Frequently Asked Questions:
Why did you decide to build the garden?
In early Spring of 2013, “J” and I decided it was time to invest in a backyard garden. We both are pretty healthy eaters and we choose organic whenever we can, so growing our own food was something that really interested us.
Why did you opt to use untreated pine?
We decided to use an untreated pine vs. a treated lumber because of the amount of chemicals associated with the treatment process. We didn’t want these chemicals leaching into the soil and contaminating our vegetables. This is also the reason why we opted not to line the garden with a plastic liner – I was unable to source a food-grade/safe plastic that was cost effective and large enough.
If you didn’t put a barrier down, or line with plastic, won’t the weeds & grass grow up through the soil?
We opted not to line the bed with plastic or a barrier as the layer of topsoil is so thick (20 inches thick) that the grass and weeds underneath would be killed anyways. Weeds however will make their way into any bed no matter how high – the seeds are more often than not carried in by the wind or birds. We made sure to stay on top of the weeds (weeding every other day), which made for minimal work and a large harvest.
Won’t the pine rot quickly?
We decided to use pine knowing we would have to replace the sideboards in 2-3 years time. The rot on pine is much quicker than that of woods like cedar. Pine was more cost effective at the time (almost half the price of cedar). When we rebuild in 2 years, we will use all cedar. If you are looking for something more rot-resistant (and are not worried about chemicals) you could use treated lumber, plastic, or even cement blocks to build your garden.
How much soil did it take to fill the garden?
We ordered 7 yards of top soil (for use in our backyard, front yard, and garden beds) and ended up usinging approximately 4-5 yards to fill the garden.
How much did this project cost?
We spent approximately $500 on all the materials. It also took us 1 day to build the bed, and 1 day to fill the bed.