Re: [gardeners] Treated wood construction

penny x stamm (
Tue, 8 Jun 1999 00:31:58 -0400

When we built our raised rose bed 15 years ago,  Jim dug down 
18 inches, and I scraped the soil with a steel rake to make it
usable. (My but I was young once....)   The bed was 6 x 13. 

Jim borrowed a chain saw, and did the very difficult job of  sawing
the 6" x 6" x 10ft treated wood into all the pieces we would need to
make a containing fence with "log cabin" dovetailing. He fastened 
them together with long nails driven in on an angle -- I think that's 
called 'toe-ing in' -- both inside and out. This was set up to border the

6 x 13 pit which was ready, using three 6" boards stacked on top  of
each other.

First we placed all the sods that had been removed from the top in
the first place, upside down in the bottom of the hole. After that we
moved yards of top soil (which contained a little sand) about 20ft
from where it had been dumped in the driveway. Interspersed with
the top soil were two 6 cu.ft. bales of peat moss, broken apart, and the
original soil raked semi-fine. .  We did not have any compost left at all

so that this rose bed contained nothing but top soil, the bit of sand,
original soil (minus the rocks) and the peat moss. With the hole in the
ground being 18" deep, and the treated wood fencing also being 
18" high, we now had a rose bed 36" deep.

Into this 'box' I planted 23 roses, rows of 5 then 4 then 5 then 4 then
It turned out to be WAY too crowded once they had grown in, so I was
forced to eliminate an entire row, and we now have 18 roses in there. 

As soon as the roses were in, I buried 2 old fashioned green spraying 
soaker hoses connected with a siamese valve threaded one starting
at the back, and one starting at the front, and since my good fairy was
watching, they just came out perfectly to fit through all the spaces
the rows of roses, about 2 inches under the surface. Then I topped the 
entire surface with buckwheat hulls, about 2 inches thick. They never
around, keep out 100% of all weeds, and keep in the moisture which is

The whole construction seems to be indestructable. It gets about
8 hours of full sunlight during the summer, and anything from 1 to 18
snow storms each winter. We painted wood stain preservative on it
once, after 13 years. 

Penny, NY, zone 6 

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