Ask a Question forum: DIY raised garden beds

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Name: Anna Z.
Monroe, WI
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Cat Lover Raises cows Region: Wisconsin
May 10, 2016 3:23 PM CST
I have decided I would like to try this method since the groundhogs and raccoons are relentless around here. Does anyone here have some DIY raised beds you made? I'd like to have them so I wouldn't have to bend over (getting lazy here..........LOL). I have some ideas.............

I Googled it and found that some are using stock tanks. We have 2 that I could use, but I do NOT want to drill drain holes in them......if any of you have used these, how did you handle that aspect? I sure don't need a whole stock tank full of dirt to plant lettuce, tomatoes, and beans. LOL
Name: Anna Z.
Monroe, WI
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Cat Lover Raises cows Region: Wisconsin
May 11, 2016 10:50 AM CST
Since I had all night to think on this..............this is what I'm going to do, so far. :greengrin:

The cement slab is where we had our grain holding's just perfect for this.

The Spousal Unit said I could use the 2 stock tanks, and I could drill holes in the bottom for drainage. Well, I really didn't want to do that, and the tanks have a drain hole in the side, about 4 inches or so up from the bottom. I came up with this "ingenious" idea to keep the soil from going to the bottom and plugging the hole. (well, it may end up doing that anyway, but it won't be from my lack of trying to keep it out.) I took 6 calf pails (I think they hold about 2 1/2 gallons), turned them upside down, and put down some wire on the top of the pails. The holes are pretty close together, this is stuff that we used to enclose the big maternity pen in the barn to keep cats in. (I call that my Al-Cat-Traz). Obviously, the wire doesn't fit tight all the way around the tank............I'm going to put landscape cloth down and drape it over the sides of the tank, that way it won't flop back down into the tank when the Spousal Unit puts my dirt in there.

The long, black plastic thing is the old toolbox he had for a truck we haven't had for years. He said "you can have the damn thing, it's a piece of crap anyway". LOL I'll drill holes in the bottom of that, and I set it up on 2x4s so it will drain better.

The long wooden "thing" is what used to be the support for our waterbed. I'll have to figure out a way to keep some landscape cloth in that to contain my soil.

The "cannibal cooker" has a large crack in problems there getting THAT to drain.

Gardening on the cheap............that's me. Hope the "livestock" will stay out of it, or I will get ugly(er).

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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
May 11, 2016 11:26 AM CST
Ingenious, Anna. Way to go. I'd add a lot more calf pails to your stock tanks, though. They're plenty deep and you won't have to get nearly so much soil to fill the tanks if the bottom half or so is filled with buckets. Styrofoam works, too. (those big hunks you get as packing material are great).

Keep us posted as to how your project goes this summer?

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
May 11, 2016 11:34 AM CST
don't most stock tanks have a drain on the bottom anyway? maybe not, can't remember. But if you get lots of rain at one time, you could have several inches pool in the bottom w no way out.
Name: Anna Z.
Monroe, WI
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Cat Lover Raises cows Region: Wisconsin
May 11, 2016 3:47 PM CST
I do not have that many pails

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