Patio Gardening, pots waist high beds

Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by Ganado, Dec 15, 2016.

  1. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    I've been looking at ways for my Mom to continue gardening at age 76. I figure if I can perfect some kind of standing garden for her, now I can use it when I'm her age.

    This company has these, which I would like to make but I need some help modifying. .. if you have any suggestions would really appreciate it. I'm concerned about using wood sides as in my original raised beds the wood rotted out within w seasons. having these up off the ground the weight of the site and water is significant so I'm wondering if I need to get my local welding shop to make frames

    Sorry cant get the pics to post
    Elevated Garden Beds on Legs | Elevated Planter Box | Made in USA

    I can make tall tomato and pepper pots that are self watering out of hypertufa but beds are stumping me.
    azrancher likes this.
  2. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I had the wood rot issue also. I think I should have lined the beds with something. It idea of using tubs is ugly but a great idea. I think you could grow tomatoes in them also. It would be heavy so solid legs are a must.


    Self-Watering Veggie Table
    ditch witch, chelloveck and azrancher like this.
  3. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    You can add a façade to the wood to hide the plastic if you like it wouldn't be difficult and could also strengthen the stand....
    chelloveck and azrancher like this.
  4. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    ditch witch, Ganado and azrancher like this.
  5. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    Good Idea, just add some T111 to the outsides of the frame, stain it or paint it to match your house.

    chelloveck and Yard Dart like this.
  6. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    T111 is a bit heavy, I'd be inclined toward something a lot lighter and thinner, and make it easily removable. (There will be wasps that like up underneath the box.) Also, FWIW, those casters in the pix are way too light duty for that much weight and surface. Would be much more heavy duty, were it mine. But the overall scheme is quite good.
    chelloveck and Ganado like this.
  7. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    I think T111 has to be treated to be weather proof.
    I've thought about using galvanised metal but the spans are a bit long.

    I like wood if I could just figure out how to make the Last longer

    I like the shape of this one. The trough shape would keep the weight down
    LGarden Elevated Rolling Trough Planter
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
  8. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    Hi, Ganado. Merry Christmas.

    Here's a bed that does require welding. However, all of the parts are alike (used 4X each) unless you lengthen the bed from square to rectangular.

    And all the welds are simple flat welds, run only on insides and undersides.

    The materials are 3/4" boards for the sides, 3/4" ply for the bottom, 1-1/2" angle iron for the frame & legs, iron tube to fit casters (if used), and 1-1/2" AL angle for the corners.

    Old bed frames make a great source of cheap angle iron.

    Either line the inside with aluminum sheet and then solder the joints w/ AL solder--which is easy--or build it to fit a plastic tote.

    The frame is not welded up the outside corners. Only under the bottom. When the legs are added and welded on the inside, it becomes a very solid assembly. It should last forever. Be sure to put a few drain holes in the bottom plywood so rain doesn't collect.

    I agree with azrancher that the casters shown in the first pics are far too light to last.

    Assemble the box and the AL corners with nails or screws. The corners are AL because that has sharp inside corners and will fit the wood perfectly.

    Hanging tubs, BTW, like the ones in the second posting, usually don't last long. The plastic rims rip off under the weight of the soil.

    One other thing: You can add a second frame just above the caster tubes for more strength and turn it into shelf space for pots & such.



    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
  9. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Merry Christmas to you as well!
    @UncleMorgan I can work with that design. Thank you!!
    chelloveck likes this.
  10. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    Sweet! I'm glad you like it.

    If you have a particular size you'd like to make it. let me know and I'll work up a scale drawing that the welder
    can use to put the steel together.

    This is the sort of thing that's so easy that even a welding student can do it. Since all the welds are out of sight, ugly doesn't matter.

    You might see if there's a college nearby with a welding class--the Instructors usually like little projects like this for the students.

    And, if you bring in everything already cut, they can't possibly make it the wrong size.

    Since pretty is nice, after the frame is all welded up seal the vertical cracks at the corners with painter's caulk, then paint it whatever color you like. Paint the AL corners to match, touch up the screws that hold them on, and the frame is good to go.

    You can also make a very nice (and super-cheap) "Golden Walnut" wood stain by mixing ordinary Yellow and Brown RIT Dye --use about 5-10% Yellow, adjust color to preference--in water, and sponging down the boards.
    Use measuring spoons to make up the mix.

