A customer that is a builder stopped by recently for garden soil to fill his raised beds. He shared this unique tip for a cost saving raised bed garden that I want to pass on.
Since the price of wood has nearly tripled recently, building a wood framed raised garden will cost a pile of cash! Metal prices are increasing also but not nearly as much. A local metal building supplier has ribbed metal siding in 3′ x 8′ sheets. The one nearest my city has discontinued colors of sheet metal that are about the cost of 1 piece of lumber at the latest prices. You can make a 1′ high raised bed from one piece of this sheet metal and a small amount of lumber for the corners. Course you can add more lumber to the frame if you would like to fix it up more, but with just the basic sheet metal for the sides, you can have a very nice looking raised garden bed.
Cut the sheet metal lengthwise in one foot sections down the entire 8′ length with a simple metal or angle grinder from your local Harbor Freight Tools. Use two of those sections for the longer sides of the raised beds. Cut the 3rd section in half to make the sides for the width of the raised beds. Cut a 2 x 4 into 4 sections or maybe a little smaller. Angle one end of this 2 x 4 to make a stake out of it. Pound this state into the ground at each corner of the metal sides and secure the metal to the stake with sheet metal screws. Bam! You’ve got a raised bed that is now ready for some good quality soil and seed for gardening. And it will look great too!
To make the top less sharp, you can add more wood to the top to frame it in more or to the outside corners to make them look nicer. But it isn’t necessary. This version should only cost about $30 at todays prices of metal and lumber. If this same size raised bed was made of lumber alone it could cost nearly $200. Then you still need soil to fill it in and the price can jump up so much that you might be better off just buying you vegetables from the grocery store year round.
Gardening is a joy and brings peace. Don’t let the cost of building material keep you from doing what you love!