How to choose the Best Materials for Raised Garden Beds?

Best Raised Garden Bed Materials

Raised garden beds provide a quick and easy way to add color to your yard. These beds can be placed on top of the existing ground or hardscapes like brick or concrete. They provide an easy way to address soil challenges and make controlling and pulling weeds easier.

Raised beds can be constructed with simple designs or you can use existing containers. In this article, we’ll tell you which materials are best for raised garden beds and what materials you should avoid.

Redwood

Redwood is a durable outdoor wood that is most affordable on the West Coast, due to the proximity of the Redwood Forest. It has a high level of tannins that increases its durability and helps repel rot and prevent termite infestations. Raised beds made of redwood can last a decade or more and are rumored to last a bit longer than cedar, especially when heart redwood is used.

Dense redwood, also called heart redwood, construction heart, con heart, or heart B redwood is best for outdoor use. It will last longer than common grade or sapwood redwood.

Cedar

Cedar is another durable outdoor wood that can be used to construct raised garden beds. Like redwood, it has a high level of tannins to help prevent rot and termites and improve durability. Cedar is more affordable on the East Coast, although it can be found throughout the country.

Check out our step-by-step instructions for building a cedar planter box.

Other hardwoods

You can use other hardwoods to construct a raised bed if redwood or cedar is too expensive. These woods are denser and more durable than softwoods. Hardwoods include teak, maple, beech, hemlock, walnut, black locust, and oak. These woods are good for outdoor use but won’t last as long as cedar or redwood.

Softwoods

Some softwoods can be used to construct raised beds, although they won’t last as long as hardwoods, cedar, or redwood. They’re more affordable, making them an attractive option. The best softwoods include douglas fir, pine, spruce, and juniper. Garden beds made from softwoods may last around 4 to 7 years on average.

Other materials

Wine barrels, which are made of oak, can easily be transformed into a raised garden bed. Simply drill drainage holes into the bottom of the barrel, then add soil and plants.

A variety of metal products can also be used for raised beds. Metal beds don’t rot, swell, or shrink with moisture, and don’t require maintenance. Galvanized steel works great in wet climates, as there is a layer of zinc that prevents the metal from corroding and rusting. The zinc isn’t likely to leach into the soil, except under very acidic conditions. Furthermore, zinc is a natural element found in soil that is good for plants of all types. They rely on it for root development, resilience to cold temperatures, and other necessary processes. To create a metal bed, you can use a prefabricated metal container, like an animal feed or water trough, or construct a wood frame and cover it with galvanized steel.

What not to use

Almost as important as knowing what materials to use, it’s also important to know what materials to avoid when constructing a raised bed garden.

Railroad ties should not be used in plantings or landscaping. They are treated with creosote, which is a probable human carcinogen and may inhibit growth or harm plants. The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a warning and banned the use of railroad ties in landscaping and gardening.

Also, treated or pressure-treated lumber should be avoided. In the past, treated lumber used an arsenic-based compound. However, it was shown to leach from the lumber into the surrounding soil. This compound was banned in 2003 and replaced with less toxic copper-based compounds. Although the new compound is safer, it’s best to avoid treated lumber altogether, especially when other options are available.

If you find lumber of unknown origin lying around, it isn’t recommended for use in your garden bed, especially if you’re growing fruits and vegetables. The lumber may be contaminated with toxic chemicals like lead, arsenic, or other heavy metals. It’s best to use virgin wood or lumber that you know the source of.

Rubber tires do not make a good raised bed material. Car tires contain benzene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, heavy metals, and other substances that are toxic to humans and may leach into the surrounding soil. They should be used only for flowers and other plants you don’t plan on eating.

Lumber-raised beds provide the most design flexibility, allowing you to take advantage of all the available space in your yard. Whether they are square, round, or rectangular, they will help bring color to your yard and healthy fruits and vegetables to your table.

If you have questions regarding a raised garden bed project, contact us to get professional help.

decking

Deck Planning Checklist

Deck planning list

It’s never too early to begin planning for summer entertaining and fun. If adding a deck is on your list of things to do, Parr Lumber has the supplies you need.  Here’s a planning list to help you get started.

