Galvanized Steel Raised Beds Tutorial and Plans

Corrugated metal raised beds in a sunny garden location.
Project At-A-Glance
A full tutorial on how to build Galvanized Steel Raised Garden Beds, why they are better than any other types of raised beds, and how to turn them into easy cold frames.

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One of our huge undertakings for our 2018 vegetable garden was building brand new galvanized steel raised garden beds. It was our sixth growing season working this space, and that year, we decided it was time to invest in our “forever” beds.

When we first started growing in this space, we had planned on growing in wide raised rows in our garden space like is suggested in one of our favorite gardening books—in fact, we even spent one fall digging them throughout our entire growing space—but it didn’t work out for us for a few reasons. The main issue was that we have a wicked weed seed infestation in our garden soil. We’ve tried fighting it with mulch and a lot of back-breaking weeding, but we ended up losing the battle every year.  We decided something had to change—and building raised beds with fresh soil was it.

Download the FREE Printable Plans

Three galvanized steel raised garden beds lined up on landscape fabric

Why did you choose raised beds gardening?

Of course, weed control isn’t the only benefit of raised garden beds. We’ve always had amazing success growing in raised beds because you have so much control over the growing environment—it’s easy to control the watering, the fertilizing, and the pests. They also look beautiful, and since we ended up making our raised beds so high, they make any garden work easy on the back and the knees.

There are some negatives to raised bed gardening though. The main one is that it dramatically reduces your growing space. You just can’t cultivate the same number of plants you would be able to if you took the same space and make wide rows.

The other big hiccup: it’s expensive to build raised garden beds. Tilling up a plot of land and planting some seeds is relatively cheap (or even free), but once you start adding in building materials to build raised beds and soil to fill them up—it can get pretty pricey.

Side angle shot of a galvanized steel raised bed, planted with greens

What are the pros and cons of different types of raised beds?

So we considered the pros and cons of all methods of cultivating our garden, and in the end decided that nice, long-term raised beds were where we wanted to invest our gardening budget this year. Once we had decided that raised beds were the way to go, we had to do some decision making on what materials to build them out of. Here were the main contenders:

  • Treated lumber: This is a pretty standard way to build raised beds—a lot of folks use treated lumber (and in fact, our previous raised beds were treated lumber). We didn’t want to go this route for one reason: the chemicals they use to treat lumber freak me the hell out. And the idea of those chemicals being in close proximity to the garden soil that I grow my organic vegetables in for 20+ years? Well, something just wasn’t adding up there. This would have been the cheapest option (closer to $75 per bed), but in the end, we decided that if it’s important enough for us to invest in buying organic vegetables from the grocery store, it’s important enough for us to invest in raised garden beds that aren’t (possibly) going to leach dangerous toxins into the precious soil we grow our food in.
  • Cedar lumber: This was where we went next. Cedar is naturally rot-resistant (for 15-20 years, I’ve heard). It weathers beautifully, smells wonderful, and is easy to get. The only problem? Holy crapoli, is it pricey. Doing a full cedar bed the height we wanted was going to be upwards of $300 per bed. That just wasn’t feasible for us.
  • Galvanized steel roofing panels with treated lumber frame: I’d started to see the Corten Steel planters all over Instagram—and while they are beautiful, their price and aesthetics aren’t quite right for our garden space. But they did give me the idea of using galvanized steel roofing panels! We used them on our chicken coop, and we loved working with the panels so much, that we knew we’d use them again somewhere. They are affordable, readily available, and beautiful! We started doing some research about using them as raised beds, and a number of people have done it, but because the panels are thin and bow when filled with soil, you need to build a full lumber frame (with supports inside) to support them. When we priced this out, it was barely any cheaper than the cedar route, it was going to take a lot of time to build the frames, and we still had the dreaded treated lumber touching our soil. Back to the drawing board.
  • Galvanized steel roofing panels with cedar and conduit supports: I refused to give up on the steel panels, so I kept Googling and Googling to try to find someone who had made a bed without the treated lumber frame. I landed on this post from the Prairie Homestead. They didn’t use a frame, but her beds use steel bridge decking, which is thick enough not to bow with the soil. The panels are not something you can just head to Lowe’s and pick up, and it’s not cheap. We nixed that pretty quickly. Then! Then! I found this post where they buried conduit in the ground to support the side panels, and then used 4″ x 4″ supports in the corners. WE HAVE A WINNER! My husband ended up fashioning a plan based on those pictures where we use 4″ x 4″ cedar supports in the corners and middle of the bed, the panels are screwed to those supports, and then we sunk metal conduit on the sides to support the beds. These beds cost us right around $150 per bed to build (before soil, with 2017 prices).

