A Tutorial for Raised Bed Gardening in Galvanized Troughs
This is a project that I have been planning since last Fall. It is finally implemented. How it will turn out, I am not sure. Right now I am very encouraged and have high hopes for success. First, I drilled holes all over the bottom of each trough. They should be at least pencil size or larger. I also removed the drainage plug on the side. You must have good drainage for these to work. I bought three 2X4X2 galvanized horse troughs and one 2X6X2 trough at Tractor Supply last winter.
I also bought some 2X4's and plywood to level each trough off.
I filled the bottoms of each one with Styrofoam packing which I saved over this last year. I also used plastic bottles and gallon milk jugs. These filled a bit less than a foot in the bottom of each trough. Then I covered them with two layers of plastic mesh.
Next, I draped the interior of each trough with gardening fabric. I temporarily taped the fabric to the sides to hold it in place while I filled it. Make sure the fabric overlaps. You want to keep the dirt in place and keep it from falling down to the bottom of the troughs.
Then, I filled each one with a mixture of potting soil, manure, compost and some coffee grounds.
After filling, you remove the tape and trim the fabric down to dirt level.
I bought these troughs to do away with small container gardening but found that they really just gave me more room to plant using the old smaller pots! I planted radishes and carrots in the some of the pots and I bought container cukes and zucchini to see if I have any luck growing them in pots. I've tried growing them for years in my lower garden but something kept eating the blossoms.
So far, I have planted a lot of tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. I wanted to buy more troughs but I thought I had better try it out this year with just four before investing in any more.
I planted different varieties of all of the above and staked the tomatoes with cages.
Eventually, I will lay a soaker hose across the top of all of the planters for watering.
I am going to be doing more work on these today and I will continue to show their progress as the season goes along.