Choose a size

A quick rule of thumb for deck sizing is to allow five square feet for each person who will be on the deck. So, if you have a family of five, you should allow at least 25 square feet for your deck. You’ll want to add additional room for parties and cooking space. The size of your house and yard will also help determine the size of deck you can have. Make sure you leave enough open space in your yard for other outdoor activities. Also, consider if you want the deck elevated or at ground level.

Choose a style

There are a wide variety of options for the height of your deck. Your deck design should be customized to meet the specific needs of your home and your family.

1. Ground level

This is a good option for families with young children or single-level homes.

2. Elevated

This option works for multilevel homes where access to the deck will be upstairs. It requires proper safety planning and handrails.

3. Tiered

Use multiple levels of the deck to create separate areas for each activity.

There are many features that can be built into your deck design, including built-in seating, planters, outdoor kitchen appliances, and decking patterns.

Make a plan

After you have decided the size of your deck, the style, and the features you want, it’s time to make a plan. Decide where you want to access the deck from your home if there will be stairs and where you need utility hookups, and what your budget is for the project. Now you’re ready to create a rough drawing on graph paper or you can go to parr.com to start building your deck with their deck planning software.

Construction considerations

Before you begin construction, here are some considerations:

1. Check your property lines to ensure you aren’t crossing any with your proposed deck.

2. Diagnose any drainage or grading problems that need to be corrected before you begin the project.

3. Decide what type of foundation you’ll use. Things to consider:

  • Type of soil
  • Will the deck be anchored to the home or freestanding?
  • Do you need to do major excavation work?

Foundation types include concrete piers with or without sills, prefabricated deck blocks, or foundation piles or screws.

4. Decide what type of decking materials you’ll use.

Now that you have completed your deck plan, it’s time to choose and order your building materials. The professionals at Parr Lumber can help you select just the right amount of materials you need to complete your project. And if you aren’t sure what material is best, they can help with that too.

Good luck building your new deck. You’ll be happy you did when summer comes around — this year and for years to come.

Author: Dawn Killough – Inventory Specialist at Parr Lumber

Read more: https://www.seattletimes.com/explore/at-home/building-a-diy-deck-its-easy-once-you-make-a-few-decisions/

Parr Lumber Deck, Fence and Outdoor Living Expo 2022

Kicking off 2022 spring with our exclusive Parr Lumber Deck, Fence, and Outdoor living expo happening at 10 Parr locations. Check it out!

Deck Expo Highlights:

*Free Deck planning services
*Green Mountain Grill Giveaway worth $899
*Manufacturer representatives on-site
*Meet with one of our best in the industry vendors to help answer questions
*Gain more knowledge and insight specifics related to products.
*Event only specials
*Free lunch (11 am – 1 pm)

Deck Expo Locations:
Saturday, April 2 – Hillsboro (9 am – 3 pm)
Saturday, April 9 – Vancouver
Saturday, April 9 – Newberg
Saturday, April 16 – Raleigh Hills
Saturday, April 16 – West Linn
Saturday, April 23 – Prineville
Saturday, April 30 – Salem
Friday, May 6 – Pasco
Saturday, May 7 – Bothell
Saturday, May 7 – Spokane

