How To: Build Raised Beds With Scrap Metal

From Sunset

One of our goals for 2009 is to get a vegetable garden going in the yard. The first step is to build raised beds—they make it easier to harvest your veggies, and to control the quality of your soil—and while we like the look of simple redwood, these DIY recycled steel planters from Sunset Magazine would also provide an interesting modern edge. If cottage garden isn’t your style, steel planters and rebar stakes might be a good way to steer your vegetable beds away from that look. Photos and instructions after the jump…

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Each planter is made with four plates of recycled steel from a scrap metal yard, fixed together with galvanized L-brackets mounted on the inside. A titanium oxide drill bit is needed to screw in the brackets.

The planters are tall—each about two and a half feet deep, providing ample space for veggies even in a small garden—and because they're freestanding, you can rearrange them easily. The Sunset crew also used scraps of metal for paving stones to create a path, and pieces of rebar as stakes for the strawberries and bush beans growing alongside.

Here are a few sources for recycled scrap metal in the Bay Area:

  • M. Maselli and Sons, 707.763.1562, Petaluma
  • Alco Metals, 510.562.1107, San Leandro
  • Sims Metal, 415.552.0600, San Francisco

    For more details, and to see Sunset's plant list, visit their project tutorial.

    Photos: Linda Lamb Peters

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