21 Easy Landscape Timber Tips Your Yard Needs Now


Homeowners can change the looks of their ugly-looking exterior into a perfect landscape by using landscape timbers. 

Landscape timbers can be used for building raised beds and planter boxes for gardening, retaining wall to keep plants separate from commonly used areas of the yard as well as steps or reinforced slope for the garden.

There are endless possibilities to buy and use landscape timbers to give an attractive look to your exterior.

You will Learn & get:

  • Kinds of landscape lumber
  • Best buying locations
  • Installing fenceposts
  • Installing retaining wall

21 hacks overview:

  1. wood
  2. plastic
  3. treated
  4. untreated
  5. Lowes
  6. Home Depot
  7. Menards
  8. Craigslist
  9. FB Marketplace
  10. Tractor Supply
  11. Walmart
  12. Fenceposts
  13. Tools/ material
  14. Digging the hole
  15. Quikrete calculator
  16. Hydraulic powered auger
  17. Use shovel to clean out the hole
  18. Add Quikrete
  19. Add water / set the post
  20. Add tar
  21. Installing retaining walls

Buying

You can buy landscape timbers from a number of online stores like Lowes, Home Depot, Menards, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Tractor Supply, and Walmart etc.

Before you head out to the store…make sure you know what kind of landscape timbers you will be sourcing.

Kinds of landscape timbers…what to buy?

1. Wood

Natural landscape timbers are made of wood like cedar and redwood etc. Normally the logs of treated wood are used for this purpose.

They are treated with preservatives to avoid damages from the exposure to moisture, air, sun, mold, and fungi.

Wood is the preferred choice for the majority of homeowners since it is much cheaper than plastic or composite.

2. Plastic/composite:

The landscape timbers made of recycled plastic are also used for landscaping the yard as they are easy to install and lift to complete your project.

Moreover, plastic landscaping timbers are safer for your family and plants as no chemical is used to preserve them.

They will last forever but are much more expensive than wood landscape timbers. Depending on your project, they may be ideal for you.

3. Untreated:

Untreated timbers can naturally resist the growth of fungus, extreme temperatures, and moisture.

Normally, you need not paint them due to their pleasing natural color but if required you can also paint them to match your exterior decor.

You must replace the decaying part of the landscape to protect the rest of it.

You won’t have to worry about any chemicals from the wood…but your landscape timbers won’t last very long. They will rot pretty quickly compared to the treated kind.

4. Treated:

The wood treated with pentachlorophenol or creosote can last for a long time as it is extracted from the plants whose roots, stem and leaves coated with these oil-based preservatives.

Some of the landscaping timbers are also treated with a mixture of arsenic, copper, and chromium.

You should not use them around the consumable plants.

Still treated wood is preferred by the homeowners for landscaping their garden like building retaining walls, tables, benches as well as edging and paths, etc.

Where to buy?

5. Lowes:

You can buy landscape timbers from Lowes for attractive landscaping as well as creating borders around flower beds, shrubbery and property lines.

Lowes generally has a good selection. Here is a snapshot of a recent search for their landscape timbers.

6. Home Depot:

Pressure treated landscape timber is available at this online store. It is protected against rot, termites, and fungi. It can look beautiful after staining and painting it.

7. Menards:

You can buy different types of landscape timbers in different sizes as per your requirement from this store.

Similar to Lowes or Home Depot, make sure you research online 1st before you go buy to make sure they have what you need in stock.

8. Craigslist:

Craigslist offers you a wide variety of landscape timbers to choose from for your landscaping requirements.

You may get lucky with craigslist.

9. Facebook Marketplace:

You can purchase pressure treated landscape timbers in 8ft to meet your landscaping requirements.

There were not any this week but I saw some last week. Make sure to check around to see if you can get a great deal.

10. Tractor Supply:

This online store offers various types of landscape timbers in different sizes to choose from for building a landscape in your garden.

There were out of stock at the time of this article and didn’t have any pictures on their website. Call your local store before you go there.

11. Walmart:

You can buy 8′ logs of landscape timbers for constructing sturdy landscaping projects from Walmart.

How to install

12. Fence posts:

Source

Landscape timbers can be used for installing fence posts due to their lesser cost than the timbers used regularly for this purpose. Actually, landscape timbers are not suitable to use inside the ground – unprotected. But if you are using treated timbers or timbers made of recycled plastic then you can install them as fence posts depending upon the level of moisture in the ground.

PLAN THE FENCE POST HOLES

  • Call Miss Dig or Miss Utility to come and scan the ground for any cables or utilities. Call 811 or 811.com. It may be different for your area.
  • Prep the area. Mark out your holes
  • Measure it out. Use string or ground spray paint to mark the area you will dig up. Use a line to make sure the holes are in a straight line.
  • Get supplies. Buy your landscape timber, Quikrete
  • You will need a helper. So make sure he can help you with the entire project.
StepsConsider
Tools:
Shovel,
mechanical posthole digger,
level,
string,
drill & screws,

trowel,
dust mask,
gloves

Material:
Quikrete,
landscape timbers,
water,
2 x 4″ wood braces,
wood spikes
13. While installing landscape
timbers as fence posts you
will have to dig the ground
a bit deeper than installing
the regular fence posts.
Check with your city or county
1st to see if you need a permit
before you start.

Many fences and decks require
permits.
14. Use Quikrete’s bag calculator to
find out how many bags
you need before you get started.