I’m going to give you a full tutorial for how to make these raised garden beds at the bottom of this post, but first, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about these beds, so let me answer those.

Why did you choose to put landscape fabric under the bed?

Moles. And weeds. Moles and weeds are jerks. And we have a lot of both them. Moles love to burrow through our garden and just destroy our garden beds, so we’re hoping the long-life landscape fabric we used will keep them out. Same with the weeds, to a lesser extent. Most weeds won’t be able to germinate up through two feet of soil, but honestly, our weeds are so relentless, I wouldn’t put it past them. So we erred on the side of too much weed control as opposed to too little. We will be covering all the landscape fabric with crushed or pea gravel later in the season.

Landscape fabric is a necessary evil for us. I don’t love having a petroleum-based product at the bottom of our beds, but I think if we didn’t put it down, we would have been kicking ourselves for years. We investigated some other weed and mole control methods, but none of them seemed as sure as landscape fabric (by the way, this is the weed fabric we always use—it’s really great quality and, if you have a Prime account, Amazon is the cheapest place we’ve found to buy it and get it shipped). I take some comfort in the fact that the fabric is below two feet of soil—hopefully any chemical leaching the fabric does will leach down and not up.

One thing we did have to adjust because of the fabric—we had to bring in worms! Worms probably would have eventually found their way through the seams of the fabric into our beds, but we sped up the process a bit by inoculating our beds with nightcrawlers from Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm.

Bag of worms resting on the corner of a galvanized steel raised bed

Why did you make the beds so deep?

The depth of our beds is 26″—the same as the width of the galvanized steel roofing panels. Could we have cut them down to make shorter beds? Absolutely, but we didn’t want to for a few reasons. The obvious one is that a higher bed makes for less back-breaking work. Our beds are high enough that we can comfortably sit on the sides and weed or bend over to harvest without feeling like our knees and backs are taking a beating. This isn’t a huge deal right now since we are in our mid-thirties, but since we want these to be long-term beds, we were thinking about future Cass and Craig. In 10, 15, 20 years, I think we’ll be thanking our past selves for making higher garden beds.

The second main reason is that plants want way more soil than you imagine they would. They like lots of space for their roots to spread out—especially plants with long taproots like carrots. Honestly, the more soil space you can give your plants, the happier they’ll be.

The only con to these mega deep beds is the amount of soil you need to fill them. We brought in weed seed-free soil and compost from a local company, and the volume just makes it a lot more expensive. But thankfully, it’s a one time expense.

How long do you think these will last?

The galvanized steel panels, conduit, and corner covers will last 30-60 years. The cedar supports will probably be a bit less—closer to 15-20 years. If we get 20 years out of these babies, I’ll be thrilled.

Do you have a cold frame to use with these?

Yes, and it’s laughably simple! We didn’t fill our beds 100% to the top with soil—we left about six inches clear—so we can cold frame the beds without much effort at all. Literally, our “cold frame” is just a plastic greenhouse panel laid on top with some bricks to hold it down.

Side shot of a Galvanized Steel Raised Garden Bed with a greenhouse panel laid over top, held down with bricks

This works so well, it’s amazing! On a 30°F and sunny day, it was up to 75°F in the bed within about five minutes of putting the panel on. The best part about this? It was totally free. We screw these panels into the side of our chicken coop in the winter to act as a windbreak in their run—so when we took them off for spring, we just moved them onto our garden beds!

Don’t these raised beds get too hot in the summer? Aren’t you baking your roots? Do you have to water all the time?

Nope. While these raised beds are metal, they are reflective metal, which means they don’t absorb nearly as much heat as you might imagine—in fact, during our hot and humid summers here in Zone 6B, the soil in these beds is often cooler than soil in other containers around our property. We don’t have to water any more often than we did with wooden raised beds, we’ve never “baked” our roots, and we’ve never burned ourselves on the metal. We frequently work in and around these beds on 90-100°F sunny days, and the metal is usually about the same as the air temperature—if not a touch cooler. 

What did you fill your garden beds with?

