Easiest Raised Bed — Ever

Easiest Raised Bed — Ever


Would you like to put some raised beds in your garden that involve no cutting, no nailing, no screwing, and lasts almost indefinitely? Well, I might have the solution for you. It is an easy raised bed. Maybe the easiest raised bed, ever. Hi, I’m Gardener Scott and I’ve been constructing most of my garden beds from wood. I like the look. They’re relatively inexpensive. And it’s the classic raised bed look. But there’s a much easier way to get raised beds. I’ve got a few of them in my garden and I’ll probably add some more. Here they are and when I say easy, I mean E, Z. I bought it. It’s in place. It’s ready to fill with soil and that’s all I have to do. This is a raised bed ready for planting. There are a few things I want to do to make it better, but as far as easy… all you have to do is get one of these, put it in the ground, and you’ve got a raised bed. So what are these easy raised beds? Well. they’re troughs. They’re livestock troughs. They’re for feed or water for cattle and horses and goats and sheep… livestock. They’re made from galvanized steel. They’ll last almost forever. Unlike the wooden raised beds, these won’t break down. You put them in your garden and you’ve got a permanent raised bed. These are two feet high, two feet wide, and three feet long. That’s the size I chose. I wanted two of them just because of the way they look, but they come in many different sizes. I could have got one that filled this entire area. At a nearby ranch supply store I’ve got lots of options to choose from when it comes to these stock tanks. Here are a couple of options that don’t have bottoms These on the inside are about six feet long, one foot deep, and two feet wide. A larger on the outside is one foot deep, three feet wide, and eight feet long. These are some to choose from these are four feet long, one foot deep, and two feet wide. You’ve got two feet wide, two feet deep, four feet long. And right next to it, you’ve got some that are six feet long, two feet deep, and two feet wide. There’s a really nice size for a full raised bed. It’s eight feet long, three feet wide, and two feet deep. Another great option is also 8 feet long. This is two feet wide, and one foot deep. There are even options for round raised beds. Here’s one that’s five feet in diameter and two feet deep. And right next to it is one that’s six feet in diameter and two feet deep. As you can see there are a number of options when it comes to choosing the size of your raised bed. You’re not limited to the little ones I chose. You can get quite big. Just look for a ranch supply store in your area and you might be surprised at what you can find. And when you have the size you like, you buy it, you put it down, and you’ve got your easy raised bed. For the most part the cost of a trough as a raised bed is more expensive than the same size bed made out of wood, especially if you’re just using 2 x 8s or 2 x 10s or 2 x 12s for your bed. It will cost more to get the galvanized trough. For a more substantial bed like this one that I made using 4 x 4s… well, the cost of this wooden bed is about the same cost as if I had done this whole area with a trough the same size. But with a trough you don’t have to hammer and cut and screw all the boards together. You just put it down and it’s ready to go. It’s easy. Now, I could be done at this point. I have these beds ready to fill with soil and ready to plant. But because they last virtually forever, I want them to look better than just bare galvanized steel in my garden and especially since the brand name is plastered on the front, I’d like to cover that up. I’d like to make this system work much better. The first thing I’m going to do is add drainage and the second thing I’m going to do is paint the outside. These troughs are water tight. They’re designed to hold water for livestock. Now, there is a single drain point that you can open up and that’ll add some drainage and that may be enough. Remember, this is an easy raised bed. But for an area that has rain and a lot of snow like I do, well, I imagine even with just that single drainage port the water will eventually fill this trough and now my raised bed, which is so ideal and easy has water in it and will drown the roots. So I’m using a 3/8 inch drill bit to add some drainage holes to the bottom. I have this trough elevated on a couple wooden blocks and so now I’m just drilling some holes in the bottom. I’ve drilled 12 holes in the bottom of each of these raised beds. Remember, this is supposed to be easy and essentially I’m done. These beds are ready to use. But I want them to look a little bit better. If you like the look of the bare galvanized steel and especially if you don’t have the brand name on the front, well, then be done at this point. Your easy raised bed is ready to fill and grow. But I want it to look a little nicer. So that’s why I’m taking this next step. I’m using a clean metal primer and it’s designed to go on bare metal like this. I’ve already cleaned it all off. It’s ready to paint. I advise using a primer. Now, it can be the final color. But especially if you’re going to do additional decorating, and I want to have my grandkids actually paint some pictures on this, you really want to use a primer first. Because of the way it’s made, galvanized steel is often difficult to paint. When you put a primer on, it might peel off. So the best way to make sure that the paint adheres to galvanized steel is to actually give it a pretreatment of white vinegar, just regular vinegar from your kitchen. Rub it all over and the acid in the vinegar will actually etch the metal a little bit and help the paint hold to the surface. One can was enough for two light coats on both of these raised beds. I do have another can. So now I’ll go ahead and let this dry and apply that one later. But now I can start thinking about what the final color will be and maybe some of the designs I can recommend to my grandkids. It’s up to you to decide just how easy these raised beds really are. You can buy your stock tank, put it in place, fill it with soil, and walk away. It’s done. Or you can take the extra step of drilling some drainage holes, as I did, fill it with soil, walk away, and you’ve got a complete raised bed ready to go. Or you can take the additional step of painting it, and decorating it to fit in with your landscape, and it’s still easier than a lot of that cutting and screwing and building another raised bed. If you’ve got any questions about these easy raised beds, just let me know. If you’d like to see more of these gardening videos, well, then subscribe to the Gardener Scott channel and be sure to click on the bell so you know when new videos are coming out. If you like this video, well, then give me a thumbs up and share it. I’m Gardener Scott. Enjoy gardening.

