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Discussion Starter #1
Spring is almost here! We are planning a garden for this new acreage of ours, and want a few raised beds for starters. One option is steel frame beds, available locally for a cheap price if we buy in bulk with some other people. Custom sizing - but probably go 7 x 3 feet x 24 inches tall.

So I'm here to ask some questions:

1. Wondering if anyone here has experience with these?

2. Should we put in any kind of liner?

3. Should we go taller (33 inches is the other option)?

4. Should we go bigger (we like the idea of being able to move them in future if things change)?

5. What do you till the soil with? A "weasel", a Stihl? Etc?

Thanks!

== Grizzler

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Those look real nice. My grandparents use a metal one made by my uncle out of a piece of channel steel he had around his shop. It is about 24" deep. Our raised beds are non pressure treated pine boards and have held up well for 5+ years. Our beds are 4'x12'x1'. I think 3' is a good width, 4' really stretches your arms reaching towards the middle. Length would be whatever works for your garden spot. Depth, for me, I would stick with the shallower, unless my knees and back are shot. We use a gas powered mini cultivator, like a Mantis, to work ours up. Keep us posted.


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I've never used that style but they appear to be gavlanized so they should last you 20+ years.

As far as height goes, my raised beds are only 12" deep. Your 24" deep beds will be fine for most needs. The only reason to go deeper is for root crops (taters. carrots, turnips, etc...)

I've found that I don't really need to till. Generally, you fill these things with a mix of loam and compost and that stays fairly loose. You can easily turn it over in the spring with a standard garden spade. My beds are 4' x 12' x 1'. The first year I built 3 of them. Every year I build one more and dig out a couple of inches from each box to build up the new one. Then I fill all of the boxes with a new load of a combination of chicken, rabbit, goat and horse manure that has been composted and rake that in with a heavy garden rake. IME, if raised beds are compacting to a point where you need to till, you don't have enough organic material in the mix. My soil ends up being just a bit heavier than the bagged potting soil you get at the garden centers.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your replies!
I went with mostly lower boxes (7x 3 feet x 22 inches) for our fenced-in garden area, plus a couple of 30 inches for flowers and herbs next to the back door - where the dogs are out in the yard.
I'm hoping they don't jump up into those ones!

==Grizzler


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