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RE: Raised Garden Bed Materials

  • Subject: RE: [cg] Raised Garden Bed Materials
  • From: Justin Russell <JRussell@ifmnet.org>
  • Date: Mon, 26 Apr 2004 14:40:54 -0500


I don't know if this will help, but there is a method for recycling car
tires for use as rubber 'planks'. The process is described in a book put out
by the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation based in Ardmore, Oklahoma. I had two
copies of the book, but I can't seem to find either right now. I believe it
is titled "Permanent Raised Bed Gardening". Don't bother with the video, it
doesn't add much. There are three basic methods for creating these planks: 1
- Use a single tire (with the walls cut out) and squish it flat with a piece
of rebar sandwiched in the middle. Use some sort of screw (can't remember
what kind) to fasten the two sides around the section with the rebar.; 2 -
Same basic method, only cut the tire across the tread and secure it to an
identical tire, again with rebar sandwiched between the two.; 3 - Using tire
sections cut across the tread (identical to method 2), piece together the
tires in a offset pattern creating a plank as long as you wish. This method
does not require rebar to stabilize the midsection, but some form of
retaining bars or stakes will be required to keep this plank in place. I'm
sure I've thoroughly confused you, so be sure to search for the Noble
Foundation book. It has several ideas about using cheap or recycled
materials to created permanent raised beds. Hope I was some help.

Justin Russell
Inter-Faith Ministries
Campaign To End Childhood Hunger
829 N. Market
Wichita, KS   67214-3519
(316) 264-9303 (ex.113)
(316) 264-2233 (fax)

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Jack Hale [SMTP:jackh@knoxparks.org]
> Sent:	Monday, April 26, 2004 9:57 AM
> To:	community_garden@mallorn.com
> Subject:	RE: [cg] Raised Garden Bed Materials
> We have been using recycled plastic landscape timbers for years to build
> raised beds.  We haven't used any of the kits.
> Unfortunately, our supplier, after an atrocious string of bad luck, has
> gone bankrupt, so we are looking for an alternate product.
> 1.                   We most recently paid $11 for 8-foot 3X5 timbers.  We
> typically purchased a couple hundred timbers at a time.  The factory was
> just an hour from here, so we picked them up ourselves - cost was staff
> time and gas.  We put our beds together with 6-inch galvanized spiral deck
> spikes.  Each 4x8 bed, 3 layers high, uses 28 spikes.
> 2.                   As far as we can tell, the timbers are immortal,
> although they can break if you back into them with a car.
> 3.                   Construction was easy, particularly since the timbers
> bend a bit and will thus help you deal with a level of inaccuracy in
> cutting.  We used a circular saw for cutting.  A chop saw is a nice touch,
> particularly if you want to cut angles.  Sometimes we pre-drilled holes,
> but if we had some beefy folks who could swing a 2-lb. hammer, we didn't
> bother.
> 4.                   The plastic lumber is somewhat heavier than pressure
> treated pine.  In some people's minds, it is also uglier - ours is a kind
> of medium gray color.  But then it doesn't split, splinter, or warp, and,
> as far as I know, it doesn't release any nasties into the soil.
> 5.                   See above
> 6.                   I was famous in the recycled plastics business for a
> little while when our supplier went out of business.  Plastics World
> magazine called me up for a reaction, and published a story.  A good
> number of manufacturers called me looking for business.  I don't know any
> well to tell them apart just yet, but we'll see.
> 7.                   The kits I have seen seem a bit over-engineered for
> our purposes - they are more appropriate for small scale or back yard use.
> I'll be interested to hear what people come up with.
> Jack Hale
> Hartford, CT
> -----Original Message-----
> From: community_garden-admin@mallorn.com
> [mailto:community_garden-admin@mallorn.com]On Behalf Of Connie Nelson
> Sent: Sunday, April 25, 2004 12:30 AM
> To: community_garden@mallorn.com
> Subject: [cg] Raised Garden Bed Materials
> I know we've had this discussion before from different angles, but I still
> have a question or two.
> For various and sundry reasons, I'm investigating use of "plastic lumber"
> in the use of 4 X 8 foot garden beds.  There are a bizillion different
> places that sell these kits for use in raised beds.  
> If you have experience in this material, would you please address one or
> more of the following questions?
> Have any of you tried these and:
> 1) what was the cost (include both the kit cost and transportation)
> 2) how long did they last
> 3) were they easy to put up
> 4) was the weight similar to wood products (or lighter, heavier)
> 5) were they easy to cut if you needed to make changes
> 6) are there any companies you actively recommend or conversely, strongly
> suggest avoiding
> 7) any other suggestions / comments you might have?
> What I'm hunting for here is practical experience consensus.  Hopefully by
> tapping into the listserv's expertise, I can find that agreement.
> Thanks for helping!
> Connie Nelson
> Spokane, WA
>   _____  
> Do you Yahoo!?
> Yahoo! Photos: High-quality 4x6 digital prints for 25"
> <http://pa.yahoo.com/*http://us.rd.yahoo.com/evt=23765/*http://photos.yaho
> o.c%0D%0Aom/ph/print_splash>

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