There are various materials that you can use when building your raised garden beds. Among the popular ones nowadays is the combination of metal and wood. It is a contemporary style for your garden unlike the usual wood garden beds you’ll see elsewhere.
why opt for wood and metal raised garden bed?
For many, the combination of metal and wood provides a handsome look in the garden. In this type of raised bed, you get a great combination: the sturdiness of the metal and the warmth of wood.
Just like other raised beds, this can easily fit in yards or gardens with limited space area. What makes it more interesting is the fact that these materials once properly built can last for years. You can build a long one that can fit in any narrow space and be a good addition to your yard’s landscape.
Some opt for a raised bed that is purely made from metal. Aside from building one, you can also purchase an all-metal garden bed like this one:
This garden bed has corrugated metal sheets used as its frame. It is safe and great for growing flowers, vegetables, fruits, and even herbs.
It is built to withstand extreme weather. Your plants will have enough space to establish their healthy roots. This means that your plants will be able to grow their fullest.
Purchasing a raised garden bed like this one is a good investment as it is made to withstand any weather, durable, and has a powder coating for extra protection. This will last in your garden for years unlike those made from wood and other materials.
common questions when choosing between full-metal garden beds and metal-wood garden beds
You have the freedom to choose which bed you think is more cost-efficient and best for your garden. For you to choose one, you’ll have to weigh in the pros and cons of any option you have in mind.
The look of this type of garden bed is mostly made from metal since wood is used for support purposes only. It just adds up to the entire look since most metal garden beds have the wood connected from the outside. This means that none of the wood is not touching the soil and affect the plants even if you’re using pressure-treated wood.
When choosing for the combination of metal and wood, you get both the function and beauty of the material. To help you decide, below are some questions and answers about using metal for your vegetable garden:
1. will the metal used in the bed rust?
As long as it is galvanized steel, you won’t have to worry about rust. However, since galvanization only provides a coating on the metal sheet, broken layers might cause rusting. This is common if you’ve drilled holes to keep it up. You’ll have to check how fast the rust will spread.
2. are the edges of sheet panels sharp?
Precut edges shouldn’t be sharp at all. However, when you cut the metal on your own, the edges may become sharp. This is the main reason why you should also put wood corners on the outside. It will also make you safe when tending in each garden and when walking around the bed.
3. how hot can metal raised garden beds get?
Under a 90+degrees weather, the metal is still fairly cool to touch. This is partly because of the galvanization on the outside and partially the insulation because of the soil inside. However, you might not be able to look at it easily because of the wicked glare when the sun is up.
4. how does the metal frame affect frozen soil?
It is said that raised beds usually warms the soil sooner, which makes it ready for planting. This means that you’ll potentially harvest more as the soil is ready when the growing season comes.
5. why should the raised bed be high?
Most of the time, it is only for aesthetic purpose. However, some prefer their raised beds to be high to avoid bending over when picking plants. Also, it provides disease resistance to your plants while growing. There are raised beds that are designed like the one below:
This galvanized metal raised bed is an example of a high raised bed that is designed to easily plant any crop you want. It is designed with drainage holes to save time in drilling holes on your own. This feature also allows you to plant deep-rooted crops.
Since it has a neutral finish, it can fit any colour scheme. This makes it easy to blend wherever you place it. Just make sure that you place it where the plants can still get enough sunlight.
This design is also weather resistant. It is what makes this piece ideal for an outdoor arrangement. It also comes with corner covers for added protection from sharp edges.
6. where can you purchase corrugated metal sheets?
You can easily purchase these from a home improvement store or a nearby hardware store. Just go to the roofing section.
These may come in different sections, 8-foot, 10-foot, and 12-foot. You can choose the size that will create less waste or fewer leftovers materials. If you have leftover metal sheets from a recent home improvement project, you can also use what is left and make your version of a raised bed.
7. is using galvanized steel garden beds a safe option?
Yes! There’s no chemical from the steel or metal sheet that will leech into the soil and harm the plants you grow. You may have heard about Zinc poisoning due to the galvanization process, but that is only possible when you inhale the metal, not when ingesting it.
8. is using galvanized steel roofing sheets along with treated lumber frame a good idea?
Depending on your garden, this can be a pricey option, especially if it doesn’t fit your garden aesthetically. However, if you have spare materials, this is an affordable idea. You just have to make sure that you screw the panel woods to hold the metal sheet up.
A common problem for this, however, is that the roofing sheets might end up bowing inside once you fill it up with soil, start planting, and everything is settling down.
This is an example of a design where the metal sheets may bow inside because of the lack of support from the wood. However, if you fill it with enough soil as soon as the first ones you added settles, it can be prevented from bowing inside.
Another option is adding wood framing around your metal garden bed to give it as much support as needed. Also, it will be safer for you to work around it when you add wood panels around the bed.
This is a good example of a well-supported metal and wood raised bed garden bed idea from thespruce.com. It has enough wood supporting around the corrugated metal panels. This also made the edges safer for you when tending to the garden.
9. should cedar and conduit supports be used with galvanized steel roofing panels?
Instead of wood supports, steel bridge decking can be used for the beds. This should be thick enough to prevent bowing with soil. Bury the conduit in the ground so the side panels will have ample support. For the corners, 4 inches by 4 inches cedar support can be used.
10. how long will these beds last?
Following the method mentioned above, the entire bed can last for up to 60 years. However, the cedar support may last for about 20 years maximum.
11. what should you fill your garden beds with?
You can fill it with the same soil mixture that you use in regular raised beds. It should contain organic compost and soil. Add sand and screened topsoil to help with the drainage. You must amend the soil after each harvest time for it to be ready for another batch of planting.
Summing up all these answers, anyone will agree that metal and wood is a good combination when used for building a raised bed. It can last longer than traditional raised beds while it also adds an aesthetic appeal to your garden.