how to build a raised garden bed with corrugated iron

how to build a raised garden bed with corrugated iron

Rising meals in steel raised backyard mattress is an important step in one in all my home objectives. I like the zen of mixing magnificence and performance. I used to be in a position to flip a reasonably ugly portion of the yard right into a factor of magnificence.

After days of deliberation over logistics, measurement, aesthetics, and value between the various kinds of raised backyard beds, I finally settled on corrugated steel raised backyard beds. I learn a number of different accounts throughout the online and deliberate out my very own model, a mixture of one of the best components, plus some recent, authentic concepts. That is the outcome.

You’re reading: how to build a raised garden bed with corrugated iron

Corrugated metal raised beds for the garden
Corrugated Steel Raised Beds for the Backyard

Ideas and Course of

Some questions I’ve been requested and have requested myself.

Will the corrugated steel rust?

Nope – it’s galvanized and can final a very long time. Nevertheless, the galvanization is a coating on the steel. I’ve damaged that layer when reducing a number of the items and drilling holes with the screws. I’m undecided how briskly rust will unfold, however I’m now on my technique to discovering out!

How sizzling does the steel raised backyard mattress get?

Up to now, I’ve felt the steel in 90+ diploma climate. It stays pretty cool to the contact. Partially the galvanization and partially insulation from the soil on the opposite aspect. It nonetheless has a depraved glare, although.

How does this have an effect on frozen soil?

Whereas I don’t stay in a rising zone nor local weather the place the soil has freezes, I used to be advised a raised beds means hotter soil sooner, rising the potential rising season.

Are the sheet panel edges sharp?

The precut edges aren’t sharp in any respect. They haven’t lower me but and I’ve gotten fairly wild with dealing with them. The sides I lower with the reciprocating noticed are depraved sharp. That was a part of the rationale for utilizing wooden corners on the skin as a substitute of inside.

Why is the raised mattress so excessive?

Largely aesthetic, partially so I don’t should bend over as far when selecting shorter crops like chilies. Having a better mattress additionally offers a little bit of illness resistance.

The place can corrugated steel sheets be bought?

These are within the roofing part of your native dwelling enchancment or ironmongery store. They typically are available 8 foot, 10 foot, and 12 foot sections. I based mostly my measurement on what would create the least quantity of waste or leftover supplies.

Are galvanized metal backyard beds protected?

Completely! There’s nothing in a part of the galvanization course of and metal course of which can leech and hurt you thru the meals you develop. Zinc (from the galvanization course of) poisoning comes from inhaling the steel, not ingesting it. You’ll hear about galvanized metal not being protected if you end up cooking with it. Soil and steel backyard beds are utterly wonderful.

Planning the Steel Raised Backyard Mattress Structure

This entire mission began after I had 3 massive timber die and are available down within the yard liberating up tons of potential daylight house. I wished to slowly sort out the yard in levels, and home-grown meals was a precedence. With a form of L formed open space between grass, bulbs, and the fence, I had a big stump to work with.

To assist guild the structure and maximize potential daylight, I put down a number of bricks at completely different components of the day, marking shady areas. After a number of days of adjusting bricks to make sure the beds have been within the daylight for probably the most period of time, I had a fundamental space to work with.

Grading dirt for metal raised garden beds
Grading filth for steel raised backyard beds

I took the time in between evaluating shade to degree and grade this whole space. I additionally pulled up plenty of very massive roots from the tree within the course of. As for the weeds? Considered one of my favourite instruments is a pointy hula hoe. Along with destroying the basis methods of weeds, it tills the soil.

Clearing weeds with hula hoe and prepping
Clearing weeds with hula hoe and prepping

The shade ended up being within the excellent spot for me. I had sufficient of a buffer between the deliberate beds and fence to stroll and have a tendency to crops, which occurred to be the place a lot of the shade fell.

Planning raised bed layout with old bricks and scrap wood
Planning raised mattress structure with outdated bricks and scrap wooden

I lucked out with my bulbs as properly. I knew the steel raised backyard beds can be 8 ft lengthy, based mostly on steel sheet and lumber sizing so as to not have waste. The bulbs have been 11-15 ft from the fence, offering sufficient room on all sides for beds.

