1. PrairieGrower

    How has your raised bed worked for you the last 2 summers? What did you plant in it? Were you pleased with the self-watering aspects and would you make any changes if you built another one? Post some pictures of what you grew, if you have them! Thanks so much for sharing your design plans.

    • Andrew

      We have really enjoyed the raised garden bed. So much in fact, that we built a second matching bed to increase our gardening space.

      12' Rectangular Raised Garden Bed

      On the first ‘L’ shaped bed, I do not think we got the liner just right, because it never seems to fill up properly with water. With the newer simpler shaped bed, the self watering does seem to work. The reservoir is probably oversized because it takes quite a while to fill up, but eventually the overflow drain will start gushing. One of the nicer things about the straight rectangle design, is that it makes it easier to fabricate a ‘hoop house’ using scrap pieces of PEX tubing and clear plastic.

      Raised Garden Bed Hoop House Cold Frame

      Last spring we were able to start broccoli plants under the hoop house and had some magnificently sized plants early in the season. Unfortunately, I think I spaced them too close together and they never produced nice heads but that was just my beginner’s mistake.

      We have had great luck with carrots, lettuce, spinach, and other veggies that rabbits normally eat up. Squirrels can still get into the beds, but they mainly like to dig around instead of eating.

      • jeff

        When you say you didn’t get the plastic quite right what do you think was the trouble? Did you do anything different with placing the plastic in the second one?
        How have the beds been holding up since you have installed them?

  2. Tangier Clarke

    This is a great project and I’d like to do something like this. The photos are great, but I honestly cannot make sense of the corrugated setup. I don’t follow how they’re being filled with water and how water is escaping those pipes with no holes. They’re not connected and there’s only one fill pipe. I keep going over these photos over and over, but can’t make sense of the fill, store, drain process. Could you help me a bit to understand.

    • Andrew

      The black pipe with yellow stripe has slits cut into it at every rib (valley). It comes this way from the store. You can see it in one of the pictures where they are placed in the bed if you zoom in on the right most one. They don’t have to be connected to one another because functionally they are just like gravel. Water can flow freely between them because of all the slits.

  3. Tom

    Great design and work Andrew! How long does it take for the plants to pick up water from the reservoir?
    Is there any need to irrigate them from above after planting to get them started?


      I was wondering about that.
      Nice project.
      Was the raised bed idea partly about avoiding tree roots?

  4. Jeff Skelton

    I read through it a couple time and maybe I still missed it, but how far was it from the top of the 4×4 to the 1×6 that was the bottom of your garden. 18 inches?

  5. Raymond Streker

    What does “self- watering” mean? Are you pouring water down that PVC chimney and it flows to the bottom? Not sure what the concept is.

  6. Dave Zingg

    Nicely done project!
    This might work well for me. I have very sandy soil and can’t afford to waste water. I like the self watering feature to potentially reduce watering frequency. I even like the idea of a ‘greenhouse’ cover.

  7. I wanted to know how the metal sides are holding up where the dirt is? How long have they been in dirt? I have read that they do not hold up well when next to the moist dirt.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.