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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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Default Elevated planter

Hi

Mom's latest 'honey do' is an elevated outdoor planting bed. My little dogs eat any eatable herbs, thus the need to keep herbs and spices out of their reach. While talking to a friend of mine about the planter over a frosty beverage he ordered me some free wood. It seems that he is in the process of tearing down a fence which is in pretty decent condition.

I plan to use the 4x4's as legs and the 2x4's as structural framing. As Linda plans to plant eatable herbs I have a concern using any pressure treated fence pickets in direct contact with the potting soil.

I have a couple of quick questions:
1. Are cedar fence pickets pressure treated?
2. Would it be safe to fully line the inside of the planter with landscapers cloth?
3. What would you advise as a reasonable cost alternative material for the wetted parts? I am hoping for a material that will not rot away in a year or two.


Any thoughts or experience will be appreciated.

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Ben in Cypress Texas View Post
Hi

I have a couple of quick questions:
1. Are cedar fence pickets pressure treated?
2. Would it be safe to fully line the inside of the planter with landscapers cloth?
3. What would you advise as a reasonable cost alternative material for the wetted parts? I am hoping for a material that will not rot away in a year or two.


Any thoughts or experience will be appreciated.
Hi Ben,

1. Shouldn't be. Cedar has some natural resistance to rot. Will eventually as will pressure treat!
2. To what end? water still goes thru the landscapers cloth!
3. Cedar is a reasonably good choice.. should last for more than a couple years. If you want longer life, perhaps composite deck material or stone/block/brick. Teak is also a good outdoor wood.. rather expensive though. Cypress may be a good choice as well, though I think it is getting expensive these days as well!

I have found that hand tools are the best choice when I want to make mistakes at a slower rate of speed.

I don't suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 12:45 PM
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Ben here is a chart that may be helpful, also...
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Types-of-Woods.pdf (13.3 KB, 116 views)

I have found that hand tools are the best choice when I want to make mistakes at a slower rate of speed.

I don't suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 08:36 AM
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Hi Ben.
Cedar, Cypress, and Redwood all are very rot-resistant, and are not normally pressure treated, for just that reason. If the fencing is cedar, you're in business. There will be some flow through of water, and the landscape cloth will help to retain the soil. I have usually gotten 3-4 years out of cedar planters, at least. Good luck. Tim
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 08:46 AM
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Default Cedar planters

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Originally Posted by Dmeadows View Post
Hi Ben,

1. Shouldn't be. Cedar has some natural resistance to rot. Will eventually as will pressure treat!
2. To what end? water still goes thru the landscapers cloth!
3. Cedar is a reasonably good choice.. should last for more than a couple years. If you want longer life, perhaps composite deck material or stone/block/brick. Teak is also a good outdoor wood.. rather expensive though. Cypress may be a good choice as well, though I think it is getting expensive these days as well!
Cedar is the most common material used for planters here in the NW and they typically last 5-10 years at the minimum. One concern, since the lumber is from an old fence, was it ever painted/stained and if so with what and how long ago? There maybe some residual toxicity there although I see a lot of them built that way. New cedar should not be an issue. As point of reference, there is a plan for one in the May 2013 issue of Wood Magazine. I prefer to dress the design by adding tiles or other types of wood.

Lining the interior is neither here nor there in my opinion but I would add a few drain holes in the bottom or space the bottom slats slightly. Those should be covered with the landscape fabric.

Shouldbe an interesting poject and a good harvest.
Cheers
Jon
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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once again I thank all forum members for their advice.

It turns out that the fence pickets are pressure treated pine which I will not use. I have a used sheet of melamine that came out of a bunk bed that I'm now planning to use as the bottom of the planter, the sides will be cedar. There will be a couple of small drain holes to prevent root rot. As I have a roll of landscaping cloth I will also line the inside of the planter.

It won't be pretty, but what the heck, it's going to be behind my garage any way.

Regards

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 12:07 PM
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the latest wood magazine has a project like that in their current issue. i was at the target last night and flipped though it.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben in Cypress Texas View Post
once again I thank all forum members for their advice.

It turns out that the fence pickets are pressure treated pine which I will not use. I have a used sheet of melamine that came out of a bunk bed that I'm now planning to use as the bottom of the planter, the sides will be cedar. There will be a couple of small drain holes to prevent root rot. As I have a roll of landscaping cloth I will also line the inside of the planter.

It won't be pretty, but what the heck, it's going to be behind my garage any way.

Regards
If that is melamine over particle board--may not be a good choice for any outside project. Not likely to respond well to any moisture at all.

earl
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 01:44 PM
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I made 5 window/deck planter boxes about 7 years ago. I used real 1" cedar stock. Put it together with stainless deck screws and Titebond III, drilled a few drain holes, primed them, added two coats of exterior latex paint. I then coated the insides with roofing tar. Seven years in Minnesota and they still look good as new. I can post a pic if you need to see. It's a nice simple project and a good time of year to be getting ready for spring.

May the grain be ever in your favor.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-26-2013, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by berry View Post
I made 5 window/deck planter boxes about 7 years ago. I used real 1" cedar stock. Put it together with stainless deck screws and Titebond III, drilled a few drain holes, primed them, added two coats of exterior latex paint. I then coated the insides with roofing tar. Seven years in Minnesota and they still look good as new. I can post a pic if you need to see. It's a nice simple project and a good time of year to be getting ready for spring.
I would very much like to see the photos if you wouldn't mind. Thanks... Mike
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