Tote bin raised beds?!?!?

MicropachysaurusApril 30, 2014

Hello, this year I am thinking of using 38L plastic tote bins as raised beds. My idea was to cut off the bottoms, and then to dig up a square area of grass, and then fill of the bins with compost and soil and then plant stuff in them. I am new to raised beds so, is my idea good? Will it work? ( I don't want to use wood because I suck at building stuff, lol)

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
johns.coastal.patio(USDA 10b, Sunset 24)

I might use the totes for container gardening, but I'd lean toward something else for raised beds. I think they'd become unstable, break down, with the bottom gone.

If you search "cedar raised bed kit" you can see a lot of things that, per square foot, might beat the totes on price. Home Depot had a 4 foot by 4 foot kit on sale for $40. Assuming you live near a kit seller ... it might not be hard to assemble.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 8:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenper(8)

I think it's fine, as long as you know it might not last as much as even the cheap wooden raised beds. Also, I would not know about the plastic stuff in totes without more research, so I might just grow flowers there, not vegetables.

Also, in case height is a stability issue, then maybe you could cut it in half. That way, it adds more stability and you don't need to fill it up as much!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 10:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
johns.coastal.patio(USDA 10b, Sunset 24)

A 5 gallon bucket, with the bottom removed, and punched down into the soil might do what you want too. Cutting deeper it might be better at keeping grass roots at bay.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 3:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
centexan254 zone 8 Temple, Tx

I would use 5-1-1 mix, or potting mix in a tote. The thing is even though the bottom is open there is still the compacting problems to deal with. I tried it with a high sided crate that was 18 inches tall. The plant did great at first. Then when the compaction started it got root bound real bad.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 3:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Micropachysaurus

Thank you for answering everyone, I guess I should do more research on the chemicals and stuff. How long do you think these bins would last? I mean if I did them... I will be graduating high school in two years, so really they would only have to last that long.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 8:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Micropachysaurus

And also I would be growing edibles, but also some flowers. Mostly tomatoes, various melons and lots of cucumbers ( I bought 12 varieties!!!! ) my concern is that the melons still wouldn't have enough root space, although I would dig the soil beneath the bins

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 8:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
DHLCAL

- To me, the thing about using a tote bin with bottom removed is that the four remaining sides may have a hard time holding its rectangular shape, especially if the sides are not thick/strong enough and the walls are tall. The weight of the soil/growing medium inside will push outward and bend or even break the sides.

- Perhaps a better choice for making a "bottomless container raised bed" is something round, like a bucket as pictured below:

http://cdn4.beveragefactory.com/tn2_large_r4219-brute091809155228.jpg

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 10:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Micropachysaurus

Ahhh, I see your point now. Maybe I will try the buckets with the bottoms cut out, as it might work better. Thank you :)

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 10:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
DHLCAL

Have you considered fabric containers sold by various makers as Smart Pots and the like? They come in all sizes, going from 1 gallon up to 400 gallon. These do have bottoms but because of the wicking property of the material act more like a bottomless raised bed with regard to water retention.

Also, I don't think that they are much more expensive than a plastic tote on a per gallon (or liter) basis.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 12:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Micropachysaurus

Mmm, interesting. I will do more research I suppose, but those smart pots sound like a good idea

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 9:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
johns.coastal.patio(USDA 10b, Sunset 24)

I'm thinking of going for the nursery style grow bags, white plastic, cheap.

Fun video here:

Here is a link that might be useful: The Mobile Grow Bag Garden

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 10:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mari66

HELLO everyone
I plant veggies in round plastic pots--that the nurseries get there shrubs/ trees in --they are happy to give them away free just to get rid of them-- has worked for me - just put in place before u fill = I used a tote to mix soil==
and hanging planters for flowers

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 1:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Micropachysaurus

@ mari66, aww your garden is so awesome. :) What I have now decided might work is if I use 5 gallon buckets and then use them as raised beds, by just cutting off the bottom. My question is would the plants roots go down the bucket and into the ground( mainly the melons) would this be more beneficial over just planting them in the ground?

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 6:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
johns.coastal.patio(USDA 10b, Sunset 24)

There is a rule (Rule 43) that you can find anything on the internet. Anything you can think of, someone has done it. Growing vetetables in lawns follows that pattern. Every way is out there, and probably has a video.

FWIW, here is a guy who does the "bottomless bucket" thing, but of course as you say, many people do mounds (hole dug and then filled back with soil and compost) as well.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Tomato Race

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 7:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
johns.coastal.patio(USDA 10b, Sunset 24)

(I should mention that tomatoes are one of the few plants that you can add soil to after planting. For a melon you'd want to set the soil/compost level where you want it at the beginning.)

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 7:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Micropachysaurus

I suppose you can find anything on the internet... I did more research, and I think I will do the buckets instead of the tote bins :) thanks everyone for your help, it was really appreciated

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 7:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mari66

Well I am learning also
-and need to improvise - I did buy a dollar store oval planter smashed out the bottom -it was like 6-8 inches high and put it few inches down in garden -for flowers - never figured that cheap thing would last well this is 4 yrs
so cutting the bottom -placing it on tilled soil- does work-
THANKS FORTHE IDEA FOR MY BLACK POTS- just getting them ready for this season
Happy planting Mari

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 12:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mari66

Hi
so glad to find this site and getting more ideas and since I am cleaning pots to fill for this year --gathering my seedlings and hoping it warms up soon
My cheap plastic plant pot it just starting to crack around the edge-- few pictures I took yest.
would love to see pictures of all your gardens and raised beds-- my little bed is starting to buckle -hope it goes a few
years more
Have a wonderful day -bright and sunny
Mari
PS how does one post more than one photo ???

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 8:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mari66

sunken pot- bottom cut out -flowers grow well when summer comes !!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 8:47PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Type of kale... Also, shiny metallic flakes?
Hey, my friend gave me some kale seeds from her plants...
Josie Murray
Meyer Exploding in 5-1-1
My meyer lemon in 5-1-1 is just going nuts right now....
Jay Part Shade (Zone 10B, S21, Los Angeles)
Help! My slash pine seedlings in containers are turning yellowish
I have several hundred slash pine seedlings I put in...
Florida Native
Help! My kumqat is dying
Hello everyone, I am hoping to get some help related...
bashchelik
Need help!..white spots on my lemon seedlings!!
I recently found white spots on the leaves of my lemon...
Kavitha Raghunath
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™