We had a big dump truck load of half garden soil and half organic compost delivered to our house. The garden soil is a mixture of screened topsoil and sand (to help with drainage). We then tested the soil and amended it as necessary in each bed. Each year, we top dress the beds with more compost and worm castings.

A gloved hand holds a handful of garden compost.

How to Build Galvanized Steel Raised Garden Beds

Download the FREE Printable Plans

Materials List for a single 8′ x 4′ bed

Click any item to see an example and/or purchase online.

Tools List

Cut List

  • 6—26″ lengths of cedar 4″ x 4″ using miter saw
  • 2—99 3/4″ lengths of cedar 2″ x 6″ (from TWO 10′ boards), ends cut inwards at 45 degrees using miter saw
  • 2—51 3/4″ lengths of cedar 2″ x 6″ (from ONE 10′ board), ends cut inwards at 45 degrees using miter saw
  • 4—26″ lengths of roof edge using tin snips
  • 8—40″ lengths of conduit using tube/pipe cutter
  • 1 —corrugated roof panel cut in half widthwise using tin snips/circular saw

Cut list for a single galvanized steel raised garden bed - steel and cedar laid out

Instructions for Building Raised Garden Beds

1. On a flat surface big enough for a 8′ x 4′ raised bed, lay down two 26″ x 4″ x 4″ cedar boards parallel to each other roughly 8′ apart (photo 1A). Take one 8′ corrugated panel, and place the panel so that it rests on top of your 4″ x 4″ pieces at each end, like a bridge—making sure the outside edge of the panels curve upward and the edge of each panel is flush with the edge of the 4″ x 4″ (photo 1B). Using four of the 1″ self-drill screws for each end, screw the panel to the 4″ x 4 ” piece, starting at the top groove of the panel and skipping two grooves for each screw (photo 1C). Repeat this step with your other 8′ corrugated panel and two more of the 26″ x 4″ x 4″ pieces (photo 1D).

Four image collage of building the first side of a galvanized steel raised bed

2. Have someone assist you by lifting up one of the previously assembled panels and holding it in an upright position (photo 2A). Take one of the half-cut corrugated panel and place it against either end of the assembled 8′ panel, creating a 90-degree corner of your bed (photo 2B). Using four more 1″ self-drill screws, screw it into the 4″ x 4″ through the top ridge of the panel, skipping two ridges for each screw, just as previously done (photo 2C). Repeat this step with your other half panel on the other end, creating another corner of your bed (photo 2D).

Four image collage of building the second and third sides of a galvanized steel raised garden bed

3. Have your assistant lift the other 8′ assembled panel and hold it in place between the two half panel ends to create the other side of your bed and the other two corners of it (photo 3A). Screw through the half panels and into the 4″ x 4″ corner supports on the assembled 8′ side your assistant is holding (photo 3B). You should now have a four-sided 4′ x 8′ raised bed. Place your bed as it currently is in the location that you want it to be permanently (photo 3C).

Three image collage of attaching the fourth side of a galvanized steel raised bed

4. Grab the eight 40″ lengths of conduit, tape measure, and sledge, as you will now be anchoring your bed in place. Start by measuring the halfway point on any side (photo 4A). Getting as close to the panel as possible, start hammering in one of the pieces of conduit into the ground at this point to about a 6″ depth (photo 4B). Repeat this step on the other three sides and then make sure your bed is still placed the way you want it, as you may have shifted it slightly when you started hammering in the conduit. Adjust as needed. On one of the 8’ sides, measure the halfway point between the previously hammered conduit and the end of the bed and hammer another length of conduit here (photo 4C). Do this on both sides of the originally hammered conduit. Repeat on the other 8′ side. Hammer all conduit in until the tops are level with the top of your corner 4″ x 4″ posts (photo 4D).

Four image collage of reinforcing a galvanized steel raised bed with conduit

5. Take your two remaining 4″ x 4″ pieces and place these in the middle of each 8′ panel on the inside of the bed, for added support of the top rails (photo 5A). Place the 4″ x 4″ on the inside, just to the left or right of where the conduit is on the outside, and screw in using your 1″ self-drill screws (photo 5B). Repeat on other side (photo 5C).

