Gardening Adventures

CedarCraft Protective Wood Oil

Part of the allure of gardening with CedarCraft products is the ability to do so in a beautiful and environmentally sustainable way.

Our cedar planters are beautiful on their own, but gardening is all about personalizing your own natural oasis. Garden design is based on personal aesthetic preferences for every individual gardener – from flowers, vegetables, to the style of the planters they reside in. We’ve introduced CedarCraft Protective Wood Oil Stains this summer to help give our gardeners the ability to add their own flair to their planters!

CedarCraft Protective Wood Oil Stains are a semi-transparent stain designed to tread lightly on the earth using all natural oils, resins, and new age vegetable based solvents. We have been able to cease using petroleum-based products, effectively reducing the volatile organic compounds to less than 1 gram per liter.

Our Protective Wood Oil is non-toxic and safe for use around children and animals. They are odorless, contain no chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects and no substances that are listed in the superfund amendments and reauthorization act, the comprehensive environmental response act, or the toxic substances control act. They are truly 100% sustainable!

CedarCraft planters are constructed with untreated redwood cedar and designed to withstand the elements for six to ten years, even without our protective wood oil stains. Without staining you may see the natural color of your planter gracefully fade with age through the gardening seasons.

CedarCraft Protective Wood Oil provides a 99% UV rating that will protect and beautify your wood for many years to come, giving your planters a vibrant, long-lasting burst of color.

 

Our oil stains are available in four colors:

 

Natural

This stain gives your planter a warm honey hue, slightly saturating the natural color of your cedar wood.

 

 

Ash

This is slightly warmer and darker than our Natural Stain, giving your planter an almost mountain rustic look.

 

 

Bitterwood

This oil stain gives a slightly deeper, warmer, richer, red-toned hue compared to our Ash color.

 

 

Ebony

This black stain gives your planter a contemporary, urban-style look while still highlighting the natural grain in each wood plank.

 

 

Application is a piece of cake! Make sure you thoroughly shake and stir your can so that it’s properly mixed. With a clean, dry rag or brush, coat your planter and wipe off any excess oil. Application takes mere minutes, just as long as it took to assemble your CedarCraft planter. 

Clean up is as simple as soap and water! 

 

Using our CedarCraft Protective Wood Oil will help to add a little more personality and long-lasting protection to your planters for years to come. 

Planning Your Garden

Gardening is a treasured hobby for many people. It’s a way to relax, spend time connected to the Earth, all while providing a moment to breathe in the aromas of soil and flowers. It’s also a way to become food-independent, allowing people to grow their fruits, vegetables, and herbs on their own – the way they want it grown.

However, that’s not true for everyone! Gardening may seem intimidating to others, especially beginner gardeners who don’t have the years of hands-on experience. People who’ve never started their own garden often say they have a “black thumb” holding the perception that there’s a steep learning curve to growing plants.

We’re going to help make it a little easier for you!

At CedarCraft, we’re big fans of the Square Foot Gardening concept developed by Mel Bartholomew.

Square Foot Gardening is a uniquely simplified system of gardening that eliminates 80% of the:

  • Space
  • Work
  • Weeds
  • Watering
  • Waste

Square Foot Gardening creates a planting grid within your planters with each crop having its own square. 

There are four spacing guidelines:

  • Extra Large fruits and vegetables are allowed one plant per square for 12 inch spacing
  • Large fruits and vegetables have 4 plants per square for 6 inch spacing
  • Medium allows for 9 plants per square for 4 inch spacing
  • Small fruits, vegetables, and herbs have 16 plants per square for 3 inch spacing.

You can use the seed packet to find out what spacing your plant needs. A tomato or green pepper plant needs one per square, while radishes and carrots need 16 per square. There are online planning guides that can help you map this out, too.

This system works perfectly with your CedarCraft planters. We’ve broken down the square feet in each one of our planters for you:

 

CedarCraft Cascading Planter

 

 

CedarCraft Elevated Planter

 

CedarCraft Urban Planter

 

CedarCraft Raised Garden Planter

 

Once you have a grid system mapped out, you’ll need to double check a companion planting guide to make sure your plants can share the same planter. Some plants don’t grow well together.

  • Beans: Don’t plant near chives, garlic, leeks, onions, peppers, marigolds
  • Peas:  Don’t plant near chives, garlic, leeks, onions, peppers
  • Broccoli and Cauliflower: Don’t plant near peppers, squash, strawberries, tomatoes
  • Tomatoes:  Don’t plant near broccoli, cauliflower, cilantro, cucumbers
  • Dill: Don’t plant near carrots

 

You can follow our CedarCraft Pinterest boards for gardening tips, companion planting guides, and examples of what people are growing in their own Square Foot Gardens!

How Much Soil Do You Need?