74 thoughts on “Easiest Raised Bed — Ever

  1. I dont consider filling 3 feet high with soil easy… The easiest raised bed is the one where you just put logs on the ground and you raise your bed 3-5 inches. And its a lot cheaper.

  2. I'm in AZ , hot Phoenix.. I am started gardening small scale this summer, I used plastic tubs set up as wicking tubs.. so I can water and have the reservoir in the bottom for water.. BUT!! My tubs/planters are dark or black.. so they absorb heat, so I'm planning on spray painting them light to see if that helps keep the soil cooler.. the question I'm trying to ask is do you think using these would work for me in AZ, or would the metal be too hot in our 100+ sun and heat? I'm going to check on cost.. I'm cheap, so who knows, but it's definitely an Interesting idea.

  3. Mr Scott dont You just love growing in the stock tank? I do..mine I use for spinach in the greenhouse..but could not put holes in a perfectly good tank…but I keep the soil loose with the plug out and set it on bricks and I keep spinach lettuces radishes all winter in the summer it turns back into a horse feeder…very good investment useful even in emergency situations. My husband says…lol also its very possible to move them around in case of weather or under shade for summer full sun for spring…excellent videos!

  4. I think this is a great idea, regardless if you decide to use it as a raised bed, leave it bare metal or paint it! The idea of having The grandkids paint it is great too. Hey, even have them put hand prints on it and date it too. Clear coat it, and it will be almost weatherproof. The ideas are limitless. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I chose three 8 x 2 x 3 stock tanks. I went with them as my neighbors yard slopes towards mine and I was concerned about any chemicals they may treat their lawn with leaching into soil for my garden. So with the tanks on blocks, I have no worries of the soil being contaminated. Yes, it required a lot of work and soil, but this was my only options for planting a garden.

  6. This is an excellent idea! I have been fighting tree roots in my 2×12 wood raised beds for 4 years now. Why oh why didn't I think of this? The only downside of these would be cost but it would sure solve my root problems. Thanks for the tip!

  7. When I painted houses in the 90's I would use lemon Juice on the galvanized drip edge to make the paint adhere to the metal. Vinegar would be cheaper.

  8. Good morning Scott, quick question with galvanized metal. I know burning it causes the metal to become extremely toxic, what about leeching, if the plants are for consumption. Do we have any concern with the galvanized coating leeching off in to my
    Pot plants and killing me lol thanks -Ted

  9. We live in zone 7b and my mother has 3. She loves it because it easy for her to access.
    I would live to see what you put in them as I need ideas for her over the fall and winter.

  10. I love this idea. A hint to obtain a used tank (less expensive) – check with local riding/roundup clubs or "livestock people" … many of them have old tanks that leak sitting at the side – usually they just had water in them. I had two that leaked so painted them and converted them to gardens.

  11. The ones with metal bottoms will need holes drilled in the bottom for drainage. In my area, if I did not do that, they would turn into swimming pools from rain alone.

  12. I have one of those and a blue plastic water bucket I drilled holes in the bottom. That’s how I’m starting my garden! Wish me luck

  13. Paint: check your favorite auto parts store for "Metalcast" anodized paint. It's made for shiny chrome / shiny metals or metal cast base coat. Color is limited. I used a pretty 'happy" blue on my citronella candle buckets for the patio. Purple for the sandy butt bucket! READ directions – you don't wait a long time between coats w this stuff. Just a thought.