Leaving 4 ft width for every mattress and three ft between them for strolling, I discovered I’d have the ability to match 3 raised beds between the massive stump and the shaded areas. That’s 96 sq. ft of rising space. 96 greater than I had earlier than!

With bricks positioned on every mattress nook, distances between steel raised backyard beds measured for snug strolling, and ensuring issues have been aligned in a manner which regarded good from a number of angles, I started trenching for irrigation.

Digging trenches for irrigation pvc pipes beneath the raised beds
Digging trenches for irrigation pvc pipes beneath the raised beds

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these roots I discussed. Yeah. This occurred a number of instances. It additionally screwed up my splendidly leveled space. I laid down piping like this to ensure I used to be digging largely straight. Let’s simply say I exploit the time period “straight trenches” very loosely. I’m additionally ensuring to publish my errors to correctly dissuade any pals (Robert) studying this from asking for assist. After filling within the trench, I’ve to confess I acquired fairly lazy on re-leveling the realm. I came upon simply how unhealthy I not-leveled in a while.

With plenty of measurements taken, trenches dug, and an thought of what number of raised beds I might match within the space, it was time to buy groceries. As an skilled DIY’er, I do know that any mission has a 3-trip minimal to the ironmongery store. I all the time overbuy small components. Its horrible to should make the drive again to the shop for one measly 29 cent half.

Plans for Raised Steel Backyard Mattress Supplies and Provides

I wished to make use of screws which might mix in with the wooden, so I opted for purple star headed screws.

For wooden, I ended up with redwood based mostly on availability, though cedar would have been an important possibility as properly. I’m a kind of people who spends a ton of time bringing down half the pallet of lumber evaluating curves and the way dry every bit is. And sure, I put all of it again. I purchased 16′ items, however you should purchase 8′ as properly and double the quantity appropriately.

I wished to get some kickass soil for my new raised beds, so I acquired a “veggie combine” which was comprised of “premium” natural topsoil, humus, mushroom compost, sand, lava fines. Every mattress wanted 2.25 cubic yards per mattress, however I additionally wished further for another backyard areas whereas I used to be getting it delivered.

Whereas corrugated steel was the primary mission, I additionally opted to get some pavers are construct a 4th mattress so as to take care of a unusually formed space and enormous stump, which had me stumped for concepts. Yeah, I simply went there.

Along with constructing the steel raised backyard beds themselves, I wished to redo my irrigation and reroute a number of the underground piping to every mattress. I all the time purchase new cement and primer for big tasks, as I normally go a methods between irrigation fixes and the pvc cement expires rapidly.

The adapters and connectors bought have been on a case-by-case foundation. I already had some components, and needed to get greater than mandatory in different areas. You shouldn’t observe my irrigation purchases precisely.

Irrigation Protip: If the cement is jelly or gel like in in the least, it has gone unhealthy. The cement must be very runny.

Laying out the supplies for the metal raised garden beds
Laying out the provides for the steel raised backyard beds

Listing of supplies for 3 steel raised backyard beds:

  • Raised mattress: 8′ corrugated steel galvanized – 9 items – $157.32
  • Raised mattress: 1 pound pack 3″ purple star/pax screws – $8.47
  • Raised mattress: #8×3/4″ self drilling pan sheet steel screws – $7.25
  • Raised mattress: 2×4-16′ redwood – 3 items – $57.81
  • Raised mattress: Soil compost combine – 6.75 yards – $350
  • Raised mattress: Tan pavers – 60 items – $31.18
  • Irrigation: Purple primer – $6.41
  • Irrigation: PVC cement – $5.40
  • Irrigation: 3/4″ Thinwall 10′ – 3 items – $5.70
  • Irrigation: 1/2×3/4 pvc male adapters – 3 items – $3.42
  • Irrigation: 3/4 pvc el45 slips – 2 items – $2.28
  • Irrigation: 3/4 pvc 90 diploma elbow – 3 items – $1.41
  • Irrigation: 3/4×1/2 pvc bushing – 2 items – $1.92
  • Irrigation: 3/4″ pvc coupling – 2 items – $0.95
  • Irrigation: Manifold with adjustable circulation 4 retailers – 3 items – $17.34
  • Whole price: $681.51. With out the soil, that’s $110.40 per mattress.

