Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunset Magazine's Perfect Raised Bed Garden

Sunset's design is 8 feet long and 4 feet wide with
the middle is easily reachable from either side.
Sunset Magazine has posted a great article to make a simple raised-bed garden box.  I like the design overall, and they give excellent instructions on the materials as well as how to put them together.  I think it is a perfect design for those who look to get started quickly, cheaply, and with an emphasis on function.

The only thing I would say is a challenge with this design vs. the one we have used The OctoGarden is the positioning of the posts.  In this design, the posts are on the interior of the box, and the outer boards are screwed into it.  This makes for a very easy project to put it together vs. the metal angles we have used.

My concern is that I've seen the boards (particularly when purchased from Home Depot/Lowe's warp considerably in the first two years.  You can either hope the inevitable does not happen, or plan for it.  In this design by Sunset, I predict that some of the corners will start pulling apart after 2 seasons, and as a result the boards will no line up to create a crisp corner.

The OctoGarden's design (which is now in it's 5th season) allows for the warpage, but it occurs between the corner posts.  And, the galvanized metal angles on the interior flex to accomodate the warpage.  As a result, the boxes themselves retain their right-angle corners, and the wood between actually looks like we may have bent it for aesthetic appeal.   In reality, we've not tried to change the nature of what cheap wood does outdoors, but instead allowed and accounted for it in our design.

Whether you choose to go with Sunset's or our design, the most important part is the plants that go inside.  And, in that regard, you really can't go wrong either way.  The wood will hold the dirt, and your plants will thrive in raised-bed gardens.

See Sunset's design here:

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