Over the years, I’ve seen quite a few different kind of raised beds built in greenhouses; plywood boxes, treated lumber boxes, even old bathtubs covered in wood. With each, I had a few issues. Plywood will eventually rot and fall apart. I don’t like the idea of whatever they used to treat the lumber so it won’t rot leaching into my dirt and plants. Bathtubs take up a lot of extra space around the edges, space I want to fill with plants.
Then I found metal raised beds on Pinterest. (Pinaholic here!) I loved them! The metal won’t fall apart (at least not for a REALLY long time) and won’t leach any unwanted chemicals into my dirt.
But at $25+ per 3’x8’ sheet for roofing metal, it was a bit out of my price range. Once again, Craig’s list and Facebook to the rescue! I found two full, unused sheets on Craig’s List for $20. On a local buy/ sell group page on Facebook, I was offered as much used roofing metal as I could haul away – free! The metal had been used for a small horse barn, which had blown over (don’t worry, the horse wasn’t in it when it fell over). It was a bit dinged up and had some small holes, but I was happy with it.
Using scrap lumber leftovers from building the greenhouse and still usable lumber from the old greenhouse we tore down (because it was falling down), we were able to build the beds.
First the walls of the greenhouse were lined in metal. I used the same large head 1” lath screws as I had for the roof (which can be used in metal or wood) to put it up. It was easiest to use a nail to punch a hole in the metal first in order to screw up the metal. I tried to hang the metal so the larger holes would be eventually hidden under the dirt. It may be used, but I can try to make it look somewhat nice!
Then the walls of the beds were built. Using left over 2”x4”s, I cut 14” long pieces. These were placed every 2” in between two long 2”x4”s and screwed together. This made the bed walls 17” deep, perfect for tomatoes.
I measured them out so the beds would be roughly 30” deep, to the outside of the bed walls. Each piece of wall was screwed together, building the shape of the beds around the outer walls of the greenhouse.
Once up, the roofing metal was cut and screwed to the inside of the walls. (I’m so glad they were cream on one side. The metal was playdough blue on the other!)
This way, no dirt (or very little dirt) will be touching wood, making my raised beds last much longer than wood beds.
Now for the fun part of shoveling and hauling in 4 cubic yards of dirt and planting! The greenhouse will be painted inside and out eventually (to make it pretty J), a storage/ potting area built, and a gravity fed watering system installed, but for now, I just need to get plants growing!
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See our 2014 harvest HERE.