support. Theses will be up against a wood fence. I figure its probably not a good idea for me to use the fence it self as the back side of the box.
Should I build a new 4 sided box and slide it up against the fence or add some sort of liner against the fence?
I will add compost and topsoil to the inside of the box but below is clay dirt. Will I need to break up the clay for better drainage?


terri_and_jj 02-26-2008 05:14 PM

i wouldn't use the fence as the back of the box, all this will do is cause the fence to rot faster. i would remove as much of the clay as you can and fill will soil or even gravel up to ground level, just to get some drainage, clay is nasty stuff. you also might want to put a layer of chicken wire in the bottom, just to keep critters from burrowing up and snatching your veggies from below.

will it be one course high, or were you going to make it 24" tall? if you are going tall you might want to get some 6 mil black poly and staple to the inside walls before filling with soil. this will protect the wood and keep soil from washing out through the gap between the boards

skymaster 02-26-2008 05:49 PM

Think Pressure treated and agree NO on the fence as a back

terri_and_jj 02-27-2008 02:17 PM

if you use pressure treated, just make sure you get nails or screws that are made for pressure treated wood.

if you are planning to grow fruits, veggies or herbs, pay a little more and use cedar instead of PT.

I hate to sound like a tree hugger, but all pressure treated, especially the new formula is pretty nasty stuff. what's the point of growing fresh tomatoes and enclosing your garden in chemical impregnated wood that will eat through a 1/4" screw in a matter of days.

la15ota 02-28-2008 04:26 PM

Thanks for the suggestions.
The dirt is all clay, I don't think I can dig it all up, but I do want to at least mix in some organic material to improve the soil at ground level, and then fill the box.
I want to start with just a 12" height for the box, this will be a veggie garden, so untreated lumber will be used.

Later I want to make some 24" boxes so I can add a ledge to sit on, but lets just see how well I manage the 12" boxes.

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