For more information visit: https://parr.com/events/deck-expo/

PLAN YOUR NEXT PROJECT WITH PARR DECK EXPERTS~~~~

Consumer Disclosure

You have not yet won. No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win. YOU MUST BE PRESENT AT THE 2022 PARR LUMBER FENCE, OUTDOOR LIVING, & DECK EXPO TO ENTER (UNLESS YOU ENTER VIA ALTERNATIVE MEANS OF ENTRY DESCRIBED IN THE OFFICIAL RULES). The expo is on the following dates at the following locations, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time: April 2, 2022 at our Hillsboro store at 7650 NE Wagon Drive, Hillsboro, OR 97124; April 9, 2022 at our Vancouver and Newberg stores at 6400 E 18th Street, Vancouver, WA 98661 and 200 N. Elliot, Newberg, OR 97132; April 16, 2022 at our Raleigh Hills and West Linn stores at 4605 SW Scholls Ferry Road, Portland, OR 97225 and 2351 SW Borland Rd, West Linn, OR 97068; April 23, 2022 at our Prineville store at 601 N Main Street, Prineville, OR 97754; April 30, 2022 at our Salem store at 4050 Salem Industrial Drive NE, Salem, OR 97301; May 6, 2022 at our Pasco store at 2105 N Commercial Avenue, Pasco, WA 99301; and May 7, 2022 at our Bothell and Spokane stores at 17617 15th Avenue SE, Bothell, WA 98012 and 4111 East Francis Avenue, Spokane, WA 99217. Enter by using the QR codes or Sponsor’s tablet to submit an entry form at the event. One prize will be awarded, and the winner will be randomly selected. The prize is one (1) GMG Ledge Prime Wifi-Enabled Pellet Grill (worth approximately $899.99). The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. One entry per person and per household. Must be 18+ and Oregon or Washington resident. Other restrictions apply. Sponsor: Parr Lumber Company, at 5630 NE Century Blvd., Hillsboro, OR 97124. Click on the link for the complete promotion official rules.

Hughson deck - Parr Lumber

Range of options for new decking materials broader than ever

Now is time of year when customers come to hardware and lumber stores with that ‘spring project gleam’ in their eyes.

And for thousands of homeowners across the Northwest, that will mean building a new deck or re-building one that’s been worn down by years of neglect.

If you are in deck building mode in 2017, you are picking a fantastic time to build. That’s because there are more choices of materials, railing and customization available than ever before.

The days where everyone on the block has a similar looking deck are over. Now, you can create a deck that is both a great investment, and that makes a statement about who you are, and how you live in your outdoor space.

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dasso.XTR bamboo decking | Parr Lumber

Bamboo Decking Breakdown

When building a deck, selecting the type of material is often the first step. However, with an abundance of options, this can be an overwhelming process. At Parr Lumber, we believe it is crucial for our customers to understand their various options. With years of industry and product knowledge, Parr Deck Experts can help any customer discover the decking that fits their lifestyle. In this post we are spotlighting dasso.XTR bamboo decking.

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TimberTech Composite Decking - Parr Lumber

Parr Lumber Deck, Fence and Outdoor Living Expo

Plan your deck project with our experts!

Parr Lumber is hosting its second Deck, Fence and Outdoor Living Expo this spring at various Parr locations. Not only will our highly trained Deck Experts be able to assist you with any questions, we will also be providing a free Deck Planning service. This one of a kind program will provide you with a life like visual of your future deck. Customize your deck’s appearance with the ability to change the decking color, material, style, and layout.

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Parr Lumber Deck Expo

Deck Expo

Thinking about building a deck this year? If you are, then you’ll want to attend our Deck Expo at Raleigh Hills (May 2), West Linn (May 2), Bend (May 9) and Vancouver (May 9). Lunch is on us and there will be prizes, specials, and how-to clinics.

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Deck prep products | Parr Lumber

How to Refinish Your Deck

The summer is nearly here and it’s time to refinish the deck to have it ready for the upcoming evenings of outdoor entertaining. The key for your wood deck is to do the correct preparation before you start. If you have an older wood deck, it probably looks pretty dull and grey. To get it back to its correct color, you will need to clean and brighten it first. If you put the new stain on an old, unclean board it will look splotchy and uneven. The good news is that you can clean and brighten your deck in just one day.

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Grace Vycor Plus Deck Protector

3 Easy Ways to Extend the Life of Your Deck

If you’re building a deck in the near future, you’ll want to hear today’s tips. On average, decks typically last 15 to 25 years because the wood eventually rots. In some cases, it’s the decking boards that rot first. In other situations, it’s the treated framing that is damaged by the elements. Today’s tips deal with extending the life of the treated lumber underneath your deck. Read on to find out how you can prolong the life of your deck.

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