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Building Sustainable Raised Garden Beds

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Raised Garden Bed From Recycled materials finished

Garden tables are an exciting new idea we are seeing more and more of on the garden market. They lift the garden up off the ground which can be beneficial to help keep pests away or to enable better reaching capability for arthritis sufferers, people with bad backs, or the handicapped. Curtis Sparks, an environmental consultant and a good friend of mine, is working to build his own raised garden tables out of locally sourced and recycled woods. His goal; reduce his footprint by utilizing a sustainable process to build his gardens.

Raised Garden Bed Raw Materials and dog
 Recycled materials

Curt starts by reusing old, untreated cedar telephone poles as his raw material (see above with Curt’s helper-dog, Diesel). Using untreated wood as a raw material is absolutely important when growing vegetables and food so that plants remain as chemical free as possible.

Once the raw material has been determined, then Curt sets up the saws in his little workshop and goes about cutting the boards and support pieces that will be needed in order to assemble the raised garden beds. While this might be Curt’s hobby, he takes comfort in the fact that he is utilizing green products to make the garden more sustainable.

Liner and Drainage

Once the raised beds are built he drills a drain hole, stains them, then lines them with EPDM rubber membranes which are considered drinking water safe. Other liners can break down into further compounds which might be a concern, but the rubber membranes are inexpensive and safe for lining water systems. Curtis does not recommend lining a raised bed like this with common plastic liners as it might not be safe to eat from and can break down quickly.

Recycled materials Stain

Curtis Sparks idea of building your own sustainable raised garden beds is a fantastic one. If you do not have the tools or means to do so, I highly recommend a pre-made raised garden bed that you can order online. GroProducts EZ Garden Table is a shallower garden table, but offers the same great raised capabilities. These beds are perfect for growing vegetables in small spaces and raised up for easy access by the gardener.

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