My friend and I want to build a box garden but are afraid that the wood will rot. Right? I thought maybe we could put plastic on the bottom and sides, staple gun it, and poke a few holes in it so it will drain. But I really have NO idea about making garden boxes. I also don't know if the bottom piece needs holes in it to drain or not. Any help would be great.
The following article should be of some help to you: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/vgen/raised-vegetable-gardens.htm
Keep in mind that you can make your planting boxes as big or small as your space or needs allow. In addition, when using wood, hardwoods tend to work best and last longer. Depending on its size, it may not require drainage holes. There is no need to place a bottom in it unless you’re planning to make a planter box that can be moved around or placed in a windowsill. Then, drainage will be important. Plastic liners can be purchased or you can do as you suggested, but make sure that there are adequate drainage holes.
My question is simply a request to clarify what is meant when the article says "Try to place the beds facing north to south to take full advantage of the sun. " Does this mean to orient the long axis of the beds north and south; or does it mean to orient the long axis of the beds east and west?
A north-south orientation is best for growing low growing plants, allowing sunlight to reach both sides of the beds. Beds that contain taller plants do better on an east-west axis. However, as long as the raised garden bed gets a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight and plants don't shade each other out, it really doesn’t matter either way. North to south facing simply implies that the beds (or plants) are situated from the shadiest part (north) down to the sunniest area (south), which prevents them from shading out one another.
So with this concept, how do you maintain between seasons in the north? Do you need a tiller small enough to go into the box?
No, you do not need to till it. Depending on the size, you will either replace the soil completely every year or, for larger ones, simply add some fertilizer. You should not be using a soil medium that compacts in the boxes, so it does not need tilling.
What lumber should I use to construct a raised vegetable bed (4 feet wide by 16 feet long by 2 feet high)? If boards are 8 feet long and a foot wide, how do I connect them to make 16 feet? What about the corners? Should sides be reinforced? Can I use 4 x 4 posts that are not treated?
The following article should be of some help to you:
I am thinking about making a raised garden bed, as I am renting and digging up the backyard is not possible. I'm wondering about drainage in the boxes. Do I need to drill holes in the bottom or the sides? I want to grow my own vegetables, and is it possible to make them portable?
Yes, drainage holes would be needed and best. If drainage holes would be difficult, you can try a drainage layer. This would be a layer of rocks at the bottom where excess water can run into and not swamp the roots of the plants. For help in designing raised garden beds, this article should help: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/vgen/raised-vegetable-gardens.htm
You can also grow them in containers if your space is limited. These articles will help with that: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/vgen/quick-guide-to-container-vegetable-gardening.htm
What is the best kind of wood to use when building a raised garden box in south central Pennsylvania?
I like cedar, but nearly any wood can be used successfully for raised beds. You may want to line them, however, to help prevent rotting. This is also a good idea if you are using treated wood, since chemicals can leach into the soil. The following articles should be of some help to you:
I started my vegetable garden indoors and transplanted a lot of the plants over this past weekend. The problem is with the plants in the garden. They are all dying. It's a raised garden bed with Miracle Grow soil and I water it daily, constantly checking to make sure the soil isn't drying out too much. The same plants that I haven't transplanted yet are also outside (just not in the ground) and all are doing fine. Why are my plants in the ground dying? They look like their outer leaves are shriveling up and turning a grayish color, but I know I am watering them enough. I have also been keeping an eye on the temperatures. . . night temps haven't been falling below 55 since I transplanted. Please help! I have been working very hard since late January to have this garden.
Did you harden them off before moving them to the garden? The description you sent sounds like the plants are getting sun scalded. If you did harden them off, let me know and if you can send a pic of one of the plants, I can better identify what it might be besides sun scald.