Three image collage of reinforcing a galvanized steel raised bed with conduit and cedar

6. To do the top rails, place one of your 99 3/4″ x 2″ x 6″ rail pieces on top of the 4″ x 4″ supports on the 8′ side (photo 6A). Make sure the inside edge matches up with the inside corner of the 4″ x 4″ corner post (photo 6B). Using one to two 3″ screws per 4″ x 4″, fasten the rail into the 4″ x 4″ (photo 6C). You may run into an issue regarding your conduit sticking up too high. Just lightly hammer the 2″ x 6″ rail until it is able to rest upon the 4″ x 4″ supports.

Three image collage of attaching a cedar top to a galvanized steel raised bed

7. Next, place a 51 ¾″ board on one end so it hugs the 45 degree angle of the top rail that was just fastened (photo 7A). Using 3″ deck screws, fasten this board to the corner and middle 4″ x 4″ supports (photo 7B). Then, place both the remaining 99 3/4″ top rail and the 51 3/4″ top rail at the same time (photo 7C). Wiggle and adjust them so they can fit snuggly into the already fastened rails. Once they are flush, fasten them to each corner support and the two middle supports with 3″ deck screws (photo 7D).

Four image collage of attaching a cedar top to a galvanized steel raised bed

8. Attach the galvanized roof edge to each corner to prevent injury from the edges of the sharp roof panels (photo 8A). Each 26″ corner piece will require four of the self-drill screws to fasten it, two at the top of each side and two at the bottom of each side into the corners of the bed (photo 8B). Repeat with all four corners (photo 8C).

Three image collage of attaching roof edging to the corners of a galvanized steel raised bed

9. The finishing touch is to sand down your cedar top rails to ensure that no splinters are going to happen when sitting on your beautiful new cedar/galvanized raised beds (photo 9A). Then fill up your bed with soil, plant, and enjoy (photo 9B)!

Two image collage of sanding a galvanized steel raised bed and two people sitting on the edge of a finished raised bed

Download the FREE Printable Plans

Happy planting, friends!

Update: One Year Later!

We’re still in love with our raised garden beds. They got us beautifully through one growing season, and we’re starting another one soon. We have placed #11 limestone gravel between our beds and have been very happy with it. We can’t wait to save up some cash to finish out the beds. Here are some photos from our first growing season:

A concrete bench sits outside a fenced in raised bed garden.Corrugated metal raised beds in a sunny garden location.

Update: Three Years Later! (spoiler alert: we still love our raised garden beds!)

We’re heading into our third growing season with these raised beds, and we still love them! There is nothing I would change about the design itself or the materials—in fact, we’ve built more beds each year because we love them so much! We have made two very minor changes (one structural, one cosmetic) from this original plan–they aren’t necessary changes, but they improved the design for us:

We sealed the cedar tops

After three years of Midwestern weather, the tops of the beds started to get the gray, weathered look cedar tends to take on. I personally prefer the beautiful red color of cedar, so I took it upon myself to sand the tops and seal with a natural, water-based exterior sealer (this is what I used in Lakeside Cedar). Unsealed cedar will last ages, so this is almost entirely an aesthetic decision. It makes me smile. I know I’ll have to redo it on the regular, but I much prefer the look of the beds this way. 

Four steel and cedar raised beds. Two of the beds have had stain applied to the cedar.A raised garden bed filled with green garlic plants.

We sunk 3″ screws through the tops of the raised beds directly into the hole of the conduit.

We had no problems with our beds bowing during the warm weather months, but in the winter, when the soil was frozen, we had some slight bowing issues with the conduit. It wasn’t a huge structural deal (and it mostly popped back into place when the soil warmed up in the spring), but the tops of the conduit were a bit sharp/scratchy and we have a small child who climbs all over the beds—so we went ahead and dropped the screws in to hold the conduit in place. Now the conduit doesn’t budge! 

Tight view of a raised garden bed with a screw in a cedar board.

The other changes we’ve made are less about the beds themselves, and more about our garden placement/method:

  • In our original six beds, we used landscape fabric under the entire beds to keep out weeds. With beds we’ve added since, we’ve cut the fabric out of the bottom (and folded it up the side of the bed) to allow more interaction with the natural soil. We have a mole problem where we live, so we placed hardware cloth in the bottom of the beds to stop the moles. At some point, we might dig out our original beds and do this, too, but it’s not pressing.
  • When it comes to spacing, I do wish we had about an additional 6-8″ between each bed. We designed the layout to fit a wheelbarrow between each bed, but didn’t take into account the overhang of the cedar tops—which cut down our 36″ paths to closer to 30″. It’s a tight squeeze for our wheelbarrow, but it still works. If I was redoing the whole garden again, I’d do closer to 40″ between each bed in all directions.