Instruments and Tools Used

  • Electrical drill for pre-drilling holes
  • Affect drill for screwing
  • Pipe cutter for pvc pipe
  • 12″ Miter noticed for reducing wooden
  • + carpenter’s pencil for marking wooden cuts
  • Reciprocating noticed for reducing corrugated steel
  • + sheet steel blades
  • + Sharpie for marking corrugated steel cuts
  • Degree to ensure issues are largely even
  • Tape measure to measure twice and nonetheless return to the shop.

Estimated Time

  • Planning, considering, measuring, prepping land: 5 days
  • Irrigation setup: 3 hours
  • 3 raised beds supplies buy and meeting: 1/2 day
  • Transferring filth: 1 day
  • Planting: 1 hour


The plan was to run 3/4″ strains from 2 primary pipes. Based mostly on distance and roots found, I didn’t need to feed all three beds from the identical line. I additionally wished to attenuate the quantity of elbows I would wish to suit. If I needed to dig round sooner or later, simplifying the strains would make this simpler to not break issues.

I found one other secret to plumbing irrigation. I wished to {photograph} a number of the course of for this weblog, so I managed to persuade my dad to do plenty of the work for me. I advised him all the level of my weblog was a long-term plot to get him to do the shitty a part of the work for me. I prefer to assume it labored.

He began by priming each ends of the pipes. When connecting a number of items collectively, attempt to do them abruptly and rapidly. It’s essential to wait quarter-hour earlier than shifting them round to permit the cement to treatment. If it’s important to do 4 or 5 items on a wierd flip, as pictured under, that may be plenty of wasted time.

Priming pvc irrigation for the raised beds
Priming pvc irrigation for the raised beds

You’ll additionally need to maintain a pair clear rags close by. A clear work space and clear pipes will guarantee you’ve a problem-free course of. After making use of the purple primer, add on a pleasant thick gob of cement, protecting all sides. Strive to not inhale. Push the fittings collectively and maintain them collectively tightly for about 20 seconds. This can be a good time to make sure issues are straightish and aligned accurately. You received’t get one other likelihood until you need to lower and redo issues.

Waiting for the pvc irrigation pipe cement to cure and set
Ready for the pvc irrigation pipe cement to treatment and set

I someway managed to plan the beds with the most important root discovered proper the place I wished to position one of many irrigation manifolds, lifeless middle in a mattress. I adjusted for off middle, nevertheless it was nonetheless a bear to get into place. Correction: It was a bear for my dad. When inserting vertical pipes, it’s essential to ensure they’re straight. A degree is advisable to help with this.

Setting vertical pvc irrigation to come up through the middle of each raised metal garden bed
Setting vertical pvc irrigation to come back up by means of the center of every raised steel backyard mattress

If the pipes aren’t completely straight, the error reveals up instantly. In need of redoing all the factor, there isn’t a lot you are able to do about it. I acquired the thought about utilizing a degree on the third pipe plumbed, featured within the forefront.

Filling in the irrigation trench and ready to move the metal raised garden beds in place
Filling within the irrigation trench and able to transfer the steel raised backyard beds in place

The curing course of for the irrigation takes a pair hours, which meant it was time for constructing the precise raised beds whereas the PVC cement did its factor.

DIY Corrugated Steel Raised Backyard Beds

Positioning each raised metal garden bed over its spot and eyeballing the layout
Positioning every raised steel backyard mattress over its spot and eyeballing the structure

Chopping the corrugated steel panels

With x9 8 foot panels, 3 wanted to be lower into 4 foot items for the ends. The sheets have been laid out on some scrap lumber to maintain them above the bottom and the reciprocating noticed was put to work. 4′ / half was measured out and marked with a sharpie to remain on activity with the reciprocating noticed.

Preparing to cut each corrugated metal panel
Getting ready to chop every corrugated steel panel

In reducing the panels, I ended up being so pleased to have an additional set of arms serving to. The additional pair helped in stabilizing the steel and retaining it from shaking an excessive amount of from all of the noticed motion.

Cutting the corrugated metal sheets with a reciprocating saw
Chopping the corrugated steel sheets with a reciprocating noticed

As you may see under, the lower edges are fairly sharp. The redwood 2×4 corners would serve to assist masks imperfections and stop unintended accidents.

