Corner Post For Garden - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

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post #1 of 7 Old 03-31-2010, 08:05 AM Thread Starter
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Corner Post For Garden

I live in Northern Minnesota and this March has been exceptionally mild, therefore I am thinking of my garden. We decided this year that we were going to expand our garden and make it look nice (as well as keep our dogs out). I have been contemplating different types of wood corner posts and its driving me nuts! Here were the options I have been looking at:

White Cedar - good for outdoors, durable, but now over-harvesting and deer now basically have made it unsustainable and not a good option. Also the fact that a 4x4 is around $17 is a little bit detouring.

Pressure Treated Wood: Durable, can be outdoors, but have terrible chemicals, probably not good to be in a place where we are gathering food, and just not a good appearance - but it is cheap

Pine: not the best outdoors, but local, cheap, more sustainable.

Pine is what I would prefer to use for all the above reasons, but everyone says it does not last. Is there a way to make it last? Is there a type of wood I am missing?
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-31-2010, 08:56 AM
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You could use the pine. Setting it in concrete would help with the rotting below ,or at ground level. Then there is the maintenence,paniting,waterproofing ,sealing, etc. Cheap wood...more maintenence.

Spackle,caulk and paint,makes a carpenter what he ain't.
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-31-2010, 09:21 AM
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Definitely recommend the pressure treated post. Anything you plant within 6 inches of the post might have a chemical problem so I would not plant right there. The chemicals used in pressure treatment these days are not the big problem some think those used years ago were.

I have used pressure treated 2x6s to border my garden for the past 32 years. As I use mulch to enrich my garden soil the soil builds up so I have to have a container for it. I also have another raised planter that has a back of 1x12 treated wood and a brick front for looks.

If you cannot go with the pressure treated wood then I would go with the Cedar. If they have it at your lumber yard somebody is going to purchase it so it might as well be you.

However, if none of that works then just purchase a galvanized steel post and seal the top and bottom so that water does not get inside.

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post #4 of 7 Old 03-31-2010, 02:42 PM
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Just in case, you can buy meatal posts that are coated in a green rubberized material that kinda blends in with the wild. I have it and the coated chain link. With the grape vines, fruit trees and roses they're virtually invisible
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-01-2010, 09:04 AM Thread Starter
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Hey everyone, thank you for the comments. I did some more thinking yesterday and made a few phone calls and have came up with something that maybe everyone could fine helpful. Here is the deal, apparently you can work with your local DNR Forester and obtain a permit to harvest timber (under 12 cordes) on state lands for about $25 a year. There are many spots up here in N. MN where there is dead standing tamarack (pretty rot-resistant) and we could go and cut that for poles - that was a pretty good and cheap source, plus just good to know. Here is the other thing, while talking to the Forester he directed me to talk to a local logger who had just cut some cedar of of state land and who had cedar "tops" left over that he would pretty much give away. I called the guy and he had the tops but he also offered to sell me logs approx 4x4 - how much you ask? $2 a log!!! Great deal!! Way cheaper than the $18/a 4x4 at the lumber yard!

Thanks again - and maybe my response could help someone else.
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post #6 of 7 Old 04-15-2010, 02:04 AM
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Jack Pine,
Weather plays a big role in how long those will last. I have planted posts in concrete, just to have them rot out in a couple of years. I have planted fir posts straight in the ground for my garden fence and they lasted 4 years. I packed some of the fir poles in gravel, with a few inches of gravel packed under them, and they are still standing after 7 years. Drainage helps a lot.
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post #7 of 7 Old 04-15-2010, 05:30 PM
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Im in the fence business and do not recommend cementing any wood posts unless you really have to because they will rot out at ground level. PT is what i would recommend even though i like dealing with cedar. but in my experience, the cedar just doesnt last. it tends to rot out at ground level prematurely. especially if the location gets wet and dry, wet and dry. posts we deal with are typically 5" round, or 5"x5" . but in your case for 2 bucks a log i guess ya cant go wrong there. good luck
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