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What Kind of Lumber is Best to Build a Raised Garden Bed?

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How to build a raised garden bed.

Whether you’re a custom home builder who knows how to construct an entire house or just someone who’d like to spruce up your landscape a bit, building a raised garden bed is a great project to take on. To help you get started, let’s take a look at what kind of lumber is best for building a raised garden bed that you can be proud of.

How to Select the Lumber to Build a Raised Garden Bed

If you want to build a raised garden bed, the first thing you’ll need to do is consider the attributes of the wood you can choose from. There are three key factors that you’ll need to think about:


Whether or not durability is especially important depends on your plans for the future. If you’re installing a garden bed in a rental property where you may only stay for a short time, you can go with a less expensive wood that will last a few years before succumbing to rot. For a long-term living situation, you should select rot-resistant and pest-resistant wood that can last for many years.


You’ll also need to consider the safety of the wood that you’re using when you build a raised garden bed. If you’re planning to have a flower garden, you can basically use any type of wood that you want. However, for a vegetable garden, you want to avoid pressure-treated wood because it may contaminate the vegetables.


Since there’s not a lot of wood involved in constructing a raised garden bed, price may not be a huge factor. That being said, if you’re constructing several garden beds or simply want to maintain a low budget, then you may want to go with an affordably priced type of lumber. Just keep in mind that less expensive lumber likely won’t last more than a few years.

The Best Types of Lumber for a Garden Bed

Like other custom home building projects, constructing a raised garden bed gives you tons of options in terms of what type of high-quality wood you can use. There are several different types that are perfect for a raised garden bed project, and these are our favorites:


Ask anyone who’s constructed a garden bed and they’ll probably tell you that cedar is one of the best types of wood for it. Not only is it extremely durable, but it has a natural repellent against both rot and pests, meaning that it will last for 10 years or more before it begins to break down.


In terms of durability, rot resistance, and pest resistance, redwood is on the same level as cedar. You can also spend a little more money on what’s called heart redwood, which is known to last a few years longer. It’s a toss-up between these first two, and that’s where personal preference comes in.


Many homeowners love to use juniper to build a raised garden bed because the natural oils in the wood will leach into the soil and fertilize the garden. It can sometimes be difficult to find and often more expensive if there are no dense juniper forests in the area.

Douglas Fir

Many homeowners who are building a raised garden bed will select Douglas fir despite the fact that it isn’t as durable or pest-resistant as other types of wood. The reason why it’s so popular is that it will typically last 4–7 years and is relatively easy to find no matter where you live.


Another great alternative to cedar and redwood is cypress, which is durable enough to last approximately 7–8 years. It’s also more resistant to rot and pests than less expensive materials, but it can be hard to find if you don’t live along the southern coastline of the US.

Black Locust

Black locust is similar to cypress in the fact that it’s basically a middle ground between cedar/redwood and pine/Douglas fir. A few states have actually classified this tree as an invasive species, but it can be found in many lumber yards throughout the country.


Without a doubt, pine is the most plentiful and least expensive wood that’s often used to build a raised garden bed. This is a very common use for a short-term scenario where a person is either renting a property or looking to construct a temporary garden.

Contact Peninsular Lumber to Learn How to Build a Raised Garden Bed

Peninsular Lumber Company in Tampa is a leader in assisting custom home builders with their projects. If you have any questions about how to build a raised garden bed or need to order building materials, reach out to us at (813) 875-8805 today.