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January 20, 2011


Ken Avis

Great informative post. I've been wondering about using untreated wood. Cedar and redwood are so hard to find and expensive. Do you use plain easy to get pine? Does it rot away quickly?


Yes I use untreated pine for all the beds. I don't want to take a chance with any chemicals leaching into the soil that I work so hard to keep organic.

They do rot on the bottom where soil stays in constant contact, but my oldest frames are over 10 years old and they still hold the soil in place. If I wanted to move the frame to build a different bed, the wood might fall apart. I just plan to replace as needed.

Thanks for the question

- Marc


Great post! I love the history.

Lisa is getting excited about the upcoming spring planting, here.

As you know, we do more of the row planting, but we've learned that we can produce more if we "clump" the rows. Instead of single rows we do maybe three or four tightly spaced rows clumped together and then the balk between the clumps.

The site looks wonderful! Keep up the great work!

Greg W

Great post. I have been raised bed gardening for six years and use untreated cedar and redwood. Nothing is rotting yet. We always get a pretty decent sized crop and would not want to go to row planting because this works so well.


I garden in a raised bed, in the ground in my front flower bed, and I had a more traditional row garden a couple of years ago. I've had the most success in the raised bed, usually when I put something directly in the ground if it is susceptible to blight or wilt it will get it. I'm not exactly sure why, but I think it might have something to do with the fact that I find the raised bed easier to get into and tend to it more frequently? I do have really good results with putting my southern peas in the ground and will continue to do that but I have plans to add more raised beds as finances allow.
Would you be so kind as to share the title of the intensive gardening book? I'm very interested in learning more about the technique, particularly the constant rotation strategies.


Thank you Ken and Greg for the comments.

Hi Eric - Purewaterhollow.blogspot.com, It's always great to have my brother stop by!

Enjay - sorry about the problems you had commenting here. I changed some settings to hopefully help out in the future. As for your question about the title of the book - I wish I knew the title of the book! Back then, every public library had a copy of it but I can't find it now. I have been on a quest to find it for a few years now. I often buy Rodale gardening books from the 80's through Amazon hoping to find it but I haven't yet. It is hardback and has a white cover and I'll know it when I see it. I have many other favorite books though. I once wrote a post about my 25 favorite gardening books.

Thanks again to all of you.

- Marc


Marc, try half.com in you quest for the book!

Derek D

I like to use raised beds. The main reason is that it helps me keep the weeds at bay.

On a slightly different note: How do you keep your chickens out of your garden? I'm convinced mine would have a field day if my small garden wasn't fenced.

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