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Raising height of raised garden beds

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  • #719759
    JohnC3
    Pro

    We have several raised beds that were originally built too short. The walls are 12″ cedar. They are bolted to 4×4 corner posts sunk into the ground and braced with 2×4 posts every 4 feet or so.

    I’d like to add a second row of boards to the walls. For aesthetic reasons I would like to increase the height of the existing posts, and strongly prefer not to dig them out and place new ones.

    Has anyone seen a bracket that could be placed over the existing posts and used as a base for a vertical extension? I’d remove the existing bolts, slide the bracket on, and then add the new 12 inch extension. If the overlap were 4-6 minches I think this might work. I’m not sure a Simpson strong tie would have enough horizontal strength. Appreciate any suggestions!

    #719764
    Sorpa
    Pro
    Pierrefonds, Qc

    Some pictures would help a lot.
    More than proverbial 1000 words.

    #719788
    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    I would just dig it out and start new. Do it right or go home.

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

    #719794
    CB
    Pro

    What are the raised beds for? Vegetable garden (human consumption) or ornamental?

    What are the 4×4 posts made of? Cedar? Redwood? Con Heart Redwood? Pressure treated hemlock? ACA or CCA?

    What did you mean by “braced with 2×4 posts every 4 feet or so”…. braced to what?

    Is the existing “wall” that is only 12″ high made up of mulitple layers of horizontally oriented 1×3 or 1×6 boards… or a single layer of 2×12’s?

    Enough questions, now some comments… no wood post will last long enough to dump money into expensive Simpson strong tie hardware to extend the same post up another foot. Any combination of brackets and screws will cost more per extended post than simply buying new posts, leaving the existing posts untouched, and burying the new, taller posts aesthetically even from each other… perhaps where the 2×4 “braces” are.

    Personally, I’d use iron pipe posts. I’ve used recycled well pipe, recycled circus tent poles, even recycled #10 rebar (that’s 1-1/4″ thick pig iron rod). These kinds of materials don’t rot. If thick enough, they can remain uncoated, as rich folks pay ridiculous sums to have the patina of rust faked on their fancy garden ornaments… when real rust can be had for x cents a pound at the steel recycling yard.

    Galvanized works too, as long as the leaching of zinc isn’t a concern. I’ve bought 2-3/8″ industrial electrical conduit on close out (as wide in diameter and as heavy in wall thickness as gate posts for chainlink fencing). I just picked up a couple dozen 10 footers to have on hand as emergency repair posts for fences. I try to avoid burying dead wood in the ground as much as possible. It just doesn’t last.

    BE the change you want to see.
    Even if you can't Be The Pro... Be the Poster you'd want to read.

    #719798
    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    burying dead wood

    Dead Wood

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

    #719805
    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    What are the raised beds for? Vegetable garden (human consumption) or ornamental?

    I believe a raised bed garden helps drainage and prevents root rot.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC
    (and also the World's Fastest Poster)

    #719968
    GTokley
    Pro
    Madoc, ON

    We have several raised beds that were originally built too short. The walls are 12″ cedar. They are bolted to 4×4 corner posts sunk into the ground and braced with 2×4 posts every 4 feet or so.

    I’d like to add a second row of boards to the walls. For aesthetic reasons I would like to increase the height of the existing posts, and strongly prefer not to dig them out and place new ones.

    Has anyone seen a bracket that could be placed over the existing posts and used as a base for a vertical extension? I’d remove the existing bolts, slide the bracket on, and then add the new 12 inch extension. If the overlap were 4-6 minches I think this might work. I’m not sure a Simpson strong tie would have enough horizontal strength. Appreciate any suggestions!

    I can’t say that I have saw such a bracket. I guess my question is. Do you think this raised bed worth spending the time and money to raise it up 12 inches. When it might just better to start over and be done with it.

    If you wanted to you could fasten some angle iron to the 4 x 4 post for this extension. Also maybe more 2 x 4 support brackets. Also a few picture would help.

    Greg

    instagram.com/gregtokley/

    #719981
    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    When it might just better to start over and be done with it.

    No richard around with it,, tear it out and start a new.

    You might want to up your game while you’re at it….

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

    #720013
    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    Wow that solution using concrete looks really good.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC
    (and also the World's Fastest Poster)

    #720155
    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    Wow that solution using concrete looks really good.

    With a little concrete dye you could make them colorful.

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

    #720329
    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    Hey where did @JohnC3 go

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

    #720343
    Doobie
    Moderator

    Some pictures would help a lot.

    Sure would. But right now it looks like a ‘drive-by posting’.

