Spring time is just around the corner and so our focus shifts to gardening. A popular question is whether or not to use raised garden and/or flower beds. When considering to build a garden or flower bed you want to use high quality material to create a bed that is functional, durable, long-lasting and is safe for your plants and veggies. Here are a couple suggestions from our trusted staff at Weatherwise Cedar Products to consider for your spring project.
Yellow Cedar is a very durable wood, and life its sister-wood Western Red Cedar, it is also resistant to rot, decay and insects. Yellow Cedar is a dense wood due to the high concentration of tannins which can cause a longer drying time when staining your project. If the drying time is a high priority and you still want to use Yellow Cedar, one action we suggest is to sand the pieces with a very course sandpaper (such as 60-80 grit) to open up the grain in the wood as much as possible. This allows the wood to absorb the stain more quickly and have a faster drying time allowing you to put your project to use shortly after staining.
Western Red Cedar
Western Red Cedar is a softer wood than Yellow Cedar and is a preferred cedar choice for garden beds. As with all cedar products, we recommend the application of stain onto all sides of each board using a water-based stain (such as Sansin or Timber Pro) that is safe for plants and vegetables. Western Red Cedar is a light-weight wood when dry making it easier to work with and placing your finished project.
Pressure Treated Lumber
This has been a tradition go -to product for making garden and flower beds; however in recent times there is increased discussion and controversy regarding its safe-use for garden beds. Our staff recommends avoiding using pressure treated lumber for garden beds out of a caution of using a chemically-treated product around edible vegetation.
If you feel you are needing more information on any of these products please feel free to come in and talk to our staff here at Weatherwise Cedar Products or leave a review so that we can assist you with your projects.
Pressure Pus is a great way to keep pressure treated lumber looking fresh while also protecting it from the weathers elements. Not only does it enhance the natural brown tones of the pressure treated wood but it also is VOC compliant, water repellent, environmentally friendly and ready to use, with no prepping needed. For applying Pressure Plus you can do it in a number of different ways; brush, roll, spray or dip coat it on with ease. Clean up is also a breath with soap and water.
Rough lumber will absorb more stain due to the increase in exposed wood fibers. Your initial up front cost will be higher but it will add durability and longevity to your project.
Smooth lumber has less open fibers so the stain will not absorb as much. It is highly recommended you sand all surfaces with 50-60 grit to open up the fibers. Whether you’re staining rough or smooth lumber, it comes down to the look you are trying to achieve. Rough is usually more of a rustic look, where as smooth is a modern sleek look.
Now where to use your rough vs. smooth lumber is completely up to you, however; something to be mindful of is to use smooth faced products in areas that need to be cleaned, where there is less chance for spider webs and other outside debris to attach itself to.
Board Foot – is actually a measurement of volume. A board foot is one square foot, one inch thick. To calculate board foot = width in inches x length in feet x thickness in inches.
Running Foot – is used in woodworking and means the same as a lineal foot. Refers to a one-dimensional measurement of length.
Square Foot – Is a unit of area in the imperial measurement system. A square measurement is the 2-dimensional derivative of a lineal measurement, so a square foot is defined as the area of a square with sides 1 foot in length.
There are a few things to factor in when choosing your gate hardware; whether you are wanting to go for a simple functionality or an architectural element. Next would be choosing your hinges. When picking your hinges; a good rule of thumb to follow would be that 1/3 of your gate should be hinged. As an example, if you have a gate that is 36″ wide, you will need 12″ hinges to support the weight of it and to prevent sagging. Another rule of thumb would be when measuring out your gate always remember to take a 1/2″ off each side to ensure you will have enough room when attaching your hinges as well as seasonal changes which may cause the wood to shrink or expand.
Also another thing to consider would be the longevity of your hardware, especially if you have exposure to salt water/air you will be needing something that is either galvanized, powder coated, or stainless steel to protect it from the elements. Here are some options for picking out gate hardware:
- Hinges; want them visible or hidden
- Butt hinge or strap hinge
- Handle or no handle
- Needing a lock?
- Ring handle vs. thumb latch
- Hammered metal or smooth metal
- Antique or modern
**All our gate hardware is available to check out on our website under Our Products then Hardware.