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Raised Bed Material Analysis


Material Cost per Foot Pros Cons
Hand Built Raised Beds (beveled edges) 0 No cost, no installation required Must be rebuilt each year, no containment
Untreated Pine $1.10 /
Inexpensive, boards are 2" thick Requires some carpentry skills, wood rot and insect attack. Last 3-4 years.
Hardie backer cementatious board panel $0.79 /
Inexpensive, will not rot, no insect damage, lasts for years. Boards are 3/8" thick. Requires some carpentry skills, material is brittle, needs to be cut into narrower lengths from larger panel, needs extra support.
Pressure treated lumber $1.25 /
Inexpensive, resists rot and insects for years. Boards are 2" thick. Requires some carpentry skills, classified as a group 1 human carcinogen.
Concrete blocks $1.20 /
8"x 8"x16"
Cost is reasonable, will never rot or decay, easy installation by anyone Blocks get very hot in summer sun, transmitting heat to plants and humans alike, additional cost to fill cores with soil. Blocks are 8" wide.
Natural cedar $2.84 /
2"x 8"x16"
Rot and insect resistant, boards are 2" wide Expensive and requires some carpentry skills. 
Oldcastle Planter wall blocks (Lowes)

$3.38ea. /
8"x 6"x8"

Blocks to fit each corner with planks any length up to 2" thick for raised beds, 4 per bed to start, stackable, last forever


None, really. They can be used with any kind of inexpensive lumber (long deck planks, for example) and reconfigured every year.



Updated August 2022





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