Use Wood Logs as a Garden Bed Border
LESLIE: Jeff in Nebraska is working on a vegetable garden. How can we help you?
JEFF: I want to make a raised garden bed and use wood logs. But I don’t know what kind of – what the best wood is to use, so I’m not having to – so it doesn’t get eaten away and I have to reuse or redo it every couple of years.
LESLIE: So when you’re saying “wood logs,” you want something that looks more natural?
JEFF: Yeah. I mean what I want to do is raise the bed up and to use it kind of as a border.
LESLIE: Right, I’ve got that. But you want something more decorative rather than just pressure-treated lumber: boards that really do serve the purpose of containing the wood and raising the bed?
JEFF: Something a little decorative.
TOM: First of all, you want treated wood. Because if you have untreated wood, it’s going to rot. In terms of your options on treated wood, the most common option would be to use a pressure-treated tie.
Now, ties are available in either 4×4 or 6×6 and they look pretty rustic. And when you put them down, they’re going to be kind of greenish and they’ll look unnatural. But give it a few months, it’ll start to gray out and blend in.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And dry out, even.
TOM: And dry out, yeah, and blend in with the surrounding area. That’s going to be the easiest, most cost-effective way to go. And you can pick up those ties at home centers and they’re really not very expensive, because they’re designed to be decorative and sit in the ground. They’re not – it’s not the same kind of pressure-treated lumber you might use if you’re building a retaining wall or something of that nature. It’s basically just designed to be a border surround for a garden or a pool or something like that.
JEFF: OK. When I put it down, am I going to have to – say, if I’ve got two or three stacked up, am I going to have to drill through them and spike something into the ground?
TOM: Good question. Now, if you’re going to have two or three of them stacked up, you’re going to – what you’re going to want to do is obviously alternate the joints so that you have one long one go across two smaller ones, you know what I mean?
TOM: And then once it’s all done, you can predrill and put in some long – they have 12-inch spikes that you drill through those. So you get a long drill bit, predrill it and then put a couple of spikes and that will hold it all together nice and neat. But you will also find that the weight of them – the sheer weight and the strength of them – is pretty sturdy by itself. But if you want to really tack it together, you can do that with long spikes. Or you could toe-nail it on an angle with Number-12 common nails towards the base, just to kind of keep everything in place.
JEFF: OK. So, if I just nail them together and then add the dirt up against them, they shouldn’t go anywhere?
TOM: That’s right. They’re pretty sturdy.
JEFF: OK. Well, that answers all my questions. Thank you very much.
TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.