Square Foot Gardening Forum
[table bgcolor=#000000 height=275][tr][td]

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.


Display results as :


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» Looking for a spreadsheet for planting times
by aprilshomemade Today at 12:35 pm

» Coco coir... How often to replenish?
by plantoid Today at 12:29 pm

» California's Drought
by sanderson Today at 3:01 am

» First day of spring
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 9:08 pm

» SW Ohio (Cincinnati Area)
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 9:06 pm

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 9:02 pm

» Hello from Houston
by sanderson Yesterday at 6:52 pm

» N&C Midwest—March and Spring is Here!
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 6:23 pm

» SUGA 2018
by SQWIB Yesterday at 8:26 am

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in March 2018
by sanderson Yesterday at 2:33 am

» Fourth Year SFG in Canada
by sanderson 3/21/2018, 6:28 pm

» Happy Birthday!!
by sanderson 3/21/2018, 2:09 pm

» Do You Get The SFG Newsletter?
by sfg4uKim 3/21/2018, 8:36 am

» Garden Tower Project
by sanderson 3/21/2018, 2:14 am

» Any suggestions on the stump grinding sawdust plus soil?
by sanderson 3/20/2018, 6:55 pm

» How much time for gardening?
by sanderson 3/20/2018, 6:42 pm

» Sanderson's Urban SFG in Fresno, California
by sanderson 3/20/2018, 4:03 pm

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by trolleydriver 3/20/2018, 1:13 pm

» New England Mar 2018
by CapeCoddess 3/20/2018, 10:45 am

» Trellis mod
by SQWIB 3/19/2018, 8:39 am

» How's the Weather Where You're At?
by Scorpio Rising 3/18/2018, 6:38 pm

» Powdery Mildew and SoCal Fall Planting
by countrynaturals 3/18/2018, 12:34 pm

» Boat Gardening
by AtlantaMarie 3/18/2018, 6:51 am

» How many green beans per square foot?
by Scorpio Rising 3/17/2018, 9:27 pm

» 2018 SFG in Brooks, GA
by yolos 3/17/2018, 8:34 pm

» Comfrey
by sanderson 3/17/2018, 8:21 pm

» Hello from Hagerstown MD
by sanderson 3/17/2018, 6:10 pm

» Horsetail weed
by Kate888 3/17/2018, 3:02 pm

» A new SFG fan from Texas
by AtlantaMarie 3/17/2018, 7:17 am

» Potatoes: Yes or No?
by AtlantaMarie 3/17/2018, 7:13 am


Search SFG Forum

Fixing a broken SFG box?

Go down

Fixing a broken SFG box?

Post  JustMe on 8/10/2011, 12:08 am

The 4x8' box that my SFG was a sandbox built by the previous owners of our house. I emptied it, moved and it, and filled it w/Mel's mix last year. I don't know the type of wood or if it was chemically/pressure treated.

Something is eating the wood - it's very brittle and some parts of the board have piles of sawdust around it. I am not sure if the box will survive another Wisconsin winter.

Any suggestions on how to fix this? Should I remove the deteriorating board and add another? I have some perennials in there that I don't want to disturb but will if necessary.

Would adding a second thickness of wood work?


Posts : 237
Join date : 2011-06-23
Location : SE Wisconsin, Zone 5a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fixing a broken SFG box?

Post  westie42 on 8/10/2011, 2:02 am

Peculiar situation. Two options I can dream up. Make two separate L shaped side replacements same size as or a bit bigger than the old ones. Set them close to the existing frame then loosen the MM inside the existing walls with a flat spade etc, try to compress it inward slightly to firm it. Gently pry the two corners apart in the old box that are at the open ends of your new pieces. If a little MM caves in just brush it aside till done. Slide the old pieces out and the new ones in closer. Use a crank up binder strap or two all the way around the new box to tighten it up and secure with new screws. The other way is to just build new sides over the old ones which would be my last choice plan since you are not sure about treated wood or rot or ants or termites destroying the old wood. If you are careful and have a bit of luck few roots should be disturbed. This early in the season there is plenty of time for roots to mend themselves.


Male Posts : 512
Join date : 2011-03-22
Age : 76
Location : West Union, Iowa

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fixing a broken SFG box?

Post  Unmutual on 8/10/2011, 1:21 pm

I assume the box is made with plain old HT lumber from the local big box DIY store? The easiest thing to do would probably be to remove the affected board and replace it with a new board. I've found that southern yellow pine(our form of "white wood" down here) can last about 3 years without being treated. Mel's mix should behave rather well with the side removed since it's been compressing over time. This should also mean that any plants close to that piece of wood shouldn't get disturbed much. If you're worried about the perennials, then wait until they go dormant during the winter to do the repair.

Remove the old board, and slap in a new board. I have a feeling that replacing the board will not remove the infestation of wood eating insect you may have(I assume it's insects since you have saw dust visible). They shouldn't hurt the plants much, but you will be replacing that board often. Good thing wood is cheap!

Another, more expensive and work intensive route, would be to make a new box from cedar or cyprus fence boards. I use cedar fence boards all the time, and even though they are thin, Mel's Mix is hardly heavy enough at 6" to warp the boards if you make 4'x4' boxes(4'x8' may work, but I've never tried it. I'd use the left over fence board pieces to reinforce the joint at the 4' mark on the long sides). At ~$2 per board, that's $16 dollars for the wood and ~$30 for 1 1/4" decking screws. You'll have a lot of screws left over though, so my suggestion to get your money's worth out of the screws is to make more boxes! Just make sure you are buying real cedar and not some pressure treated pine cedar look-alike. Cedar fence boards will smell like cedar. If you can't find cedar boards, then cyprus or even redwood fence boards might be available. Cedar, redwood and cyprus should all do fine, but in my experience, cedar works. Plain old wood gets eaten by termites down here, cedar does not(pretty sure cyprus is resistant too).


Certified SFG Instructor

Male Posts : 396
Join date : 2011-04-23
Age : 45
Location : Greater New Orleans Area Westbank(Zone 9b)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fixing a broken SFG box?

Post  chocolatepop on 8/10/2011, 10:38 pm

I agree with everyone else. If you think the bugs may stick around and infest again, and you have the funding, consider composite wood

Female Posts : 768
Join date : 2010-03-11
Age : 38
Location : Flint Area, Michigan (zone 5a-5b)

View user profile http://chocolatepopsurbangarden.wordpress.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Fixing a broken SFG box?

Post  JustMe on 9/9/2011, 12:30 am

We would like to build more boxes and have been looking into the composite 'wood.' It's sold it bundles and it is more than we need and what we would like to pay.

Thankfully, the board that is breaking down is the short end of the rectangular box. We need a simple solution, so we'll have the wood cut at Home Depot (we don't have the tools) and replace it with cedar.


Posts : 237
Join date : 2011-06-23
Location : SE Wisconsin, Zone 5a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fixing a broken SFG box?

Post  Sponsored content

Sponsored content

Back to top Go down

Back to top

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum