24 May 2011

CEDAR & METAL RAISED BED PROJECT


Raised beds are indispensable in the garden, but I'm not a fan of the standard short wooden boxes. This is my response to them.  These are 27" tall, so you don't have to crouch down to work in them.
This one is 4'x8', 27" tall.  I fill the bottom 10" or so with rock for good drainage, ideally something lightweight like pumice. These were painstakingly filled with all of the dug up/found piles of rocks in the yard.

4'x4' cedar/metal combo
If you're in Portland, and interested in your own cedar and metal raised beds call or email for a quote.

25 comments:

  1. I'm not in your area but want to build a similar raised bed. Nobody ever states what gauge corrugated metal they are using. Retail at Lowes or Home Depot is only 29 gauge. Is that thick enough, what do you use? Much appreciate it, thanks!

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  2. It's just straight up corrugated roofing, I've never noticed a gauge specified. Yes, the stuff at Home Depot or Lowes will work. I got mine from a local roofing supplier.

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  3. Beautiful! I'm thinking of building the same design with 2x4s instead of 2x6s. Are the post-ends wrapped in tar paper necessary? I was thinking of just cutting off the posts at 27".

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  4. We do not live in Portland, Would like something like this. Would you sell your plans.

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  5. Hi - Are these metal panels made of galvanized metal? If so, won't that leach into the garden soil? Thanks.

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    1. IF they are galvanized there is the "potential for zinc and other materials... Zinc does not migrate readily through soil, so elevated zinc levels tend to be found only in the immediate area of a galvanized container or structure. Soil pH, organic matter content, and other soil characteristics affect zinc’s ability to be taken up by plant roots. As much as 90 percent of zinc in soil may be unavailable for uptake by plants.

      Due to zinc’s limited bioavailability in soil, there is little chance of ingesting too much zinc through plants grown in proximity to galvanized metal, says Eric Van Genderen, Ph.D., manager of environment and sustainability for the International Zinc Association. “You will likely never get even your recommended daily allowance from your produce, much less too much,” he says. Because galvanized metal corrodes faster as pH decreases, Van Genderen says it’s probably not the best container material for plants that require acidic conditions." “There is no question zinc can kill some of the soil’s microbes and that others love it,” says Jeff Lowenfels, author of Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to the Soil Food Web, Revised Edition (Timber Press, 2010), and Teaming with Nutrients: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to Optimizing Plant Nutrition (Timber Press, 2013). “I am willing to let the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi take up excess zinc, feed the plants what they need, and hold the rest,” Lowenfels says. His research has convinced him that “any damage done to the soil food web [by excess zinc] is quickly corrected by it if the soil food web is a healthy one.”http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/garden/when-sheet-metal-meets-soil

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  6. Hello! I'm thinking of trying this on a concrete patio. Would you recommend building a base, or simply having the whole thing sit on the ground? I'm concerned about drainage. Thanks!

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  7. If your worried about the zinc getting in your plants just put a 1/2 piece of star foam insulation between the
    metal and the dirt problem solved

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  9. I'm going to build something like this this week. Two questions...can you use treated lumber or do you need to use Cedar? Second, do you have a post buried on each corner to help support the structure?

    Thanks!

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    1. No treated lumber. Use cedar or Doug fir.

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    2. Depending on what kind of treated lumber. Most nowadays are not toxic like the old arsenic days

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  10. Do you have plans for this bed for sale?

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  11. Danny Cullerton why are you not answering people? Geeze...

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    Replies
    1. how do i get the plans for this? being in a wheelchair, a raised bed is def what I need but easy to build with basic tools.

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  14. What do I do for drainage using these zinc raised beds? Do I have to make holes in the bottom part?

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    Replies
    1. I have that same question. What is it that keeps it from eventually rusting out?

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