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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is a picture of my raised bed garden with some mixed field greens and mustard greens coming in. It is so hot here in South FL that this is the beginning of my growing season. I haven't had much except peppers for the last few months.
 

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Awesome! At the local park today, there was about 6 of these setup and I took some photos of them on how they were constructed. This weekend I'm planning on getting some railroad ties and making mine a little higher (3 foot). Biggest concern with the railroad ties is the arsenic embedded into them, but after careful reading I'm planning on putting some super duper plastic lining the sides of them and putting the veggies on the inside. And of course leaching out the run off for about 6-8 more months before planting. Love the fact that you used recycled pallets to do this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks! The good thing about the railroad ties is they will never rot. My older boxes have rotted and I just put new boards on the outside of the old boards. The old rotten boards are serving as compost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Survival,

Also, a 3 foot tall bed will really save your back. Aren't you in KY? That is great soil. I am originally from Ky and plan on retiring there, unless it hits the fan, then I will be there sooner. My brother has a nice 20 acres homestead in Cox Creek.
 

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Ah yes, near Bardstown is Cox Creek. Bluegrass forms because of the fertile soil. I saw a extensive study about using steam pressured wood, which uses some form or arsenic to do the process, and the issue of raised garden beds leaching into the crops, but the final report was that the most leaching was within the first 6 months of the wood being treated and the article went on to say that it is perfectly fine to have pressure treated "rot resistant" wood to do this if you don't have your plants actually near the edges of the railroad ties. If you ever come up south ky i-75, give me a notice and i'll show you my place.
 

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Awesome! At the local park today, there was about 6 of these setup and I took some photos of them on how they were constructed. This weekend I'm planning on getting some railroad ties and making mine a little higher (3 foot). Biggest concern with the railroad ties is the arsenic embedded into them, but after careful reading I'm planning on putting some super duper plastic lining the sides of them and putting the veggies on the inside. And of course leaching out the run off for about 6-8 more months before planting. Love the fact that you used recycled pallets to do this.
Super bad idea using railway ties!!!!>.. I have had friends do this and got really sick off the veggies they grew....use Non treated wood like fenceposts without any chemicals added to them....here is a link and they say to avoid wood with toxins!!

Raised Garden Beds - How to Build and Install a Raised Garden Bed - Popular Mechanics
 

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Awesome stuff, right there!
Wifey will be scoping your page out, she wants to do that.
 

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Has anyone here tried combining the concepts from "square foot gardening" with raised beds to see how your yields turn out? Also... with higher beds (the 3 ft ones mentioned above), do you fill the unused area with soil... or something else? Do the higher beds with the extra 2 ft of dirt or (other) affect drainage and therefore growth?
 
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VerY idea n thanks for the Pics n info, got quick ?. I've got few deer, do u have ideas on how to deter them from garden? Doing fencing but kno.this may not b enough, now shootings not an option, live in residential area. Thanks much.
 

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chicken wire.....or what I have done in the past is attach a pie plate with a string to a post....when that plate gets whipping around, the deer wont come near it...
 

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The only problem with the pie plate is that it needs wind to make it move. The wind tends to calm down at night right about when Bambi starts moving. Bambi was also inspecting the target I was shooting the MosinNagant at and feels safe since the bullseye wasn't violated.
 

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true enough...try the chicken wire...the other thing that you could try is buying a cheap alarm from the dollar store...when the deer cross its path..the noise should scare them...I have done that as well...
 

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Pressure treated pine comes in two forms. The new type, formulated to be more non-toxic (Yella-wood is one brand). And the old type that's been used for many years, the green colored type. The green colored is treated with CCA - copper chromated arsenate. So, not only do you have an arsenic compound you also have heavy metals. Look for CCA on the little tag that should be stapled to the end of each board or piece of lumber. I personally would not want that in the soil that's growing something I'm going to eat.
And rail road ties are treated with creosote to reduce rot. Bad, bad stuff.
Years ago, when I first got into the building products biz I worked in a yard that dip treated lumber and boards with both creosote and another product known as Wood Life. The EPA shut that part of the operation down.
 
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Let me rephrase my way of speech/thought process here. I do stand corrected that railroad ties do contain CCA and I failed to mention that in my earlier post, BUT there has been little effect shown in plants absorbing the chemicals in extensive university studies conducted. "studies done by Texas A&M Agricultural Extension Service showed insignificant movement of these compounds into surrounding soil. Pressure-treated lumber has no proven effect on plant growth or food safety.". However, The EPA has recommended these not be used since there is better wood perserving chemicals (as others have pointed out, and thank you), thus EPA recommends to not use these. There are plenty of articles that state the opposite and I am more in favor of NOT using railroad ties, but for issue at hand, and at a prepper standpoint, I would like to explain.

Here is my train of thought. I have placed three layers of heavy duty plastic covering each side of the railroad ties with multiple staples to hold them up. I am also waiting to let the cca leach out over the years by rain water. Right now, I have tons of land to grow enough food for the entire town that I reside in, which I will utilize the acres and rotate the crops each year until something happens that I have to be closer to home. The beds are 5 feet from my cabin, which as we preppers know is a vital security issue instead of "going over the hill to the garden" as well as seeing that varmints have taken over your garden. And after reading square foot gardening books like crazy, I figure I can get 6 plants per bed (total of 12 in the two beds I have made last week.

Again, I 110% agree with everyone on NOT using railroad ties UNLESS there are situations as described above are needed closer to your home. Right now, I'll wait and just plant flowers in these until the majority of CCA leaches out.

Pics are before, during and after.

SANY0411.JPG SANY0414.JPG SANY0430.JPG
 

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Survival... so what's next? Do you fill them with dirt and plant in that? Or to you plan to plant in the existing soil and use the railroad ties as a protective barrier?
 

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OK... so assuming the ties about about 8" high... that gives you... ummm... about 18" of good soil to grow in and should make that soil easier to manage. I'd appreciate it if you would do updates over the next growing cycle and let us see what you are doing and how your yield turns out.
 
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