DIY / Gardening / Self Sufficiency

Raised Garden Beds: I Think We Have a Plan!

I mentioned yesterday that this week should be the week I finally get my raised garden beds.

I had spent most of the weekend looking at options in terms of metal or timber raised beds, and had finally decided on metal beds from The Vegie Garden in Bacchus Marsh. Mainly because Nick and I are not particularly handy, so I decided that the extra cost was well worth avoiding us killing each other while building what could double as a grave site.

This plan lasted until this morning, when my sister asked me three times in a row “whether I had considered timber beds, because they look easy to make. Also, cheaper.”

Damn, three times.

So I agreed to go research the cost of timber beds, because (really) they can’t be that difficult to construct.

Even Gavin from The Greening of Gavin tells me how easy it is.

Gavin’s Raised Garden Beds

The end result seems to be that I can buy a 2400x840x800 metal raised bed for around $360 (probably plus delivery) or I could build a 2400x1200x800 timber bed (that unfortunately will also be 75mm wide, I think) for around $200. I’m hoping that the 1200 won’t be too far to reach across, it may turn into a 2400x900x800 raised bed instead…

Given that I would like to get more than one of these beds, I think the $320 saving probably is worth all the aggravation. Tomorrow I’m off to talk to a nearby garden/building supply centre about purchasing some sleepers (in 43 degree heat, no less, see how dedicated I am?).

Here’s hoping I don’t regret it too quickly!

Have you built your own raised beds? Or undertaken a project without being ‘handy’?

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14 thoughts on “Raised Garden Beds: I Think We Have a Plan!

  1. Those veggie garden metal beds look great, but I bet you could find some old watering troughs and repurpose them — same thing. Wooden beds are relatively affordable and easy to make, but their lifespan is not super long. I don’t know what kind of wood you buy there, but my pressure treated pine beds that are only 3 years old are growing crops of mushrooms (non-edible) already, and that’s not a good sign.

    • My plan is to use redgum sleepers – the same thing that they *used* to use to line railway tracks.

      Darnit, Nick has already told me that I should get metal beds today, you make two…if one more person says it I’m going to fall for the “damn, three times” trick again!

      • Ha! Either will work!

        The railway ties we have here are filled with some very nasty chemicals and creosote. I wouldn’t have them anywhere near edibles, myself. A quick web search suggests yours are safe, so I am envious!

      • I think the ones we buy here are new ones made from redgum – though you can also buy recycled/disused redgum sleepers. They seem to get harder (but more warped) with age (which is why it’s really odd that the reused sleepers cost more money than the new ones, from memory).

        I think I’m almost back on the metal garden bed bandwagon again – I’ll withhold final decision making until I go visit the sleeper shop tomorrow!

  2. cool. I have just started making raised beds with fallen trees and railway type sleepers, proper upcycling I guess 🙂 Wood is so expensive!

  3. We have the wooden ones, and I like them, but Beloved is super-handy and made them. Ours are new redgum. However my concern is that the ones shown do not have any corner posts, that he considered essential in ours, for strength.

    Not sure of the sizes, we have one large bed and two smaller ones, and I definitely prefer the smaller ones to reach across. We have internal paths (planks) to walk on the larger, and it is getting more difficult to get up on them.

    Maybe best seen here: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ImwZAIBI-cw/UqbnTMc2SWI/AAAAAAAAA_U/xkqn_gAmhjQ/s1600/2013-12-02d.JPG (you may have to copy and paste). They are not set into the ground, just sit on the top. The planks are then rebated and screwed on with some serious-sized bolts.

    I’ll check the sizes tonight.

  4. Hi Christine, just visiting your blog for the first time from Twitter, and looking forward to exploring it.
    The beds in my vegie garden are the ones from the Vegie Garden in Bacchus Marsh and I’ve been really happy with them. They are very expensive but they are also very well made and have great shade/hothouse covers. I think they also have wicking bed watering arrangements which might be worth looking at if you go with that option. If you are going with timber I’d look at either cypress pine or spotted gum as two really good options for longevity.

    • What timing – I had *just* picked up a price list for sleepers that included cypress pine and was wondering how they’d go as raised beds!

      At this stage I’m leaning back towards the metal beds, partly because I’ve just measured the space and I think that making timber beds that fit would be a bit fiddly…and because my back has been sore today so I’m trying to avoid aggravating it with extra work!

      I’m glad to hear you’ve had a good experience with the Vegie Garden beds – my Mum got hers from there, but I didn’t realise that when I found them!

  5. There is another alternative. Somewhere in Melbourne are a mob that sell (and deliver) used wooden bulk vegetable bins. I think they will also do a liner and fill it with soil. I reckon they would be a bit deep, and need cutting down, but they might be worth investigating.

    • I’ve just done a quick search and have found a few places (mostly on Gumtree) selling planter boxes/crates that’re about 120x120x55 and with a sealed base – is this the kind of thing you mean?

      If so, they do look nifty but I don’t really like the idea of it having a bottom…this decision just keeps getting harder!!

    • That is true – and if I was putting them on my existing paved area then they would be perfect…
      I think more research is required (at this rate a decision won’t be made until sometime next year!).

  6. Pingback: Visit to The Little Vegie Patch Co | on the ning nang nong

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