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Raised Garden Beds: The Shou Sugi Ban Method

Our Sharon garden has been nothing short of challenging. The entire garden area and yard has started flooding nearly every time it rains. With our wet spring seasons that means we had flooded plants several times a year. That just doesn't work for our vegetable crop, so we decided to go the raised bed route. I fought the idea for many years, but I think our new beds are going to be a great way to grow our future crops.

garden bed 1

My main concern with raised beds was the materials made to construct them. Treated wood can leach chemicals into the soil so that option was a no go right from the start. Cedar wood is a great material for long lasting beds that are exposed to the elements, but the price was a budget buster, especially on the scale that we were creating. We decided to go with untreated fir which on its own would last a few years. We wanted to preserve the wood in some way but sealing the wood with chemicals was not an option. While researching we learned of the shou sugi ban method of waterproofing wood. By charring the wood surface, you actually prevent water penetration and pest damage.

 Garden bed 2

garden bed 3

After assembling the boxes, we took a propane weed torch and burned all sides of the boxes before filling with dirt. And not only does this technique help our boxes last for years to come, but it also gives them all a unique and aged look. We're looking forward to watching this garden grow and staying flood free.

Do you have unique raised garden beds? I would love to see them. Visit https://www.facebook.com/thehippiehomesteader/ and post your garden pics!

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