FAQs about Raised Garden Beds, Cedar and Sustainability
Why should I consider a raised garden bed?
Raised garden beds offer many benefits over traditional row gardening. Raised garden beds are attractive, easy to maintain, and can be designed to fit your needs. Raised garden beds require less work...no back-breaking tilling or digging required! Raised garden beds are ideal for areas where soil composition is poor as they sit on top of the ground. Fill with a mixture of garden soil and organic material such as compost and you've created a soil paradise for your plants! Or better yet, use garden soil with organic worm castings and organic fertilizer to make your garden thrive like never before.
Raised garden beds are ideal for intensive gardening, which allows you to harvest a maximum amount of produce in a minimal amount of space. Because a higher percentage of available growing space is used, there is less room for weeds to grow and water can be used more efficiently. Raised garden beds allow for easier cultivation, easier plant and soil maintenance, and easier harvesting. You can easily reach into every inch of your garden.
Don't stop at just one! A system of raised garden beds allows you to concentrate soil preparation in small areas, resulting in more effective use of soil that is perfectly suited for your organic vegetable plant needs.
Raised garden beds are better suited for people with back problems or other physical limitations that may otherwise prevent the enjoyment and satisfaction of gardening.
Is Western Red Cedar considered "green?"
Western Red Cedar is one of natures truly remarkable building materials. Not only does it have distinctive beauty, natural durability and centuries of proven performance, Western Red Cedar is the ultimate green product. It produces fewer greenhouse gases, generates less water and air pollution, requires less energy to produce than alternatives and comes from a renewable and sustainable resource. Equally important, Western Red Cedar is carbon neutral...it's as Green as it can get.
For more information about the amazing benefits of using Western Red Cedar, please visit http://www.wrcla.org.
How long will Western Red Cedar last?
Western Red Cedar is one of the worlds most beautiful and durable woods. Natural resistance to moisture, decay and insect damage makes it the premier choice for your outdoor use. Western Red Cedar is naturally at home in the sun, rain, heat and cold all year long. When Western Red Cedar is used in above-ground applications, it will last for decades; and when used as a raised bed garden and in direct contact with ground, it will last for many years.
Is cedar safer than pressure-treated lumber?
Although pressure-treated lumber produced in the US is no longer soaked in a toxic stew of harmful chemicals known as CCA (chromium, copper, and arsenic), unnatural chemical preservatives are still forced deep into the cellular structure of the wood through a special pressurization process. CCA alternatives have only been around since 2004 and many independent and academic studies are still being conducted on the safety of these new chemicals. According to the U.S. Government Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Dept. of Argriculture, Part 205 - NATIONAL ORGANIC PROGRAM, Subpart C—Organic Production and Handling Requirements §205.206(f) "The producer must not use lumber treated with arsenate or other prohibited materials for new installations or replacement purposes in contact with soil or livestock." While the older arsenic treated lumber is clearly not allowed for organic production, it is somewhat vague in it's prohibition of "other" prohibited materials. We chose to err on the side of safety
You need to decide if you want to risk exposure to the potentially-harmful unnatural chemical preservatives found in pressure-treated lumber, or if you want feel safe knowing that our premium grade Western Red Cedar is untreated and contains only natural, organic, "green" preservatives.
Are tools or hardware required for assembly?
No! We've developed a proprietary slide attachment system. All hardware is already precision-attached to the boards and posts, so you don't need to worry about nails or screws. Although no tools are required for assembly, we've found that using a rubber mallet or a hammer to secure the pieces into place makes assembly easier. Place a cloth on the wood before tapping so as not to mark up the wood. As part of our kits, we also include several pieces of wood which should be used as "tap-blocks" since it prevents marring the cedar.