Cut corrugated metal panels ready to be screwed back together into garden bed form
Minimize corrugated steel panels able to be screwed again collectively into backyard mattress kind

Redwood Corners

The redwood 2×4’s have been all lower down into 2 foot items. However therein lies an issue. You’ll discover while you purchase lumber, 2x4s are all barely smaller. An 8 foot piece will yield 3 4 foot items and a fourth barely smaller piece, plus it’s important to account for the width of your noticed blade eradicating wooden. The discovered resolution was to ensure whichever piece was brief was used on the bottom of the assembled mattress.

Putting the raised metal garden bed together
Placing the raised steel backyard mattress collectively

As well as, when screwing 2 of the items collectively to make a single nook, take note of which aspect of the wooden is exhibiting. Consistency will maintain every part trying superb.

Ensure to pre-drill your whole holes to forestall the wooden from splitting. This can be a crucial step and you’ll find your self extremely annoyed if you must exchange a single 2 foot piece. This didn’t occur to me on THIS mission, however I’ve had it occur loads of different instances. That is when you’ll be so pleased to have 2 drills going. One for drilling and one for screwing.

I did 3 holes and screws per nook.

Predrilling the redwood to reduce the chance of splitting the wood
Predrilling the redwood to scale back the possibility of splitting the wooden

You could be questioning why I advised you to get the pax/star/torx screws. For one, they resist cam-out significantly better than Philips and slot head screws. Much less stripping on your screwing. Uh huh. It additionally permits a better torque for use. You may attain your required torque constantly and higher drive the screw’s head into the wooden with out the bit slipping out when most torque has been reached.

Installing the screws halfway into the redwood in preparation of attaching the corrugated metal panels
Putting in the screws midway into the redwood in preparation of attaching the corrugated steel panels

Corrugated Raised Mattress Meeting

Together with your redwood corners screwed collectively, legislation them out and set the sheets on high. Begin with the 8 foot longest sides. Once more, be sure to are constant and cautious with how your corners are positioned. Don’t neglect concerning the one brief piece to accommodate.

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You’ll discover the sheet extends previous the size of the wooden. You’ve gotten 3 choices for this. The least advisable is to chop the additional. What I ended up doing was making the additional the underside portion and bending it inwards. What I’d have moderately completed is evened it out and bent each high and backside. The underside holds filth and helps to maintain the perimeters steady with the load of filth and water as soon as the beds are crammed. Bending the highest as properly would enable me to put in a wooden railing, including some further stability. I would nonetheless do one thing, relying on how the rising season goes.

Seize a handful of sheet steel screws and begin attaching. I did 4-5 screws, hooked up to the within, relying on how the sheets have been bending.

Screwing the corrugated metal panels into place
Screwing the corrugated steel panels into place

That is the place having a second individual helps. The individual not screwing can present counter stress to ensure the corrugated steel is tight in opposition to the wooden. Standing within the solar so shade is on the individual screwing helps quite a bit, too.

When attaching the brief steel items to the wooden, I discovered inserting the corners on wooden to maintain them barely off the bottom helped quite a bit. A second individual holding and offering counter-pressure is vital on this step. I crouched on the within of the beds and tediously hooked up all sides.

All four sides of the raised metal garden bed screwed together, upside down
All 4 sides of the raised steel backyard mattress screwed collectively, the wrong way up

With all 4 sides hooked up, the additional steel on the underside, dealing with up, was bent inwards, then hooked up with a sheet steel screw for good measure.

Even with self-drilling sheet steel screws, I had plenty of slippage. I’m fairly certain I had a inexperienced thumb of kinds. Or not less than a blood blister between slipping and holding the spinning screws ready for it to catch.

Green thumb or blood blister from the metal screws: gloves advised
Inexperienced thumb or blood blister from the steel screws: gloves suggested

The primary mattress was completed and it felt fairly profitable. The opposite 2 have been knocked out very quick compared to the primary. It additionally helped I didn’t cease each second to take photographs.

With all beds assembled, they have been straightforward to carry and put into place.

Perfecting the spacing plans for two metal raised garden beds
Perfecting the spacing plans for 2 steel raised backyard beds

With the beds largely in place, I grabbed a tape measure and perfected the location with spacing.

Okay, bear in mind earlier how I discussed after operating irrigation, I used to be lazy on regrading the filth? Yeah, that is what occurred. Now, I used to be compelled to degree. A lot for getting away from that.