    When dry the wood grain will be amazingly sharp. Then all you need to do is seal the wood. Polyurethane, maybe, or whatever is handy.
    Motomom34 and Ganado like this.
  11. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    you are my hero! I so appreciate your help! I will put up dimensions tomorrow I figure if I combine @Motomom34 s tubs with a 2x4 bottom that has enough gaps to let water drain out we have the best of both worlds. I'm thinking 18gal rubber maid tubs so that the garden parts are easily replaced. I need a shelf on the bottom for the water reservoir. I learned last year that in the heat I need more consistent water supply. I may need some help getting the measurements right but will do basics tomorrow
    Motomom34 likes this.
  12. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    @UncleMorgan well this took me a week to get back to you on this. I had to think about it a bit and got sidetracked

    THe roughneck 18 Gallon bins(onsale at for under $7
    Size: 23.9" L x 15.9" W x 16.5" H

    Height 16.5" add 2 inches for 2x4 for the bottom of the angle iron frame. This will let anywater overlow fall thru. but in all honestly i will probably set it up where the water will return to the reservoir on the bottom of the cart

    3 of these bins side by side 15.9 x 3 = 48" long by 24 wide and 18.5" deep? for thegrowing area and then we need to add the dimensions for the bottom. See notes below.

    im not sure on the 18.5" deep. As there needs to be a frame of angle iron on the topthat slots in and is attachd to 2x4 so my mom can lean on the edge to garden.

    Bottom of the cart NOTES
    need room for a reservoir

    if a use a 14 gallon tote
    Size: 23.9" L x 15.9" W x 12.2" H

    then the bottom of the cart needs 12.2 + 6 inches for the hoses etc. so say 18 inches for the bottom shelf

    this would make the cart, without rollers, 18+ 18.5 = 36 or 37 inches total. I think that's a great height for tomatoes and peppers which is what she wants to grow. Even if the wheels at 2-3" that is ok.

    Did I do the math right?

    my thinking is planting in tubs and insterting them in the planter so that I can help her replant and redo the tubs easily.

    Anyone else have any ideas?

    I think these will also work if we had A Year Without SUmmer
    A Year Without Summer | Page 2 | Survival Monkey Forums
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016
  13. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    self-watering grow buckets

    Self Watering Alaska Grow Buckets

    video -

    DIY version -

    Pic of the self-watering part

    smaller version on a shelf.

    Not my backyard, just up up road a ways - but this is what my hoop house looks like in the winter...

    a variation of this would work, just do a short pyramid (two or three on a side) adjust height as desired.
    Ganado likes this.
  14. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    OK--we're off and runnin'.

    1) I suggest making the bottom of the boxes out of 1X4 slats set into the iron just like a bed frame. Strength-wise, 2X4 is overkill, and the 2X4 would also be too thick for the angle iron. And 1X4s are less expensive.

    2) There will need to be "reach-in" room between the two totes, so I'd allow a hand space of 8".

    3) If the bottom tote is contained by the frame, it will have to to enter/leave vertically. But probably only once.

    5) The frame needs to stand on "legs" as long as the stem on a caster wheel. Call that 2".

    6) The overall height of the assembly would be (From the floor, no casters):
    Legs: 2"
    Angle Iron 1/8" (thk)
    Slat: 3/4"
    Bottom tote12.2"
    Handspace 8"
    Angle iron 1/8" (thk)
    Slat: 3/4"
    Top Tote: 16.5"
    Total: 40.45".

    So the height looks about right for gardening with no bending.

    I have the rest of the construction details worked out, and it looks good.

    I'll work up a set of drawings and try to get them to you tomorrow.

    Here's a picture for now: The wood box is now just 1X4 slats that drop in around the totes. No fasterers required.

    The top layer sits in the top band of the bottom layer. EZ on/off.

    The bottom tote tips to clear the handles going in or out.
    garden box.JPG
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
  15. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    @UncleMorgan it looks good but I was thinking 2x4 is so tha 3 totes sat side by side in one planter. that is alot of weight but I can grow more in one cart.

    Then I only have to have one water reservoir for every 3 totes.

    This pic shows 3 side by side

    @DKR I did the buckets last year for her and she loved them but for some veggies my mom needs a higher bed. I have grow dutch grow buckets in the works for tomatoes. Because I can conto the inputs on a weekly basis and my mom just has to stick the hose in the reservoir 2x a week. we are close to planting in az. So I will start seeding after 1st of the year.
  16. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    Ah. Three totes side by side. Can do.

    That should make no difference at all in terms of strength. The same structure is still plenty beefy enough with 1X4s.

    Think of bed slats and bed frame: Good for more than 1,000lb loads (counting party chums bouncing up and down),

    Three totes completely full of wet soil (at 110 lbs/cu ft) would be 7.38 cu. ft, and would weight 802 lbs.

    Bottom boards would go across the short way, so there would be even more strength/stiffness in the materials.

    However: with this identical design you can put in 2X4s and the only difference would be 3/4" less hand space between, and 3/4" more in total height.

    A 3-in-1 will be immovable unless on concrete with some heavy duty casters: think of the kind on an engine hoist.

    Three singles would be reasonably moveable on ordinary small steel castors. Three singles can be arranged in various groups, but would require more materials.

    I'll go down to Home Depot, measure a Roughneck and redesign for three in one.

    Then I'll send you drawings both ways, and you'll have the option to build whatever you need.

    Three triples in a U would make a nice little garden. Just set them up on large pavers, and they would be good to go.

    (BTW: Here's an interesting use of the same container.

    More later!

    Merry Christmas!
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
    Ganado likes this.
  17. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Bear in mind that bed slats are loaded near the supports (the ends) not the mid span ---
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