|Reused concrete planter|
We decided on raised garden beds to protect our veggies from running kids and playing dogs. My daughters are already calling our empty dirt spot "The Secret Garden." They are excited for all the adventures this space will hold.
We chose redwood for the garden boxes because we were told that with the constant dirt and water contact this would be a more rot-resistant wood. I wanted to make sure we were not cutting down 200 year old trees so we tried to look for reclaimed or sustainably-harvested wood. We didn't have much luck finding anything with this labeling so we chose a common grade wood instead of the top of the line which is more likely to come from old-growth trees. It is very important when picking your wood not to choose any pressure treated wood. For a long time this was what was used in gardens, but in 2003 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned the sale of lumber treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA) for residential use. There were concerns about arsenic from pressure treated wood leaching into the soil, contaminating plants, people, and animals. Newer products have come out, but I am of the mind that when something is going to be touching my food or my children will be in close contact with, natural is better. Also do not use railroad ties unless they are free of chemicals. It would be great to use something reclaimed like this, but many are soaked with creosote, a wood preservative that is a potential carcinogen.
I am so very excited. We have been composting for months. Now we just need to finish the watering system... and a little soil might help!!!