A black wheelbarrow full of dirt with a shovel on top fits between two raised garden beds.

One comment we’ve gotten frequently on these beds is that they are too high to grow certain crops—like indeterminate tomatoes, corn, and trellis crops like peas and beans. Our plan was never to grow those crops in these beds long term!

We have shorter side beds (13″ high, half a galvanized panel) along the garden fence that work beautifully for beans and peas and even winter squash. We are currently finalizing our garden this year, and the last step is to build six 3′ x 14′ long beds that are made of 12″ high cedar. This is where we plan on growing sweet corn, potatoes, tomatoes, and other large-scale crops. 

We originally were going to use the same galvanized steel plan to do the long beds, but changed our mind, mostly because cutting those steel panels in half lengthwise is a pain in the neck! We really didn’t want to do it for all the beds in the back, so we went with entirely cedar, which matches the tops of our steel raised garden beds nicely. It ended up being about the same amount cost-wise, but less labor, which is a win! As soon as we’re finished building all those beds, I’ll shared a photo of the finalized garden. I can’t wait!

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Cassie is a Certified Master Gardener and the founder of Growfully. She's been gardening organically for over two decades, and she's so excited to answer all the questions you have about gardening!

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80 Responses
  1. Alexandra Yepes

    Excellent article! So thorough! I especially appreciate the instructions. I’ve always wanted galvanized beds and thought that I had to buy them. But with your instructions I am going to show my hubby to see if he will brave building two or three for me for the veggies. I love the way they look so lovely! Thank you so much for sharing it!
    -Alexandra Yepes
    Ig: The_wellness_garden

    1. Amy Shepherd

      Question for ya. I’m very interested in building these galvanized raised planter beds, like 8 of them. What gage were the roofing panels used?

  2. Mitch

    Thank you. Great article and instructions. I’m going to definitely use this for some of my future raised bed bed projects.
    I only have one comment regarding the spacing between the beds. I have a friend who will eventually be in a wheel chair. My plans are to make the space wide enough between the beds so her chair will fit smoothly between the beds. I’m fortunate enough to have the luxury of going wider between the beds. I’m thinking at least 4′ – 6′ between the beds would be more than adequate.
    Again, thanks for the info.

  3. Sharon

    I love these plans and the look. Did you consider putting wood in the bottom of your beds and then soil on top? As the wood decomposes it should help the soil maintain moisture.

  4. Deryck Goodluck

    Strangely enough I decided to build a raised box bed today.
    It’s my first foray into this kind of thing and I’m really looking forward to finishing it.

    Your article is very very enlightening and I’m absolutely glad I randomly went searching for ideas and came across it.

    The size of the box I’m building will be 4×3×1 in length, width and height.

    I’m using wood from pallets to cut cost and I’ll be putting some hot linseed oil on them to try to preserve the wood as much as possible.

    Having never done this before (as mentioned) I hope that the wood is safe enough due to the fact that I don’t know if pallets are treated.

    My question though (after that long winded comment above) can you recommend how much soil mix I would need to fill that space.
    Also what veggies would you recommend I plant in that space.

    1. Doug Elliott

      This was great…built 4 4×8 beds, added integrated watering and painted them… I would Love to share some pics but didn’t see how I was able to add any photos? Let me know if you’d like to see how they turned out… Everyone loves them, thanks so much! Looking forward to seeing your cedar beds as I might add the same to our garden next year

  5. April Betts

    HI. We just finished building 6 of your raised beds and are really happy with them. Your instructions were spot on! We have however noticed a problem that we hoped you might comment on. The positioning of our beds with the sun makes them positively glow at certain times of the day. The glare from the metal is almost blinding. We thought about spray painting the outside metal, but are worried that it might somehow effect the reflective nature of the metal that keeps the bed dirt cool. Any thoughts?

    1. Cassie Johnston

      Yeah, they can be really bright, but we’ve found that it’s only during certain times of year—the angle of the sun eventually shifts enough that it isn’t a problem. I wouldn’t recommend any sort of paint on the metal for the exact reason you list—just wait a few weeks for the sun angle to change instead!

