What is the best wood to use for raised garden beds?
Families across America are reintegrating home gardens into their lives, working to increase the amounts of health-giving homegrown fruits and vegetables in their diets. Because of this, folks frequently ask us about the best type of wood to use for their planter boxes and raised garden beds.
Raised beds are a great idea because they protect growing plants from the scuffs and kicks of passersby while allowing the soil to warm faster in the springtime, generating an earlier crop. They're also quite decorative and can add significant charm to vegetable gardens.
By building the boxes out of a beautiful, durable, and chemical-free material, you'll take an important step toward guaranteeing that your yard bears many decades of abundant and nourishing crops. (Click here for plans for easy-to-build, affordable juniper raised beds, and here for a Pinterest gallery of ideas.)
Here are the types of wood that are commonly used for this purpose, and the pros and cons of each:
The lifespan data above is derived in part from an ongoing study at OSU that tracks the durability of treated and untreated posts in ground-contact applications. Click here for full results.
Photo at top: Juniper 6x6 landscaping timbers used for retaining wall, raised beds, and stairs