  14. I like this idea. I think I would drill holes higher so some water would be in the bottom to wick up. I will have to try this!!!

  15. You have missed the point of what a raised bed is. You are showing people how to make a planting container. A raised bed is completely different from a containerized plant.

    A raised bed is essentially a pile of soil and such on top of the ground. The idea of it, is that you have good soil that you continue to build up and the roots can have an unlimited amount of growing space. Raised beds allow worms to come and make your soil even better. It's a transfer of micro organisms and other things. Eight 3/8" holes aren't going to be good enough.

    These troughs make excellent planters. However, they are not raised beds.

  16. Spray the tanks with black bed liner and they warm the soil faster in te spring … Good idea to let kids paint the containers … Maked it more personalized … Each kid an have their own bed … Having the soil level between knees and waist makes tending so much easier … Don't forget to bend some hog panels overhead between two beds … Tomatoes, squash, peas and other vines love it and makes a shady spot to harvest from …

  17. Why ruin a good stock tank by drilling holes in the bottom? What happens when you change your mind a few years from now and you have a tank full of holes and cant use it for any other purpose?

    Theres a very simple solution to give you your drainage as well as not ruining an expensive tank. When you get your tank where you want it, put a layer of rocks on r stones, or gravel o mb tho bottom so it comes up just past the drain plug then lay a layer of landscape plastic over the stones and then fill with your soil. Another thing that works great is substituting the rocks and using old soda drink bottles or water bottles with the tops ON, then using the same procedure. Your tank will drain better like this than just drilling holes. I've done this for 15 years and it works great!!! If also works well on big pots so it doesn't take as much soil which can get expensive

  18. Like your ideas. With the galvanized beds wouldn't it be better to cut out the bottom so worms could migrate into the soil.

  19. Hi Scott. Do you put any hole the side of the tank? How many? Thanks. Why not if you don’t? And why yes if you do? Just asking. Lol. Have a good day.

  20. I’ve taken out all of my wooden beds & replaced with galvanized fire pit rings & premade galvanized beds to be assembled. Inexpensive & can be stacked for extra height.

  21. Found your channel watching YouTube on TV. Great video. Awesome explanation. I'm subscribed and checking out your other videos. So glad you are posting.

  22. Galvanized steel don't last forever, they will start rusting once you have moist soil in it. They do last a long time with just water on its own, but sand or soil will kill it

  23. I'm too cheap to buy new used galvanized tanks. But the investment will pay off in the long run for sure if you're willing to "buy once, cry once" rather than replacing plastic containers every couple/few years. Keep your eyes peeled for "junk…" I've found a couple smaller galvanized steel tubs at my local recycling center and here & there on the curb. People get rid of them when they get a leak or whatever, but the leaks don't bother me because I'm going to drill drainage holes in them anyway.

  24. One tip I've learned for any container is to put the drainage holes on the side an inch or two up from the bottom, NOT in the bottom itself. You will have an extra water reservoir down there that can give you a bit of leeway between waterings.

  25. Thank you so much! These raised beds are easy, peazy and a one man/woman job! I am really looking forward to getting started. Happy planting! 😄👌🏾😍

  26. If you drill into the tanks, would that interfer with the longevity of the tank by causing it to rust at those points? I think that if you pour stone in the bottom, then, with the drain kept open, the same might be accomplished. Your idea of using the tanks is great, though, for me, would be cost prohibitive.

  27. Excellent idea with the troughs. Just like you I like the wood look better and that’s the route I’m going to go with but thank you so much for this idea. However I might use for potatoes or my mothers strawberries. Again thank you

  28. I like the horse trough raise beds. That size shown are available for $50 @ tractor supply. I'm gardening on rental property and the landlord has sizable bucket loaders to move such tubs if they prove to be in his way at a later date . I mostly garden in fruit trees pruned to stay small

  29. There is a primer for galvanized steel. I bought two 1ft x6ft water tanks and primed a painted them gray. My grandkids use sidewalk chalk and draw on them they think that is great. I used 2×10 lumber on end to raise so I didn't need to bend over so much. They work great.

  30. I have used similar containers to make wicking beds for my garden with great success and less labor and time spent, Instant garden beds.

  31. Well, heck… I was liking your other 4×4 method of building raised beds, until I saw this one and slapped myself! STOCK TANKS! Of course! Great idea!

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