  6. Molly Straebel

    Wonderful and helpful article! I am hoping to build two of your raised beds this spring based on your plans. I am curious about your comment, “We’ve cut the fabric out of the bottom (and folded it up the side of the bed) to allow more interaction with the natural soil.” Why did you make this decision? We have quack grass which is very invasive. I would love to have interaction with the worms in the natural soil but worry about invasive weeds eventually creeping into the raised beds, even through the 2+ feet of soil. Thoughts? Is a potential compromise layering several inches of cardboard in the base of the raised beds to further prevent weed invasion? Thank you so much!

    1. Cassie Johnston

      We really wanted to to expose the beds to the native soil to increase worm and microorganism populations. But we also have three beds that are completely lined with landscape fabric, and they grow just fine. Cardboard would work, too!

  7. Sable

    Hey there! I’m wondering what about a higher raised bed makes it bad for the crops you mentioned (inderminate tomatoes, trellis crops). Is it just an issue of accessing the crops to harvest, as those trellised crops grow so high to begin with?

  8. Stacy Kyle

    I’ve built 4 of these so far. Thank you so much for posting this!

    The changes I made were:
    1 – cutting the roofing panels in half horizontally is enough parts for two beds – minus the 2×6 cedar boards.
    2 – went one size up with the conduit 3/4 inch)
    3 – once conduit is in the ground, added these to the tops to give the deck screws something to grab
    3/4 Inch Round Plastic Plug / 50…

    Lemme know if you want to see pics

      1. Becky

        What design did you use for the smaller 13” beds…as far as materials? Did you put wood on top of the panel as well?

  9. I have always had some sort of garden. I had 12 ducks and 3 chickens 4 years ago. 10 of the ducks were our own “ hatchlings.” Surgeries have made gardening very challenging on our 2/3 acre home. Plus, I lost my strong Italian husband to dementia last year. That tiny man could lift anything!!!
    My sweet friend and her husband have built these galvanized beds, although they aren’t as tall as yours.
    I honestly thought that she was crazy because of the amount of heat I thought it would create. But now, I know better! She IS CRAZY though… they have 26 raised beds, berries, grapes, fruit trees and flowers.
    I am 70 and she is 60. I wish I could offer them help, because they are going to need it.
    Ok, for me. My garden has lain fallow for two years, with no tilling, but it has had two generous layers of cottonwood leaves put on it by my amazing yard guys.
    I have heard that tilling is discouraged now.
    What is your opinion? I have also had absolutely no luck with drip irrigation, but here in Utah, we are heading for a drought, so, I’d better speak to the experts.

    1. Cassie Johnston

      Yep, the beds don’t get hot at all! And your beds should be in wonderful shape. Either pull back the leaves and plant right in the soil, or you can just mix them into the top layer, and then top them off with compost and plant in that. Happy growing!

  10. Zack Zenon

    I’m not sure how hazardous pressure treated wood is compared to galvanized steel in this setting but it should be noted that galvanized steel is coated in zinc which is highly toxic and can potentially leach in the right conditions. Juuuust so you know.

    1. Cassie Johnston

      Zinc is a necessary nutrient for healthy soil. We have our soil tested every year, and after four years of beds, our zinc levels in our soil are high, but still within the normal range.

  11. I live in michigan where water isn’t a problem but some people in other climates are having Big problems with drought and using a rubber liner and corrugated drainage pipe about half way up your raised system would stop the need for watering all year but you would need a drain at the bottom for winter draining.

  12. Melanie Smith

    About how many bags of soil would it take to fill these up? We don’t have anyone that would deliver quality top soil in our small town.


      I thought Stacy’s idea for the plastic caps on top of the conduit was helpful. I was thinking maybe a wooden dowel placed inside the conduit would also give the screw something to grab.

  13. Willa

    Love your beds. You and your husband did a great job with instructions and pictures. Getting ready to replace wood ones to copy yours. I have voles and they just had a field day in my beds last year. Did you connect the hardware cloth to anything on the sides? If so how and with what?

    1. Cassie Johnston

      Thank you! We had a few landscape staples through to keep it in place while we filled the beds, but that was it.

  14. David Cappon

    Beautiful. After 7 years of apartment living, I realized in Covid lockdown I need a yard and garden. I’m moving back into a single family house with a yard.