Aiming for between the bubbles on the brief aspect, a pair shovel-fulls of filth later, plenty of harrumphs, the beds have been prepared for the following stage. Filth.

Leveling and regrading some of the dirt and slope for the metal raised garden beds
Leveling and regrading a number of the filth and slope for the steel raised backyard beds

Filth Supply

An area firm delivered proper into my driveway.

10 cubic yards of premium soil compost mix
10 cubic yards of premium soil compost combine

That is what 10 cubic yards of filth appears to be like like. I used to be fairly happy with unintentional signal placement alongside the filth humps. When you recall from earlier, I wanted 2.25 cubic yards per raised mattress, and ordered extra for the remainder of the yard.

10 cubic yards of lovely dirt humps on my driveway
10 cubic yards of beautiful filth humps on my driveway

The draw back with creating beds that are 2 ft tall, is filling them with filth required shoveling from the wheelbarrow to the mattress. I might merely dump the wheelbarrow. I contemplated constructing a ramp, however as a result of house, I opted for a exercise.

When filling the beds, in between every wheelbarrow’s price of filth, I sprayed it down with water. This might assist with settling and maintain the filth from actually happening as soon as I had crops happening. I used to be extremely happy with how every part regarded as soon as the beds have been full.

Filling the metal raised garden beds up with dirt
Filling the steel raised backyard beds up with filth

In researching this mission, plenty of different blogs talked about help methods and bulging for the perimeters. I opted for no such factor. Evaluating the perimeters and their bulge, I felt it was fairly minimal. Every part felt fairly sturdy. I preferred the seamless aesthetics over further wooden.

“Hey dad, are you able to fill this mattress for me whereas I take some photographs?” Is a line which labored properly for one out of three raised beds.

Filling the metal raised garden beds up with even more dirt and some shovel action
Filling the steel raised backyard beds up with much more filth and a few shovel motion

These bent insides labored very well in holding the perimeters collectively and steady. Filth rested on the lip and stored the steel from sliding outwards.

Peering inside the raised metal garden bed and evaluating workmanship
Peering contained in the raised steel backyard mattress and evaluating workmanship

With every part crammed, in place, and irrigation tops hooked up, I felt extremely pleased with how the beds turned out. They have been stunning. I couldn’t wait to start out planting.

Attaching irrigation valves for each raised metal garden bed
Attaching irrigation valves for every raised steel backyard mattress
Surveying how crooked my pvc irrigation techniques are. Oops.
Surveying how crooked my pvc irrigation methods are. Oops.
This raised metal garden bed is a hot spot for chilies and soon to be hot sauce!
This raised steel backyard mattress is a sizzling spot for chilies and shortly to be sizzling sauce!

Bonus Spherical – Pavers Raised Mattress

You could be questioning why the third mattress will not be aligned like the opposite two. Effectively, I occur to be the proud proprietor of a really massive stump. I ran again to the shop and picked up some pavers. I wished to dry-lay a multi-tiered mattress for bigger crops to develop up into the stump and conceal it. Doing tiers would additionally enable me to keep away from mortaring.

Building a raised bed with paver stones
Constructing a raised mattress with paver stones

I needed to play with a large number of layouts and designs to determine what labored and in addition allowed ample room between raised beds. That is what I ended up with for the underside tier.

Paver stone raised bed with two layers and utilizing a rotten tree stump
Paver stone raised mattress with two layers and using a rotten tree stump

For the second tier, I easy positioned the pavers on high of the filth the place they stand with their very own free will. As a lot free will as pavers have, not less than.

The Remaining DIY Corrugated Steel Raised Beds

Lastly! Please excuse my wild arugula and trampled bulbs. I’m totally thrilled with how the beds turned out. As an surprising bonus, I’ve a pair hummingbirds that come down and bathe when the irrigation is on.

The diy raised metal garden bed project is complete
The DIY Raised Steel Backyard Mattress Challenge is full
Checking out the beauty of the metal raised garden beds from the roof
Testing the fantastic thing about the steel raised backyard beds from the roof

One Yr Later

One yr into utilizing these beds – I’m thrilled with them. Water retention is nice. The steel by no means acquired too sizzling in the summertime. The wooden and form stayed intact as soon as the filth settled as proven within the photographs above throughout set up. This mission was completely price doing.

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