15. Dig below the frost line
(see what the frost line is
in your area). It is deeper
for colder States in the North
and shallower for States
in the South.
Use a post hole digger
or a gas powered or hydraulic
powered auger to dig the holes.
This will save you hours of digging
and only costs a few hundred
dollars per day to rent.



16. Clear out the hole so it is
flush and the side will not collapse.
This makes sure the sides
won’t fall into the hole
and into the concrete.
17. Add quikrete, then the
post and add the correct
amount of water.
Quikrete base: 6″ on the bottom
of the hole.

Make the quikrete top SLOPE
so water runs off the post
and it does not rot!

18. Stir the quikrete so it is
mixed and powder is not left
on the bottom of the hole –
leading to weak concrete.
Water: 1 gallon per bag. Pour 75% of
the water into the hole. Use a shovel
to mix it up.

Then add in the rest of the water,
repeat so it is mixed.
19. Add the landscape timber.
Use a level to make sure it is
straight and plumb.

20. Installing in the ground without Quikrete? Make sure to preserve the landscape timber so it does not rot!

Treated landscape timbers come with a coating of tar so that they can be installed directly into the ground without any fear of rotting.

But if you want to use it around your vegetable garden then instead of using treated timbers you should treat their ends with water-soluble chemicals as directed by the company.

Treated timbers can be harmful not only for plants but for you also. You can also preserve landscape timbers in a cost-effective manner by applying the coating of latex or petroleum sealer, normally used on driveways.

21. For installing retaining walls:

Best size.

  • Normally 6” x 6” beams of landscape timbers are used for installing retaining walls in the garden where you want to make flower beds it. You should place 2” thick planks of landscape timbers to make a naturally raised area for your flower bed.
  • 8″ x 8″ landscape timbers are pretty thick and heavy. They are used for retaining walls, on hills or on the ground.
  • We are using 8″ x 8″ landscape timbers for our wall.

Source

PLAN THE RETAINING WALL

  • Call Miss Dig or Miss Utility to come and scan the ground for any cables or utilities. Call 811 or 811.com. Google it for your area.
  • Prep the area. Remove any leaves, sticks or debris on the ground.
  • Measure it out. Use string or ground spray paint to mark the area you will dig up.
  • Get supplies. Buy your landscape timber, spikes, gravel and drainage tile.
  • Hire the neighbor kid to hump it into your backyard. 🙂
  • You will need a helper. So make sure he can help you with the entire project.
StepsConsider
Tools:

drill
hammer
3 or 5 lb sledge hammer
gloves
eye protection
circular saw or chop saw
wheelbarrow
tamper
9/16″ spade bit
small level
long level
Material:

12″ spikes
8″ x 8″ landscape timber
Landscape fabric (optional)
gravel,
drainage tile
Mark the area.

Dig 12″ down.
Tamper the ground.

Add 6″ of gravel over the ground.

Add the 1st row of landscape timbers.
Use 9/16″ paddle bit to drill
out holes for rebar.
Use 3lbs sledge hammer
to drive 48″
rebar into the timbers
to secure them to the ground.
Add row 2.

Now stagger the ends of the
second row of timbers
Use 12″ landscape timber screws
and a hammer drill to drill
Use 12″ landscape timber screws
and a hammer drill to drill

Bury a
perforated pipe

into the
gravel -behind the wall.



This removes
rainwater from it.
Fill more 2” layer of gravel to the
walls of the second row of timbers.


Add row 3.
Now add the third row of timbers
and fill it with gravel and soil as
you did earlier.

You should dig a trench on the soil
side of the retaining wall equal
to the height and width of the
timber and put a piece of timber
with holes after every foot into it
and fix it by using spikes.


Add 4th row.
Now lay the fourth row of
retaining wall leaving space
for beams after every six feet
so that beams can be placed
in the gaps perpendicular
to the wall across the timbers
on the back.

Fix the
right-angled ends of the
beams with spikes.

Now add the last two rows
of the wall and cover the
beams with soil. Your
retaining wall made of
landscape timbers is ready.


FAQs

What can I use instead of landscape timbers?

Gardeners can choose from a wide choice of edging alternatives, each with its own benefits.

Plastic is one of the most cost-effective materials but it may not be as attractive depending on your garden aesthetic or style.

Wood provides an organic feel and can withstand weather better than plastic which will crack in cold temperatures; metal edges are less expensive to install and come in various colors such as Bronze Blackened Steel for those who want their edge material to blend into the surroundings; pavers provide lengthier lines that are more formal looking while other alternative choices make use artificial grasses like Fescue.

How do you keep landscape timbers from rotting?

Who knew that trees could outlive humans?

That’s right, they can.

So if you’re building a home or even just doing some outdoor woodwork for the first time in your life and want to ensure the longevity of your work without having to pay an arm and leg every few years on new lumber then this is what you need: rot-resistant timber such as cedar, redwood, black locust (and other types).

The options are endless because not only do these timbers come from all over North America but there are also countless ways each type may be treated by professionals before it gets delivered directly to your location.

How to keep landscape timbers from moving?

Protect your raised garden bed from bowing by using brackets on the inside walls.

You can also prevent the landscape timbers from bending under the pressure of dirt with a piece of rebar pounded into the earth next to them on either side (depending on where they are placed).

How much do landscape timbers costs?

If you want to save some money, go with untreated timber.

If budget is not a concern and aesthetics are your thing than synthetic or treated timbers might be right for the job.

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D. Hahn

DIY guru, dad, husband, blogger. When I'm not creating life hacks I'm teaching my kids how to fix stuff after their dad breaks it.

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