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OT - Planter boxes

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  • #16
    Locust was the go-to fence post material for a long time, and is still better than just about any of the easily available woods for decay resistance ( at least in the northeast). However, the Amish in our neighborhood have said that “today’s” locust is much less resistant to decay than the locust of 80 years ago. Many of them have switched to heavy wall fiberglass pipe/ tubing and high tension smooth wire for fencing. A friend had locust milled into boards to create his raised beds - looks great, and should last a long time, but it cost him an arm and a leg...

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    • #17
      I built my raised beds like bleachers, complete with walkways and 'seats'. (I have great soil, but it doesn't drain well so raised the garden,plant tallest plants on top tier)
      For the boxes, I use totes of different sizes/depths depending on expected root depth, and build a wooden box around them for appearance when they can be seen as well as UV protection.
      Some boxes I have are wood with rubber roofing liners. It works great, but kind of expensive unless you have a cheap source.
      As J Tiers mentioned above, make sure it drains well. .

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      • #18
        Originally posted by PStechPaul View Post
        Locust is very good for ground contact. It can last for many years without rotting. https://garden.org/learn/articles/view/977/
        Round here, the grape farmers all got black locust posts for their arbors. BTW about drainage, I fork a load of peat and manure into the raised bed every spring when I'm getting it ready. Come planting time, you can stick your arm into the dirt all the way up to your elbow without hitting a rock.
        25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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        • #19
          I made ours out of a bunch of 4ft 2x4 cedar planks someone had dumped at the side of the road:
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          put weed mat underneath to stop/ slow down the grass from getting in, then 2" or so of small rock from someone's back yard, then 8-10" of fill soil from a pile at the side of the road and then a couple of bags of top soil with a bag of manure mixed in. I think the above pick is before the nice stuff went in. Then a bag of mulch on top of that. Both produced well - okra, beans, basil, some peppers, cabbage (still have a couple in one of them), brussel sprouts, lettuce and spinach. They've both settled a bit, so this week I'll turn in some fire pit ash and compost, then put another layer of mulch over it. Putting tomatoes, peas and beans in one, not sure about the other one.

          If you want something fun for the kids, spinach and potatoes are a good bet. First one because it tastes great fresh, the second one because little kids LOVE digging for potatoes. And they taste great too.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by mattthemuppet View Post
            I made ours out of a bunch of 4ft 2x4 cedar planks someone had dumped at the side of the road:
            You're the king of free material! Makes me wonder about oak pallets.
            Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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            • #21
              yep! Scrounger supreme I'm turning into my Dad, he's always amazed at things people throw away.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by gellfex View Post

                You're the king of free material! Makes me wonder about oak pallets.
                I don't think you would get too long out of oak pallets. Up until recently I would stack my firewood on oak pallets in the late summer/fall and use it up through the winter. After a year, the pallets were showing signs of deteriorating. After a second season, any part of the pallet touching the ground was largely mush. At that point I cut those up for burning and get new ones.

                The upside is that they can be had for free in almost any quantity you care to haul away, so I guess it depends on how you count your time.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by alanganes View Post

                  I don't think you would get too long out of oak pallets. Up until recently I would stack my firewood on oak pallets in the late summer/fall and use it up through the winter. After a year, the pallets were showing signs of deteriorating. After a second season, any part of the pallet touching the ground was largely mush. At that point I cut those up for burning and get new ones.

                  The upside is that they can be had for free in almost any quantity you care to haul away, so I guess it depends on how you count your time.
                  I've had oak half whiskey barrels last a decade or more. By law Bourbon barrels have to be new and you used to be able to get them at the home centers, but the boom in booze has made them impossible get, at least here. Some get sent to Scotland or Spain.
                  Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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                  • #24
                    Modular concrete planter box panels-

                    Make your own Concrete Garden Boxes! Build the forms and cast your own reinforced concrete panels that lock together to make long lasting and durable garden ...
                    I just need one more tool,just one!

