Containers forum: Raised Garden Bed Idea

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Name: Sherrill
Elk Grove, CA (Zone 9b)
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Ecograndma
Apr 14, 2014 12:09 PM CST
I have a raised garden bed, about 16 inches from the ground, is small (3 x 8) and placed in our side yard. We needed more areas to plant, have terrible soil and my husband uses a wheelchair and wants to access the plants. So we took an aluminum livestock tank and painted it a nice dark bronze and put three blueberry shrubs in it. He can now access the plants with ease and we can control the soil type. We plan on getting about six additional troughs and place them along the fence around this small area. The raised garden bed will come out and I will place some stone or brick down so my husband can access the area and plant to his hearts content. It is a win win for everyone. I don't have to stoop down and garden anymore and my husband can get his hands dirty. nodding
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
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drdawg
Apr 14, 2014 1:21 PM CST
Great idea, Sherrill. Thumbs up
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
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webesemps
Apr 14, 2014 10:13 PM CST
Looks great and hope your hubby's fingernails are always dirty! Whistling
Name: Ric Sanders
Dover, Pa. (Zone 6b)
And his children Are his flowers ..
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Eric4home
May 18, 2014 8:36 PM CST
So glad hubby can get his hands dirty again. Hurray!
Ric of MAF @ DG
Name: Wes
Ohio (Zone 6a)
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Wes
May 19, 2014 7:40 AM CST
I like the stock tank almost as much as I like blueberries. Sticking tongue out

I've considered them while browsing the local TSC, the paint job really brings it up a notch! Excellent functionality for your husband being key but still a great option for anyone that desires a large, prefab planter. It's a unique look! A friend grows his hot peppers in the galvanized tubs, they could really use a paint job.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
May 19, 2014 8:30 AM CST
What did you paint it with and did you prime it first? I wonder how the paint will last?
Name: Sherrill
Elk Grove, CA (Zone 9b)
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Ecograndma
May 19, 2014 10:30 PM CST
I used an exterior metal paint in metallic bronze. It has a little shine to it in the sun. I did not use a primer. It is holding up so far. This is an experiment so if the paint starts to flake I will need to figure something out.

I have five blueberries now and they have been producing for over a month. They love the soil and they are at eye level so we can access with no problems.
Name: Wes
Ohio (Zone 6a)
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Wes
May 19, 2014 10:45 PM CST
Ecograndma said:I used an exterior metal paint in metallic bronze. It has a little shine to it in the sun. I did not use a primer. It is holding up so far. This is an experiment so if the paint starts to flake I will need to figure something out.

I have five blueberries now and they have been producing for over a month. They love the soil and they are at eye level so we can access with no problems.


Good to know. I'd probably use a primer just from prior projects but a scuff or scratch here and there? A little wear and tear isn't going to hurt if it occurs, happens to my primed paint jobs too. We call it "character". Smiling

Name: Ric Sanders
Dover, Pa. (Zone 6b)
And his children Are his flowers ..
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Eric4home
May 20, 2014 6:02 AM CST
Sherrill, Your paint should hold up if the galvanized coat has oxidized a little. If you get any more tanks, and they are shiny, wiping them with vinegar the day before you paint will do that.
Ric of MAF @ DG
Name: Chris
Ripon, Wisconsin
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goldfinch4
May 21, 2014 3:18 AM CST
That's wonderful Sherill!! Thumbs up
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SoCalTony
May 22, 2014 1:50 PM CST
Hi all. I know I'm new here and I love this idea. Also this reminds me of my tiny side yard the only spot I have for veggies, but imagine a jungle gym thrown into the mix too.

Is galvanized a good idea for edibles? Leaching concerns?

Also, is a dark color ok? I'm currently redoing my tomatoes because of the 20gallon black plastic planters that I'd been using, the kind trees come in. I thought these would be great because of the depth, but was corrected later because of the color. I was told that it would almost bake the roots in the hot summer sun. This along with being up against a block wall was a complete failure. I'm now in the process of designing a long narrow trough-like planter out of redwood fencing.

Just my thoughts.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
May 22, 2014 2:00 PM CST
Welcome! Tony
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
May 22, 2014 3:45 PM CST
Welcome Tony!

I guess you're gardening in Southern California? Maybe the pot color / soil temperature matters where you live, but up near the Canadian border, not so much! I make my beds out of concrete paving stones stood on edge, and I never thought about the color.

During a dry spell, I can tell that they dry out rapidly at the corners and edges because the concrete is porous and wicks water. For water conservation, I line them with heavy plastic saved from bags of compost and mulch.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say "probably don't worry" about galvanized steel in contact with vegetable root zones. Sure, acid rain and just plain water and soil will leach some Zinc off the galvanized surface. And the plants may (?) take up more than they need of it (but I don't know that for sure).

The good news is that Zinc has very low toxicity, and sometimes 100-300 mg per day are prescribed for some medical conditions. But that much might interfere with copper uptake (in you, not the plants). 15 mg per day is necessary to humans.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zinc_toxicity
http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/51/2/225.long

Can you even GET 100 mg (1/10th gram) off a large galvanized container if you sandblasted it and extracted it with acid to get every atom at one time, and then drank it down in one dose? MAYBE ...

... but even so you would have to do that every day for weeks to reach the point where it would affect you noticeably.

And I am very sure that you can't get that much from your raised bed on a daily basis!

However, many people are very concerned about what they put in their bodies, and hopefully someone will give another perspective.
Name: Ric Sanders
Dover, Pa. (Zone 6b)
And his children Are his flowers ..
Region: Pennsylvania Dog Lover Cottage Gardener Ponds Garden Art Seed Starter
Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Butterflies Birds Greenhouse Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Eric4home
May 25, 2014 4:16 PM CST
If the galvanized container is painted the leaching would be reduced. Zinc is fairly heavy and should mostly leach down, I would think. A cheaper alternative to getting rid of your black landscape pots would be a light color Krylon paint, you can even coordinate with the house or trim, or use institutional pastels for a soothing effect. Hilarious!
Ric of MAF @ DG

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