    My question, Why would the bed be too high for some crops? I don’t understand how that matters. Which crops and why should they be in lower beds?

    1. Cassie Johnston

      It’s mostly that very tall crops are hard to properly tend to and harvest in tall raised beds. Things like corn and indeterminate tomatoes are easier to take care of, less vulnerable to wind, and easier to harvest from in shorter beds.

  15. Carl

    I love the look of these raised beds. Just finished 6 of them. I need to add some worms to bump up the soil quality. How many night crawlers did you add per bed?
    Thank you for posting all of the instructions they were great

  16. Hi Cassie,
    Perhaps I missed this in the instructions, but how did you get the steel to the sizes you needed? Looking to do some DIY beds in our yard.

  17. Mariana White

    Hi! Thank you for these instructions, they are great!

    Regarding the self drill screws, do they have a sharp point? Any particular # used? Looking in my local store, but there are too many options. If you could include a link it would be great.

    Happy gardening!

  18. Lois Vining

    Hi Cassie, just came upon your raised bed design and plans while surfing for ideas for raised bed gardening. I had a couple other ideas in mind, started looking in January, and had narrowed the list down to 3. Your designs have replaced them all. I have never seen such thorough plans (with perfectly detailed instructions, btw,) EVER!! They’re on my to-do list for later this year so I can be ready for next spring. Thanks!

  19. Colleen Carpenter

    Great article. Looking forward to buiding one this weekend. The price of cedar is super high, so I wondering if I could use a cheaper wood just for the top edge? If so, what would you recommend?

    1. Cassie Johnston

      Yes, you could use regular treated wood, but we personally made the decision to keep treated wood away from our garden beds—but it’s definitely a more affordable option

  20. Krysta

    We built 4 of these boxes this spring and added arch trellises between them! Thank you so much! These plans were perfect! So detailed. I never would have been able to do this without your instructions!

  21. Brandon Towell

    Can’t wait to make 4 of these, but had a question about your cut list.
    For the miter cuts, are you measuring the heel or the toe of the board? Never done angled cuts and I want to make sure I am cutting them to length.

    P.S. Your email contact doesn’t work. I tried to contact you directly and after I try to submit it just says to contact the site admin.

  22. HEATHER Schafer

    Hi, just built 2 of these beds and love them! Wondering if the conduit is just to help hold the bed in place or does it help with bulging from the dirt? Thanks

  23. AJ

    Hi! Thank you so much for the detailed instructions and the full “how to” blog! I’m so excited to make these beds. I have a quick question that I hope you can help me with…. there seem to be three different types (strengths) of non-flexible conduit available: rigid, IMC, and EMT. Which type did you use? Any guidance you can provide is greatly appreciated!

  24. John

    What was your reasoning for cutting the conduit to 40 inches? Did you find shorter lengths did not hold in the ground as well?

  25. Jean Ramjit

    This is a very detailed account of raised beds and all the positives and negatives are laid out in details.
    Thank you for sharing the whole experience.
    I have made some bits as I’m leaning towards the raised beds.
    Thank you.

  26. Nick

    Very informative and well written! Well done, indeed, thank you! I plan to start construction on my beds next week following your directions.

  27. Hiten Patel

    Hi Cassie,

    I like your idea to of raise bed with galvanize frames. I have unused Hurricane panel which is galvanized steel and lots of those are available from other neighbors who replace their window with hurricane sliding shutters or replace with impact window.

    Do you think those panels can be used to make raise bed. I am planning to make two 6′ X 3′ raise bed for small plants and bubs. I do not have huge backyard so want to use available space.

    Another question: should I put weed fabric if I build on top of existing lawn?

    Appreciated your comment.

    1. Cassie Johnston

      We don’t have any experience with hurricane panels, but as long as they are galvanized steel and they are a thick enough gauge to support the weight of the soil, I don’t see why they wouldn’t work. As for the weed fabric, we no longer use it below our raised beds– we use cardboard instead.

  28. Willa

    I’m making my galvanized garden beds now from your site. I am putting the galvanized wire on the bottom because I too have a bad mole problem. Did you just lay the wire down or connected it to the bed? I really need advice on this.

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Meet Cassie
Meet Your Guide

Hi! My name is Cassie.

I’m a Certified Master Gardener and founder of Growfully. I’ve been gardening organically for over two decades, and I’m so excited to answer all the questions you have about gardening!

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