Termites ate our garden beds

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Half wine barrels -- they look great
Half wine barrels — they add rustic charm

Most of our vege patch is constructed using corrugated iron raised garden beds, which look great, and last for a long time.

Here and there we’ve used half wine barrels, to squeeze in some extra space, and to add further visual interest. Painted inside with a sealant layer, they should also last quite a while, or so we thought.

I recently lent on one of the barrels, and one of the planks snapped straight off, revealing that the apparently solid barrels were in fact a tissue-thin veneer of wood:

Yep, that would be terminates then.
Yep, that would be terminates then.

We know there are termites in the garden, although they’ve never attacked the house in it’s 100-year history. For some reason, I thought that the half wine barrels would be OK, but I was wrong.

Wine barrels make a great meal for termites.
Wine barrels make a great meal for termites.

Once I dug out the soil, the scope of the damage became apparent (photo above). Clearly these aren’t saveable.

So out they went, replaced by a solid raised bed made out of H4 treated pine (with an inside layer of plastic to keep the toxins away from the rhubarb).

There’s one half wine barrel left, but it’s in the open, away from any fences or other wood sources. We’ll see how long it lasts!

The new garden bed -- this should last.
The new garden bed — this should last.

2 thoughts on “Termites ate our garden beds

    solarbeez said:
    October 26, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    We’ve had termites even in our white cedar raised beds. White cedar is supposed to last for 40 to 50 years…UNLESS soil is touching it (I found out later). We’ve tried used siding, (cheap but short lived), concrete and block beds (expensive, time consuming, but will last a long time) as well as Trex type decking beds (this year). Good luck with the new beds.

    ciaociao said:
    April 1, 2014 at 5:35 am

    The big bad bugs in gardens are things like aphids, cutworms, and squash-vine borers, if you’re growing any squash-like things.This is none of those things, if I were you, I’d use orange oil. Other things to watch for are fungi, blights and various viral infections. Some of these can be treated, others are pretty much the end of your crops..

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