This page has some ideas for raised beds like bath tubs, galvanized tubs, horse troughs and DIY raised beds made from wood, landscape timbers, bricks, and more.
Here are some helpful ideas for raised beds. We also talk about why to use a raised bed. These can be filled with flowers, small trees, shrubbery, vegetables, fruits, and herbs.
I am not much of a flower person but I grow my vegetables using raised beds. There are two types of raised beds which I have used, but there are many ways to make a raised bed--most of it will depend on your budget.
I use raised beds so I do not have to bend over as far. I
will build my beds up to about 12 inches--but if I could, I would have
them a lot higher. Of course, that means using more wood or bricks and more dirt to fill the raised beds and with the cost of everything today (2023) that is just not feasible.
I use landscape timbers but also have grown
fond of using landscape bricks. The bricks cost a bit more, but are
quicker and easier to work with, especially if I want to re-locate my
raised beds or re-design them.
The bricks just stack on each other with a little lip that will hold them in place. The bricks were my choice for future beds in our San Antonio yard. But then we moved from a tiny yard to a four acre farm and it is way cheaper to build wooden raised garden beds than it is to build a lot of brick beds.
using the landscape timbers, there is hammering and sawing. The
timbers have slight variations that cause them not to sit right so they may not look
level like the bricks do. Also, sometimes trying to get straight
timbers can be a problem. They warp. You can use boards instead of landscape timbers.
I can fit a lot of bricks in my vehicle, but the timbers will stick out. But when we moved to the country, we traded in our SUV for a pickup truck.
There are two things you do not want to use in your raised beds. They are railroad ties and telephone post. These are sealed with Creosote which is a tar like substance that is
poisonous. The EPA does not allow it to be used in non-commercial
Yet, I have seen railroad ties being used for vegetable gardening. One such community garden was bragging about how all their stuff was grown organically so it was safer to eat--yet the garden had railroad ties running all through it.
I explained to them why they should not be used. Two years later when I went back, they were still using them.
Below, after we moved to the farm, we decided to make 100 raised beds quickly so we could plant a fall garden back in 2019. We made five hoop houses with each hoop house having 20 of those raised garden beds.
We screwed PVC pipes into the outsides of the raised garden beds and then added shade cloth held on with snap clamps.
Just this past weekend (April 2023) we bought some six foot long galvanized tubs from Tractor Supply and filled them with dirt out by the Farm Store. I planted dwarf sunflowers in two of them and zinnias in the rest of them. Once these flowers grow, they will be "pick your own" flower beds where customers can pay a fee and cut their own flowers that they can take home in a jar. We recently found out that there are other farms in the area that do this, making as much as $17.95 with just nine flower stems in a jar. We think this is one of the easiest and best ideas for raised beds we have thought of.
The only problem I see is that people will start picking away and not paying for the flowers their kids pick. I am not sure exactly how this will work out at this point.
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