Frequently Asked Questions
Why BUFCO Raised Garden Beds?
All BUFCO Raised Garden Beds are made entirely from locally sourced, responsibly harvested Eastern White Cedar, making us Ontario Wood Certified. This beautiful and naturally rot-resistant wood lasts for years without the use of added chemicals or preservatives.
1. Raised Beds bring the garden up to the gardener! One of the most popular benefits of raised garden beds is their added height. This greatly reduces the amount of bending and kneeling required, helping to save your back and your clothes.
2. Raised beds provide excellent water drainage and aeration for superior root development. Open bottomed beds work with the existing soil in the ground, allowing worms and beneficial organisms to populate the bed, bring nutrients, break down dead organic matter and enrich the soil.
3. Raised beds are a great way to fight poor native soil conditions. In Toronto, many property owners are faced with either clay heavy or sandy soil, neither of which are optimal conditions for growing most vegetables. We bring in fresh, rich, weed-free triple mix soil that allows you to forget about the existing soil in your yard, and allows you to grow and eat with confidence, knowing your food is free of chemicals and pesticides.
4. Raised beds enable you to grow more in less space. Great soil promotes deep root growth which means you can grow plants more closely together.
5. Raised Beds give you an extra-early start to the growing season. Wood is a great insulator, leading to more stable soil temperatures, and allows you to warm up your soil when the ground around the beds is still frozen solid.
6. Raised beds provide a sturdy foundation. Unlike beds made from stone, metal, or plastic, cedar beds can accept screws and nails, making it easy to add a trellis (for climbing plants) and other accessories such as critter barriers and our season extending hoop tunnels that protect your plants from hungry squirrels and frosty temperatures.
BUFCO raised beds make a beautiful addition to any yard, terrace, patio, rooftop, or wherever you can imagine growing delicious organic vegetables. These beds are highly adaptable – add a base to retain soil, allowing you to grow on a deck, balcony, patio, rooftop, or driveway. We can even add wheels to make your garden portable!
What's the difference between EASTERN WHITE CEDAR and WESTERN RED CEDAR?
There are basically two kinds of cedar in North America. Western Red Cedar, which spends up to a week on a truck traveling to us from British Columbia. Red Cedar forests are seriously stressed right now due to over harvesting, and British Columbia’s logging industry still uses clear cutting, a practice that stresses animal populations, leads to significant soil erosion, and makes reestablishing the forest very challenging. Red Cedar trees are slow growing, taking up to 100 years to reach maturity, which means forests take many decades to replenish.
Eastern White Cedar, found throughout Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes, is a faster grower than its west coast cousin, reaching maturity in 50 - 60 years. That means the forests replenish more efficiently and quickly. White Cedar is also not clear cut (although there is clear cutting taking place in Ontario still), but is instead selectively harvested. This is a practice where only the larger, more mature trees are harvested, leaving the smaller trees to grow to maturity. This is a very sustainable approach to logging. And, as our wood comes from just south of Georgian Bay, it spends a few hours on a truck, a fraction of the carbon footprint as compared to trucking from the west coast.
Finally, by using locally sourced wood, BUFCO is working directly or indirectly with locally based logging companies, trucking companies, wood mills, and builders who make our beds for us, supporting six different Ontario based businesses. As much as we love our west coast brethren, we are proud to be such significant supporters of local products and local companies.
BUFCO beds may be a little more expensive than our competition but we sincerely believe that there is real value in the extra expense of sourcing from small, unsubsidized, local companies.