5 Reasons Cedar Raised Beds are the Best Way to Garden

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We finally have cedar raised beds in the backyard garden area!! Yay! We are moving right along in our Backyard Makeover Chronicles and I am so exited to share with you all the progress we’ve made over the last month or so.

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In addition to a project update, I thought it would also be helpful to share with you the 5 main reasons we believe cedar raised beds are the best way to garden. While there are well over 5 benefits to gardening in raised beds, I wanted to focus in on the ones we’ve experienced when it comes to using CEDAR raised beds. We are huge advocates for using cedar lumber in the construction of raised beds – whether they’re to hold flowers, vegetables, or even just greenery – and hope this post will enlighten you as to how much the material you build your beds out of matters.

Three cedar raised beds with strawberry and pea starts planted in them.

The materials for this post were provided by Mike’s Corvallis Bargain Center, but the opinions are all my own.

If you’re just joining us on this backyard makeover adventure, let me get you caught up! We purchased this house (with half an acre lot) about two years ago and have been working on the backyard for just over a year.

Most of last summer’s work was spent getting the deck and entertaining area complete. You can see the mini-series of posts detailing that part of the project here:

This year we’ve shifted gears and are working on the “farming” section of our property – which includes a chicken coop/run fenced area and a large raised bed garden. Here are the first two posts in this mini-series, of which this post is the third:

Ah! So much has happened since I last updated you all on this project! Ok, where to begin… let’s start with the chickens. Not only did Chris finish up the fence around their chicken run perimeter, but we also got 4 new lovely ladies to add to our flock. 🙂 You’ve already met Ruby and Jane, but let me introduce you to Pearl, Opal, Babe and Black Pepper!

Four young chickens grouped together.

Aren’t they so sweet? The kids LOVE them and it’s been really fun learning how to raise chickens from chicks. One of them laid their first egg this week – I can’t believe how fast they grow! We purchased the two older ones when they were a few years old, so it’s interesting seeing how tricky it can be to introduce new chickens into an established coop. If you’re experienced in this process – please email me some tips!!

Here’s a view of their coop and run, with the fancy fence Chris built. 😉 They sure do love free-ranging in this large area all day!

Wide view of a chicken coop and fenced in run.

The most recent thing we’ve done – which is the focus of our update today – is install the cedar raised garden beds! Mike’s Corvallis Bargain Center generously provided us with the cedar lumber needed for this part of the project. We were super impressed with both their service and the quality of their cedar lumber. If you’re looking to build or purchase a cedar raised bed, be sure to stop by Mike’s! They offer a few different styles, in many sizes, and can even custom build one to your specifications! Whether you are planting a small herb garden or a huge vegetable garden to feed your family, they can get you the perfect cedar raised bed. 🙂

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After Chris built the beds, then came filling them… Wowza – I did not think about how much work that would be! The past week has included HOURS of shoveling dirt and gravel (10 yards of each, to be exact!) My hands are super tired, but it’ll all be worth it when we have an abundance of veggies back there every year, right? 😉 We also made sure to install the watering system main line before filling the area with gravel, so it’s ready to hook up and set on a watering schedule after we’ve moved the spicket.

Wide view of the raised garden area with four long raised beds filled with dirt and gravel paths between.

Lastly, our most recent change in plans was choosing to use our large backyard shed as my soon-to-be office/she-shed rather than a barn… Remember what I said last time about the plan’s always changing?? 😉 At this point, we’ll have to either purchase a smaller shed to go back in the garden, build one from scratch, or restore one that we find used… We honestly aren’t sure what we’re going to do when it comes to the barn, but that’s ok! For now it’ll just sit with gravel between the chicken run and the gardening space.

Before I get into the details about why we’ve gone to all this work to have cedar raised beds in our gardening area, let’s take a look at our project list progress!

  1. Install fencing around chicken run
  2. Install fencing around garden
  3. Build the raised garden beds
  4. Install road-fabric and gravel around raised beds
  5. Move spicket and install watering system
  6. Plant veggies (May)
  7. Buy or build a shed/barn

Next up is finishing the fencing, moving the spicket, planting the rest of the veggies and installing the rest of the watering system. Oh, and then there’s figuring out what we’re going to do for a barn… Still lots left, but it’s moving along!

Ok, now let’s get into why YOU should use cedar raised beds for your gardening!

5 Reasons Cedar Raised Beds are the Best Way to Garden

1. ROT AND WEATHER RESISTANT

Cedar has a natural rot-resistant chemical in it that helps it resist decay and weather the seasons.

2. EASY TO WORK WITH

When dry, cedar boards are tough and don’t split easily, so pre-drilling isn’t necessary when constructing the raised beds.

3. RELATIVELY LIGHTWEIGHT

Compared to other wood types, cedar is relatively lightweight. This makes it easier to maneuver when it comes to moving it from the store to your home, as well as in the building process.

4. BIODEGRADABLE

As a natural element, cedar lumber biodegrades well meaning, when you decide to replace or deconstruct the raised bed, you can easily dispose of the boards!

5. BEAUTIFUL

I mean, this is why I like them best. 😉 Of course, a natural wood board like cedar will always look more appealing than its counterparts (like recycled plastic or composite) in a garden filled with greenery and other natural elements.

So, what do you think? Ready to build yourself some cedar raised beds?? I can’t wait to see all the produce that section of our property produces in the years to come. Don’t forget, Mike’s Corvallis Bargain Center can provide you with cedar lumber, pre-built cedar boxes or even custom built boxes. No matter what you’re DIY-level, they can get you set up.

I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the week – I’m off to shovel the last of that gravel before my sister and her family come to town this week!

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