Cedar vs. Fir for Raised Bed Gardens

Cedar vs Fir
You have some important decisions to make while planning for your raised bed garden!

The primary differences between fir and cedar are longevity and appearance. All wood ages and turns a greyish/silver color.


  • Rot resistant, it can last 10-15 years as an attractive raised bed. It is also insect resistant because of oils in the wood - this is why it smells so good.
  • More expensive than fir but worth it if you're putting in a raised bed garden you want to last a long time and continue to look great over many years.
  • The cedar we use for your raised bed is "rough sawn" or "hewn" and has a textured appearance. Because of this texture, it is harder to stain than fir. Keep that in mind if you want your raised beds to match your house. And, if you do want to stain your raised bed, please use a nontoxic stain.


  • More susceptible to rot and insects, it can last 5-7 years.
  • It can also warp or bow over time.
  • The best reason to choose fir is if you want to give raised bed gardening a try and don't want to invest in the expense of cedar.

Whichever you choose, you should know that we only use untreated wood for raised beds - including the corners. While the lumber industry has gotten better in the past decade about not using toxic chemicals to treat wood, it's still not great. So fir or cedar, untreated wood is still best.