Spring is here and it’s time to start getting your CedarCraft planters ready! You have them assembled and it was a snap. But now it comes down to the dirty work – filling them with soil. You may be wondering, how much soil do I need to fill this?

You may have read our previous blog post on Soil 101 for container gardening. That post gave you some insights on why your container soil is so important for your garden planters and that you shouldn’t dig up dirt from your yard to fill your raised bed.

This weekend our CedarCraft team assembled our planter collection and filled them all with a container gardening mix. We’re going to give you some step-by-step instructions on what you need to do to fill your planters. 

 

Calculate Cubic Volume

First you need to break out the calculator and figure out how much soil your planter needs. You can find a plethora of gardening calculators from a simple Google search. Here’s a handy calculator on Home Depot’s website.

To determine how much soil you need to fill your planter or raised bed, these are the dimensions you need for your formula:

Length (in inches) x Width (in inches) x Depth (in inches) = total amount of cubic feet or cubic yards of soil. (12 cubic feet of soil = 0.444 cubic yards of soil)

 

We’ve made it even easier for you! If you take a look at our collection descriptions, we have cubic feet of soil capacity for each planter listed:

CedarCraft Cascading Planter: 5 cubic feet = 0.1 cubic yards = 77 quarts

CedarCraft Elevated Planter: 4 cubic feet = 0.1 cubic yards = 102 quarts

PatioCraft Elevated Planter: 6 cubic feet = 0.2 cubic yards = 179 quarts

CedarCraft Urban Planter: 5 cubic feet = 0.1 cubic yards = 128 quarts

CedarCraft Raised Garden Planter: 11.5 cubic feet = 0.4 cubic yards = 295 quarts

PatioCraft Raised Garden Planter: 16 cubic feet = 0.6 cubic yards = 478 quarts

 

Fill With The Right Mix

Now that you know how much soil you need, you need to know what kind of soil to fill it with.

Since our team filled each planter in our whole collection, we visted our local commercial soil source recommended by landscapers and contractors. We needed a lot of soil and it filled our truck bed! If you have one or two planters, you won’t need to go to these lengths.

We used a soil mix with 60% topsoil and 40% compost, and then added an additional 10% vermiculite to that. With shovels in hand, we poured the vermiculite into the truck bed on top of the soil and got to work mixing!

With smaller projects, you can pour your soil mixes onto a tarp and rotate. You can also create your own Mel’s Mix we mentioned in our Soil 101 post with this recipe:

  • 1/3 peat moss
  • 1/3 compost
  • 1/3 vermiculite

Before you add soil to your planters, make sure you have your liners in place. Our Cascading and Urban planters come with a plastic liner. You will need landscaping fabric for your Elevated and Raised Garden planters. Don't forget to poke drainage holes in them! 

 

Now you know what kind of soil mix to use and how much, all that’s left is adding it to your planters. Happy gardening!

 

 

Sustainable and Beautiful Cedar

There are a variety of reasons that people start a garden, but one of the big motivators is the sustainability that comes from growing your own vegetables. It’s both healthier for you and for our environmental impact.

CedarCraft launched in 2014 with a mission to provide sustainably-crafted elevated garden planters for limited spaces and for gardeners who struggle to find an attractive, easy-to-assemble planter. Our elevated planters also help gardeners who struggle with bending down and offer an easy solution to protect herbs, flowers and vegetables from unwanted animals.

Sustainability is important to us at CedarCraft. When the founder of Gorman Brothers Lumber, Ross Gorman, observed the large amount of cedar that was being lost in the lumber mill process, he took action to rescue that material and put it to good use. Trim end pieces that were being scrapped for mulch and waste are now collected and graded, edge glued and the planed into the smooth panels used to make our planters. CedarCraft is proud to declare that no trees are specifically harvested to produce our products. All material used is Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI/PEFC) Certified and are made using 100 percent sustainably grown and untreated Western Red Cedar.

New techniques used in the forest have many advantages over older ones. Instead of ‘falling' trees that may damage other ones around them, Gorman Brothers Lumber uses a harvester that holds the tree while it is cut and then carefully lays it down. Their work in the forest has improved in many areas and one of the most important is the use of new machines that evenly spread their weight so they have less impact than that of the human foot! This, coupled with a better scientific basis for sustainable forestry, has greatly improved the health of our forests.

Our CedarCraft planters can grow natural, healthy food in an earth-friendly manner wherever you wish, including outdoor patios, gardens or backyards! 

It all starts with an idea

Welcome to CedarCraft's blog where we are going to help your ideas come to life! Each month we're going to share tips and inspiration to help you add freshness and beauty to your home in creative and simple ways. We'll help you get the most out of your raised gardens for a successful harvest of herbs and vegetables. And we'll share easy design projects to add that "something special" to your living spaces. 

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