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This year I want to try raised beds in my garden, but I don't want to spend any money on purchasing the wood necessary to make them, plus all the work involved. So I came up with this idea - why not use cardboard boxes from the grocery stores? I plan on getting approximately 12 inch deep ones with sturdier sides. I think that they should hold up for one entire summer. I will let you know how I fare with them. If this works, I'll be so happy!
By annelaundrie from Green Bay, WI
I have raised beds that I started by using the 8x8x16 inch cinder blocks, held in place by rebar stakes. The wooden stakes just rotted off within the first year. I add at least 1 cubic foot of composted steer manure every fall/winter after I pull out my summer veggies, and we're good to go by Easter. You can also use big pots or half barrels. Again, look for yard sales for those on the less expensive side. My cousin has a couple of horse troughs with holes drilled for drainage, right outside the kitchen door for the herb beds. I hadn't thought of using dresser drawers! That sounds really neat, especially if you are just starting out and have an old dresser to dispose of.
I hope the boxes work for you also, but think that once they are wet with rain and heavy soil and once the vegetable roots expand in the box, it won't hold up. It would be sad to see your vegetables, soil and hard work slowly colapsing to expose the roots and also losing your expensive soil into your yard.
Maybe you can find some waxed boxes? That might work better...
I agree with gouligann... the moisture will break down the sides and you have to water thoroughly so I would put the creativity hat back on with this idea. :(
I agree with the rest. One use for cardboard in the garden is to put it down between plants and then mulch over it. It really keeps the weeds from emerging.