A raised garden for a friend: small spaces work!

  • I have a good friend who wanted to grow tomatoes. She is an amazing woman, and she lives with her husband in an over-55 community that has very small yards. I built her a single garden box to grow tomatoes in, and she liked it so much she wanted two double boxes. She loves harvesting vegetables to eat, and she is an amazing cook too! And her garden is a great example of how you don’t need a big yard (or even much of a yard at all) to have a raised garden. Here’s a few pics of her new box going in.

    last box before the trellis and soil

    I just added her second two bed garden

    June 8th, 2012 | 62 Comments | Tags: ,

62 Responses and Counting...

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  • OMGosh Melanie! I cannot thank you enough for designing these plans. I can’t wait to get started on them…

  • Yeah Beth! Let me know how it goes and send pictures if you can. So excited for you! I hope you enjoy gardening as much as I do!
    thanks for the sweet words!
    hugs back!

  • I’m interested as I am getting too old for bending anymore. Husband too! I see the black boxes/pans and have some questions. First, are they plastic? They almost look like pond liners or giant dish pans. Second, what are the limitations of what can be grown? I guess weight wise and also depth needed for roots. Can you grow anything you want?

  • Jodi,
    Hi! I have grown anything and everything in my garden, click around my website to see. My plans are designed to hold the weight of the tubs. They are cement mixing tubs and are very sturdy. They are also BPA free and safe to grow things in.
    I hope that answers some of your questions!
    thanks and good luck to you!

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  • How does this work without drainage holes, or are there some in the bottom?

  • Yes there are drainage holes in the tubs. All the details are in my plans.
    If you are interested in the plans, here is the link to them.

  • This looks amazing… Thank you for sharing this..
    Can’t wait to get started…

  • Hello,
    Did you put anything in the bottom , other than drainage holes (gravel, pavking peanuts,ect)? I have the same containers as y’all. We had problems with drainage using them last season. Thank You:)

  • Lilly,
    Hi! I didn’t put anything but the holes. Make sure you have plenty of holes though.
    Good luck to you!

  • Hello. If u plan put holes.that fine prevent to much watering. Ok just put old screen leave in there pour in all soil. Won’t loose soil.. and almost same my friend make same as pictures. But my friend idea different. He use rain barrell or wood boxes and mesh.and more.. also sunshade. Some day I send u pictures. I m set up right now.;)

  • Sounds great! Send pictures, I would love to see. Thanks for the comment!

  • Deb

    I love these raised beds!!!! The tubs will keep the wood from drying out the soil like most raised beds do. Excellent and ty… Deb

  • Thank you for sharing this wonderful Idea. It is not overly complicated and the use of the cement mixing troughs is genius. Really appreciated.

  • T

    Sam’s Warehouse Club has bus boy tubs that would work great or may be able to pick them up at a restaurant supply.

  • I just want to know how to build this raised bed. I would love to do a bed like this a bit narrower for some herbs on the side of my house. Great idea.

    IG :gardenideas.

  • Lorraine,
    Hi! The directions on how to build this type of bed are found here.

    They are ten dollars for the complete set of plans.
    Good luck to you!

  • I bought the plans last fall and their set up in my yard now. I know when I first read your site you had something about using cattle panels for archway supports. Would you please tell me again and show a picture? I’m a visual person. This would be so helpful. Thank you.

  • Joyce,
    Here are the details on my trellis:
    Good luck to you!

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  • Great idea Melanie. One question though, you mention that the tubs are BPA free. Do you suggest where to purchase them in your instruction package? I looked at tubs online at Home Depot and they say that they are PVC but I’m not sure if they are BPA free. Some research indicated that some Type 3 PVC may leech BPA. Going to stop in to my local HD to see the stamp in the plastic.

  • They are 2 or 5 and both are safe and BPA free. I called the manufacturer of these tubs to make sure and they verified that they are BPA free.

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  • I love this idea! For somebody disabled like me, it’s a great way to be able to garden without breaking my back!

  • […] photo source: RaisedUrbanGardens […]

  • […] photo source: RaisedUrbanGardens […]

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  • I am concerned about the heat here in south Louisiana. Has anyone had a problem with the and drying out the soil in the tub?

  • Clyde,
    Hi! I water twice a day in the heat of the summer and once at other times. I haven’t had a problem with them drying out.
    Good luck to you!

  • Hi, Melanie! I contacted Plasgad {manufacturer of the cement mixing tubs @ Home Depot) directly, and they said they are made out of raw, recycled materials and are NOT food grade or suggested for use in gardening, as toxins may leech into the soil and plants. Were you referring to another brand of mixing tubs, because I’d love to build this at home! I’m disabled with MS and will probably be in a wheelchair full-time in the not so distant future, so this set up would work perfectly for me! Looking forward to your response! Thanks! 🙂

  • Cheree,
    Hi! When I designed my plans I contacted the manufacturer of the tubs as well and asked if they were BPA free. I was told that they were BPA free. I did not ask if they were food grade. I know lots of containers that others garden in, clay pots and other plastics, which are not food grade but are BPA free. I totally understand your hesitation in using any product for gardening and wouldn’t want you to have any problems with it. If you have purchased the plans and would like a refund, please let me know. Thanks and good luck to you!

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  • Thank you for these plans. I plan on building for a hydro garden.

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  • Can you give me an approximate price to build one of these planters?

  • […] If you have a small yard but love growing and harvesting your own vegetables, then you should consider a raised garden bed. Find more details and instructions via raisedurbangardens. […]

  • Can you please tell me about what the cost will be to build each bed with your plans?

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  • You have totally inspired me. E-mail me and I will show you my plans for what I am going to build for next spring.

  • Joe

    I have a question. How deep does a raised garden need to be Sorry I’m new at this Hope to hear from you or anyone

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  • A lot of my weeds have a special place in my garden. I use a 5 gallon bucket and anaerobic compost all of them so they don’t infest my compost pile but still contribute to the prosperity of the garden.

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  • Hi – i love These boxes. They are simple and look affordable. I’m thinking i woukd Like to purchase the plans – but before I get started I would like to know what the average cost is for one bed. Wood is expensive these days! I just Ordered some plastic raised boxes from Amazon – but these are higher & larger. Can you use pallet wood for them ? TIA!

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