Back to my thoughts on raised beds! If you’re looking for a less expensive way to approach raised beds, and you want a “traditional” approach to them, a good material to use are landscape timbers. These timbers are typically less expensive than dimensional lumber, plus they’re kind of fun to build with. We basically call them adult Lincoln logs.
We built our annual cut flower beds from these. While lumber prices have come down quite a ways from when we built this bed a couple years ago, we’re still glad we got to play with adult Lincoln logs. If you’re interested in some introductory information on how to build a raised bed with these, we cover all the important points. Perhaps surprisingly, this post has become one of the more popular on our blog! We can understand why, when we were seeking information on the basics of building with landscape timbers, information was surprisingly scarce!
Of course, “raised beds” in the more traditional sense are always going to be a bit expensive, no matter how you get there. The truth is, it doesn’t have to be expensive at all! You can get all the benefits of raised beds just by moving dirt around.
It’s valuable to raise the soil in northern gardening, since it allows the sun to warm less amounts of soil and also get a “direct hit” on the sides of the beds. You don’t “have” to go so far as securing beds with lumber. We advocate a soil raising technique we called “raised rows,” a technique we learned from the book Alaska Gardening Guide, penned by Ann Roberts. We practice this technique in our community garden and it’s hugely beneficial. Being community gardeners, we’ve been able to compare gardens using the “raised row” technique against “normal” flat in-ground gardens. There’s always differences among gardeners, but it’s clear to us that simply raising the soil provides great benefit. Our article on this subject can be found in the comments.
We’ve got our next video ready, we’ll be officially releasing it tomorrow! Our plants are now in the greenhouse, so we wanted to show the next phase of our transition to outdoors! See you tomorrow.