Best Above Ground Planter For Veggies??

IGBT

Lifer
Jul 16, 2001
17,785
62
91
Wondering what's the best way to go...elevated structure on legs or ground level structure constructed above the ground. Then fill with organic planting soil optimized for vegetables?? I'd like to grow broccoli and cauliflower and Brussel sprouts...any thoughts on this??
 

herm0016

Diamond Member
Feb 26, 2005
8,149
831
126
depends on climate. we use shorter raised beds to keep the soil temp warmer when its cold and lower when its hot out. in the greenhouse i use beds that are on legs with heat tape underneath them to keep the soil temp above freezing in the winter. for deep rooted things like brassicas you may want them on the ground. what is your USDA zone? we have a small farm in zone 5b. aprox 100f to -20f temp range.

I like to mix some native soil into my on ground beds and till the bottom up a bit before filling. this can help with deep rooted stuff not encountering a hard wall at the bottom. we had to make a sort of temporary garden area this year due to some construction so bought these:

we are quite happy with them for the price and effort. we will be moving them to our permanent space at the end of this season.
 
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IGBT

Lifer
Jul 16, 2001
17,785
62
91
depends on climate. we use shorter raised beds to keep the soil temp warmer when its cold and lower when its hot out. in the greenhouse i use beds that are on legs with heat tape underneath them to keep the soil temp above freezing in the winter. for deep rooted things like brassicas you may want them on the ground. what is your USDA zone? we have a small farm in zone 5b. aprox 100f to -20f temp range.

I like to mix some native soil into my on ground beds and till the bottom up a bit before filling. this can help with deep rooted stuff not encountering a hard wall at the bottom. we had to make a sort of temporary garden area this year due to some construction so bought these:

we are quite happy with them for the price and effort. we will be moving them to our permanent space at the end of this season.
I looks like something that may work for me...I'm in Southern Nevada so I'll have to also use some kind of protective sun screen due to the searing heat...
 

herm0016

Diamond Member
Feb 26, 2005
8,149
831
126
check out https://www.bootstrapfarmer.com/
we have one of their benders and use EMT to make our hoops. we use a heavy duty row cover in the spring and fall to protect from frost but it also would work well for shade cloth in the summer over hoops with the plastic clips.


row cover:

their plastic clip things are much better than the black ones on amazon


The metal beds can get warm in the sun, but we have them mulched around with about 6 inches of mulch and that has helped a lot. We bought some "planters mix" from a local landscaping materials company. Split a whole dump truck with a neighbor to reduce per yard cost.
 
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bbhaag

Diamond Member
Jul 2, 2011
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We went the no legs route and have been really happy over the past 3 years. The reason we went with ground level is because of the increased soil volume and water retention benefits that elevated structures don't offer. Of course elevated structures have benefits to. They are easier to move if your veggies aren't getting enough sunlight. They are also are cheaper to fill with a premium grade potting medium and they take up less space and come pre-assembled for easier construction.

Anyway, in the end it's up to you and really it depends on how long you see yourself doing this. All I can add beyond this is some super awesome pics of mine!:)

This is the front side leading into the beds.
IMG_20220624_192524466_HDR.jpg

Here is a pic of the back. You can tell from the color of the wood that we have added more boxes over the years.
IMG_20220624_192607409_HDR.jpg

Here is a side view with Shelby sniffing some Lemon grass. We also fill pots full of herbs and flowering pollinator plants.
IMG_20220624_192715874_HDR.jpg
 

IGBT

Lifer
Jul 16, 2001
17,785
62
91
We went the no legs route and have been really happy over the past 3 years. The reason we went with ground level is because of the increased soil volume and water retention benefits that elevated structures don't offer. Of course elevated structures have benefits to. They are easier to move if your veggies aren't getting enough sunlight. They are also are cheaper to fill with a premium grade potting medium and they take up less space and come pre-assembled for easier construction.

Anyway, in the end it's up to you and really it depends on how long you see yourself doing this. All I can add beyond this is some super awesome pics of mine!:)

This is the front side leading into the beds.
View attachment 63562

Here is a pic of the back. You can tell from the color of the wood that we have added more boxes over the years.
View attachment 63563

Here is a side view with Shelby sniffing some Lemon grass. We also fill pots full of herbs and flowering pollinator plants.
View attachment 63564
I love this...has peace..and quiet all over it...the pot in the back is beautiful.
 
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IGBT

Lifer
Jul 16, 2001
17,785
62
91
In Southern Nevada we live in the High Plains Desert aprox 4k feet above Las Vegas...the dirt is largely rocky hard pack and caliche...there are no earth worms. When it get wet it turns into a gooey sticky mess...
What is caliche dirt?


Caliche is defined as an amorphous (non-crystalline) mass of calcium carbonate (limestone) mixed with clay. The cement-like layer below the soil surface that is often called caliche is termed a "petrocalcic horizon" by soil scientists.
 

Gardener

Senior member
Nov 22, 1999
577
229
116
There are several solutions which allow you to use less potting soil in tall planters...filling the bottom half clean yardwaste, old rotting wood (rotted firewood works great), and with overturned pots.

I've seen commercial planters 2/3rds filled with packing peanuts and soda cans...both are an impractical mess to sort out when that time comes.
 

bbhaag

Diamond Member
Jul 2, 2011
6,042
1,411
136
I love this...has peace..and quiet all over it...the pot in the back is beautiful.
Thanks! It has been a lot of work, time, and money invested over the past few years with some frustrations thrown in for good measure haha but the end results have been worth it. Let me know if you have any more questions about raised bed veggie gardening. I'll be glad to help if I can. :)
 

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