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                    • #25
                      RB211,

                      The biggest favour you can do yourself is to follow this guy: http://www.melbartholomew.com/

                      He wrote a book years ago - it's worth getting the book. Follow exactly what he says (especially about what "soil" to put in the box. Everything he says works. Square foot gardening.

                      Ian
                      All of the gear, no idea...

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by gellfex View Post

                        I've had oak half whiskey barrels last a decade or more. By law Bourbon barrels have to be new and you used to be able to get them at the home centers, but the boom in booze has made them impossible get, at least here. Some get sent to Scotland or Spain.
                        That's interesting. I wonder if there is something inferior about the wood used for oak pallets. These are clearly oak, they just don't stay intact for more than a year. Maybe a bit more, but not two. Different subspecies or something? I don't know all that much about trees and wood really. I presume if they are making pallets out of it, it is not the high grade stuff.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by alanganes View Post

                          That's interesting. I wonder if there is something inferior about the wood used for oak pallets. These are clearly oak, they just don't stay intact for more than a year. Maybe a bit more, but not two. Different subspecies or something? I don't know all that much about trees and wood really. I presume if they are making pallets out of it, it is not the high grade stuff.
                          There are a jumble of different Oak species, at least in North America, but the two main ones are Red and White Oak. White Oak has been used in boat building and cooperage for centuries, due to it's superior strength and tight, dense grain structure that makes it water tight. Red Oak has a coarse grain with large pourous annual growth rings. Those rings soak up and hold water amazingliy well, which yields them to rot fairly quickly.

                          It's pretty neat how fast the capillary action is-

                          Shipwright Louis Sauzedde shows you how to tell the difference between white oak and red oak for proper wooden boat building. Produced by Fish Hawk Films. W...
                          I just need one more tool,just one!

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                          • #28
                            When I was having to go to our production site frequently it meant a 3 hour drive in a company provided hire car and I passed a place selling half barrels cheap so got 3. Then found how small the boot/trunk was so had two on the back seats. It was summer, I left the car in the full sun all day and on returning you can imagine how it reeked of whiskey. The smell didn't abate with the windows open so I wonder what the car pickup man reported on return. That was 30 years ago and one is still in service.

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                            • #29
                              The hot peppers can take the summer heat easily. I dont have any trouble with them, just do the basics, good soil, etc.
                              Other items that can take the heat is Okra, eggplant.
                              My experience is that the all time favorite tomatoes cannot take the summer heat.
                              Potted plants need more watering than plants in the ground.
                              Raised potted plants likely need more water than a potted plant sitting on top of ground.
                              I also agree to avoid treated wood, the preservative harms the plants.
                              My experience with planter boxes is 'why bother'?
                              you cannot use treated wood, so you use a easily rottable wood that doesn't last very long, so why bother?
                              My favorite is the plastic planters that landscapers ship large plants in. they are thin black plastic that will last several years, I refresh them with good soil and cycle through them, as the split and bust, throw them away, they are cheap to replace. I use them on top of the ground.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by wierdscience View Post

                                There are a jumble of different Oak species, at least in North America, but the two main ones are Red and White Oak. White Oak has been used in boat building and cooperage for centuries, due to it's superior strength and tight, dense grain structure that makes it water tight. Red Oak has a coarse grain with large pourous annual growth rings. Those rings soak up and hold water amazingliy well, which yields them to rot fairly quickly.

                                It's pretty neat how fast the capillary action is-

                                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6t2AZubF8U
                                Barrels are definitely white oak, and I think it can be assumed the pallets are red. I'd also not be surprised if having bourbon soak through it for 4-10 years yields some preservative property, or perhaps the charring process.

                                What about lining the PT wood with something like the flame applied rubber roofing? Easy to do and would basically eliminate the contamination and still have a nice looking container.

                                Here's my design for a 30 gal PT planter that I have rose bushes in.

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                                Last edited by gellfex; 03-25-2020, 06:58 PM.
                                Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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