Lining raised beds- help please

milkmansdaughter

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We have wood crates for raised beds. The wood is currently untreated. For those who made their own raised beds, did you line them with anything? I've got rolls of the thick white/clear plastic that I was thinking of using. What have you used? Paint? Plastic? Urethane? We'd like them to last but don't want to poison anything that grows in them...
Btw, the boxes were free. :)
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Thanks!
 

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baymule

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It is advised against using any treated woods for raised beds. Generally people use untreated wood, expecting to rip them apart in several years and taking the remains to the burn pile. As far as lining with plastic, the hot summer sun would cook the roots. You could probably paint them with polyurethane and make them last a little longer. Nice boxes, free makes them even better!
 

milkmansdaughter

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Thanks @baymule. I hadn't thought of that with the plastic. I'm not sure how long we'll be able to get free boxes so we're hoping to have them last as long as possible. All of these wood boxes are heat treated, not chemically treated, so we're good there. We just got about 10 more free boxes this week (all different sizes) with more on the way and we're really excited about all the possibilities. Raised garden beds, incubator box, rooster house, dog house, maybe even a source of income if we make nice planter boxes with them... Oh, the possibilities! :)
 

sumi

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Score on those boxes! :thumbsup I wish I could get some here, they are so handy!
 

baymule

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If you can turn them into small chicken coops for people in town with limited room, I think they would sell. The trick is to make them attractive and low cost. There are ads on Craigslist all the time for pretty chicken coops, but have hefty prices.
 

milkmansdaughter

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This is the first project with the smaller boxes. (Not finished yet, but enough to get the idea. I think they will look great finished!) We were thinking of planters by the road with plants on top and out both sides. Painted up, we think they might sell as well. Thanks for the chicken coop idea @baymule!
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CrealCritter

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That's a tough one... Honestly unless they are made with corrosion resistant fasteners and a decay resist wood like black locust, heart wood of white oak, cedar or cypress ( I only know american woods) I'm afraid no matter what you do, it's going to rot after a few years of use. There are some useful looking creates - maybe they could be repurposed for an interior use?
 

Beekissed

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I don't think the plastic would cook the roots of your plants anymore than a plastic container pot does. I'd try that heavy mil plastic before I'd try any kind of polyurethane on it. If not the plastic, maybe Thompson's water seal, but the plastic is the cheaper and more effective option. I'd definitely use the Thompsons on the outside of the planter, though, just to protect it from the elements for as long as possible.

GREAT score on those boxes, BTW. I'd love to have them all out here and I love the design of your planter you've got going on already.
 

milkmansdaughter

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Thanks @crealbilly and @Beekissed.
I like the idea of the Thompson water seal.
And I'm sure we'll be making some shelves of some kind with at least some of the boxes. They'd make easy temporary shelves for the shop just by tipping them on their side and stacking them. That will clean up an area of the shop and store my crates both. :)
 
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