I have never worried about cold weather before, nor about any animals eating my bounty. Those days are over… Now I live in an area with plant killing frost and gophers a plenty. In lieu of this, I have created the raised garden bed fortress.
Turn down the lights and queue the drums please:
this is what the garden looked like before i got my hands on it
dug in about six inches, loosened the soil and added some alfalfa from a bale for good measure
attaching the walls to the posts
bottom part of frame and hardware cloth are attached by self tapping screws. nothing is getting in now (i hope)
main frame completed, with hardware cloth added to keep the unwantables from entering from below
this is the pièce de résistance. i expect the wood to absorb water so as to not have to water as often. this is similar to hugelkultur
If you are not familiar with hugelkultur, read this
article from MotherNatureNetwork. Or even better, this post from one of the greats of permaculture Paul Wheaton.
added some more alfalfa and manure, lasagna style.
the soil and manure, not very Organic
all done. needs more plants, but the frame is completed. as a side note, the barrel on the right was brought down by one of the awesome people here. it is filled with rain water that he catches. also below said barrel, you might notice a black cap. this little guy will be employed later, as it is connected to a pipe that carries grey water down the hill…
This will put a little dent on the to do list.
What is the frame made of?
Hi Bente, the frame is corrugated steel and it’s held up by 4×4 inch posts.
Hope that helps
2×2 inch posts???
In the pictures I see 4x4s and 2x4s.
Hey thanks for that Rick! I updated my reply as it most certainly was 4×4 posts.
What is on the outside corners? Finished them off nicely.
I did forget to mention that, didn’t I? The corners are what you would put on the ridge of a corrugated metal roof. So the rain doesn’t to in the seam… I just cut it up and attached.
Looks great. What ratio of soil to compost are you using, and would potting soil/chicken manure be suitable.
Thanks for the appreciation! It was a fun project :)
I don’t really recall what the ratio was, but if I was building this again, I would likely do something near 3 soil to 1 compost. It all really depends on your soil/compost quality.
For your potting soil question, I would not use that since it would probably be pretty expensive. Right now, I would just get some soil from right under me and add compost/manure that I prepare. A lot of this really depends on what you are working with and what you have available. For instance I do have chickens and would certainly use their manure. Do be careful with it though as you want it to rest for about two months. Otherwise it may burn your plants.
How do you keep the sides from bulging?
Good question, it’s the ridges. They don’t allow the the metal to bulge out.
I have corrugated tin. Does it not get too hot?
I never found it to get very hot. I would think the thermal mass of the soil would draw a good bit of the heat out.
This is a good looking project. What are the dimensions of this bed? I’m assuming 2 feet tall, but how wide and long is it–and how many sheets of corrugated roofing did it take? Here in the desert where I live I think I’d overlap another row of the roofing tin to make the beds 42 inches tall.
If I recall, the sheets were 8′ x 2′. I got three and cut one in half. So the beds ended up being about 8′ L x 4′ W x 2′ H. Hope that helps! I the desert, I’m not sure I would want to do this project. Since it cat be so arid, I would want to dig the soil in so as to keep it from drying out fast. Something like two feet down and then build up, mix, the soil and compost there. The wind and heat can dry out raised beds in certain climates. But, as most of the time, it depends.