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boxes falling apart

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boxes falling apart

Post  Cherbear on 6/8/2017, 10:15 am

My SFG boxes are rotting. They are getting punky inside, and crumbling. Should I replace them this year? I didn't paint them or anything and they are plain pine. I think.


Last edited by Cherbear on 6/8/2017, 10:15 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)
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Re: boxes falling apart

Post  trolleydriver on 6/8/2017, 10:30 am

@Cherbear wrote:My SFG boxes are rotting. They are getting punky inside, and crumbling. Should I replace them this year? I didn't paint them or anything and they are plain pine. I think.
How old are they and how badly have they rotted?  If it is only on the inside and they are not painted (as you say), then I don't think you need to replace them right away unless you think they will break and the MM will spill out. Do you already have the boxes planted?  If so you may want to wait and replace them in the Fall or next Spring. Otherwise you can do it now.  I use softwood lumber for my boxes as well and expect to have to replace them every few years.

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Re: boxes falling apart

Post  Cherbear on 6/8/2017, 10:49 am

Thank you trolleydriver! It is mostly on the inside. They aren't planted yet, but I think the season is moving along so I'd like to put something in them. I guess I will replace them in the fall.
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Re: boxes falling apart

Post  trolleydriver on 6/8/2017, 10:51 am

@Cherbear wrote:Thank you trolleydriver! It is mostly on the inside. They aren't planted yet, but I think the season is moving along so I'd like to put something in them. I guess I will replace them in the fall.
That is what I would do. You can even wait until next Spring which will give the new wood some extra life.

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Re: boxes falling apart

Post  sanderson on 6/9/2017, 3:13 pm

Cherbear, You don't have to replace them until they start to fall apart, that is, when the screws fail.

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Re: boxes falling apart

Post  Turan on 6/9/2017, 3:46 pm

And even when the screws fail you can get one more season by driving a few stakes in along the outside walls to hold it all together. A cloth bag being used to grow in for a season demonstrates just how little structure the beds need to provide. Just don't step on the side walls. Laughing

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Re: boxes falling apart

Post  Cajun Cappy on 6/9/2017, 3:59 pm

We been squarefoot gardening (sorta) for 17years now.  We have replaced one box the original and will replace the next one in the spring.  One thing we learned that helps is to buy those corner screw brackets at a hardware store.  We put them on top and on bottom of the 2x12 boards we use WE put 3 3inch screws in each corner then the straps on to[p and bottom using 1 1/2 inch screws on top bottom and both sides.  Sounds like over kill I know but the corners are always the forst to go and those corner straps really help
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Re: boxes falling apart

Post  camprn on 6/9/2017, 4:39 pm

Yes, time to replace them. I have to do the same.

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Re: boxes falling apart

Post  Scorpio Rising on 6/9/2017, 6:17 pm

If they are holding the MM, I would go ahead and plant!  I have some really old window boxes that I am re-purposive to SFG, and they are pinky and sort of unstable, but still holding together, and they are planted!  I actually like their dimensions, not their location, which it too wet.  I say PLANT AWAY!!!!  

I would wait to build new until Spring, that way the box doesn't have to weather the winter.
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Re: boxes falling apart

Post  Judy McConnell on 6/11/2017, 9:38 am

Turan - I'm with you.  Have several that are OLD and the sides and corners were bad. Using metal rods along the sides to hold the boards up (some "soil" needed put back into beds), I added wooden stakes to the corners to hold in the "soil" - these beds will work this summer but next spring - who knows!  Would love to get one more year from them but this might not work!
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Re: boxes falling apart

Post  ctrysg on 6/12/2017, 6:09 am

Great ideas on staking and corner brackets. I have a few brackets that haven't been used yet. For what it's worth I prefer 2" cedar-  3 years and no  corners coming apart . A slight bit of crusty edges at the bottom  that's completely in the dirt.  I'm expecting a good six years from mine.  Hope that  helps somebody.
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