    You might want to up your game while you’re at it….

    Interesting concept.

    #720396
    JohnC3
    Pro

    Thank you for the comments and replies. I wasn’t able to get access to the property to take photos until the weekend.

    I’ve wanted to avoid redoing the beds if possible because there are a lot of them (12) and it will be very costly to do it. My sig other won’t allow a post to be sunk next to the existing posts, so I was trying to raise the height instead of pulling all of the existing ones out, resinking the posts and doing the project a second time (first time was done by a contractor and we weren’t around to supervise, hence the bad result). The boards are cedar.

    Sounds like the consensus is that the cost of brackets for all of these posts, plus the issue of installing them and their strength or lack thereof, even if such brackets exist, suggests doing the beds again. Oh we.

    #720413
    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    If you want to go the econo route just set a 2x6or 8 or 10 or whet ever on top and use a 2×4 vertical every 3 feet or so as gussets. Pau you’re done.

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

    #720434
    Doobie
    Moderator

    If you want to go the econo route just set a 2x6or 8 or 10 or whet ever on top and use a 2×4 vertical every 3 feet or so as gussets. Pau you’re done.

    Translation please!

    #720435

    When it might just better to start over and be done with it.

    No richard around with it,, tear it out and start a new.

    You might want to up your game while you’re at it….

    <figure class=”oe-video-container”><iframe width=”770″ height=”433″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/AAeOszVu4Vo?feature=oembed&wmode=opaque&#8221; frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen=””></iframe></figure>

    That’s a great idea , looks really good

    #720439
    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    The boards are cedar.

    Looks pretty good so far, Thank you for the update.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC
    (and also the World's Fastest Poster)

    #720465
    CB
    Pro

    Thank you for the comments and replies. I wasn’t able to get access to the property to take photos until the weekend.

    I’ve wanted to avoid redoing the beds if possible because there are a lot of them (12) and it will be very costly to do it. My sig other won’t allow a post to be sunk next to the existing posts, so I was trying to raise the height instead of pulling all of the existing ones out, resinking the posts and doing the project a second time (first time was done by a contractor and we weren’t around to supervise, hence the bad result). The boards are cedar.

    Sounds like the consensus is that the cost of brackets for all of these posts, plus the issue of installing them and their strength or lack thereof, even if such brackets exist, suggests doing the beds again. Oh we.

    That isn’t the conclusion that I took away from the comments tendered.

    One person suggested a do over.

    One person suggested that a suite of Simpson Strong Tie brackets that could reasonably do the job would cost more than you might think.

    One person wanted to know what the raised beds were for (NOT what are raised beds for, but what do YOU plan to use the raised beds for)… which was never answered verbally, but looking at the photos, it seems clear that they are for growing edibles (or smokeables), and are not an ornamental arrangement of raised beds such as in a court garden. That makes a difference in terms of what can be gotten away with aesthetically.

    The photo also raises ANOTHER question. Climate. If you just went to the property, and took that photo, and the ground is that dry this early in the spring, after the wettest winter in a decade… are you SURE you want to raise the beds another foot?

    The higher the bed, the drier the dirt.

    Without a constant supply of moisture (ie permanent irrigation system, no evidence of which is visible in the photo), the higher beds will dry out very quickly.

    If you plan on using any type of machinery for cultivation, consider the lift height of beds raised even higher.

    That being said, I still stand by my recommendation of using recycled pipe posts pounded into the ground and attach to the boards with U brackets to both the existing primary and the new secondary layer of long boards. That will assist in tying the assembly together.

    But I’m no Martha Stewart.

    BE the change you want to see.
    Even if you can't Be The Pro... Be the Poster you'd want to read.

    #720466

    If you want to go the econo route just set a 2x6or 8 or 10 or whet ever on top and use a 2×4 vertical every 3 feet or so as gussets. Pau you’re done.

    That would be a very fast and cost effective way to get it done

    Lol drive-by posting 🤣😂🤣😂🤫

    #720477
    JohnC3
    Pro

    The beds are used seasonally to grow vegetables and herbs. They are located in Northern California, once the rain stops in April it stays dry until October or November. We use drip irrigation on the beds and other landscaping. The irrigation system doesn’t show in the photos as it is removed during the winter. The reason for deeper beds is to permit more robust root growth. Immediately below ground level on this property the soil is rock and clay. The raised beds are essential for plant health for reasons of soil quality and drainage.

    I’d love to use 2×4 verticals as gussets. My wife is the one who is very concerned with appearances and we were looking to have these look like they were built higher to start with by extending the vertical posts. Thanks for all of the suggestions.

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