Building garden beds with what is on hand

Monek Marie
Monek Marie Posts: 3,542 ✭✭✭✭✭

We had run off flooding from across the road one year. It dumped a huge amount of rock in the yard - so I made garden beds.

They were filled with straw, sawdust, manure and grass. They also served a purpose of stopping any runoff from coming in the yard in future years

It was great therapy building these beds


  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,542 ✭✭✭✭✭

    What have you used for raised beds? I use pallets, straw, old dresser drawers, etc... What ever I can get for free.

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Denise Grant I like to go dumpster diving at building sites near me. I've found a ton of wood that way. I've used that wood to make garden beds and even a chicken coop. 😊

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,153 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have gone out in the woods and brought back dead fall logs that had been down for quite awhile. Took stout branches sharpened one end and drove them in the ground on the outside of the logs. Filled it with topsoil and added fertilizer while filling it. Stacked a couple logs high and planted in it. That bed help up the whole 10 years we were in that location.

  • SuperC
    SuperC Posts: 952 ✭✭✭✭

    It’s a great method to build this runoff protection barrier from nature’s elements. @Denise Grant , what tree(s) is the sawdust from? I’m curious, as some sawdusts may have too much nitrogen and certain plants can and cannot grow in such lasagne composting.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    @Denise Grant Cool looking stone bed. I have kind of done similar with cement blocks. Just for a bit more eye appeal than straight lined up beds.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,542 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2021

    @SuperC I get sawdust from aged piles at a batmill nearby, who used poplar. They will be changing wood soon. The only time I use hot or new sawdust is if I know I will let it set or make a hot compost that will break it down. I learned the hard way not to use fresh sawdust long before I knew anything about composting.

    The bed above was made late in the fall and sat all winter. I poured a compost tea on top and by spring it was perfect for planting.

    I also can get tree trimming services chips and sawdust dropped off here for free. Depending on what it is will depend on if I use it only for fill or let it sit for a bit.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,542 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2021

    @marjstratton Cool idea using the blocks that way

    @vickeym Ten years is a long time and you would still have great composting material when it was retired. Love the idea

    @JennyT I hit the construction sites too. There will be a new site just down tr road from me this summer. They will have huge crates and a ton of sawdust. Its amazing what you can get at construction sites

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I hit up a small factory that puts its' pallets and scrap wood at the end of their driveway with a free sign.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,542 ✭✭✭✭✭


    I had a place like that 3 miles away. It was amazing.They actually made ther pallets so you had everything in pieces. What was not quie right they sat out. I alos got pressed board and sometimes plywood. It was popular so you had to go get wood when they put it out, about 4 pm.

    When they closed a lot of people were disappointed, particularly the camping area across ther road. I made some great projects from that wood

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,542 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2021

    @SuperC The sawdust in these beds were a mix of ash (almost extinct in this are a now due to insect issues) and maple. I usually ask when I am getting sawdust or chips. I will take most kinds but I use only certain tree sawdust in my beds. the rest is used in my filler compost. Filler compost fills holes in my property. I can take more time to make that compost better.

    I do use oak but it has more tannin in it so its for special areas or uses. I think mixing trees help with any strong sawdust but I still have preferences

  • Sharie
    Sharie Posts: 276 ✭✭✭

    Very nice. The land I just bought has tons of rocks. My closest neighbour has made quite a few terraces in similar style. Looks fantastic when it's all blooming!