Build Raised Garden Beds From 55-Gallon Plastic Barrels

Texas homesteading couple makes raised garden beds out of 55-gallon plastic barrels for an assortment of vegetable growing pursuits.

| November/December 2016

  • These raised garden beds are easy to assemble and use.
    Photo courtesy FARM SHOW

“I wanted to show your readers the raised garden beds my wife, Debbie, and I recently made out of some treated lumber and 55-gallon plastic barrels,” says Terry Benoit, Orange, Texas.

“We’ve used raised garden beds for years to grow watermelons, squash, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, corn and strawberries. But this year, we came up with a new approach using treated lumber and 55-gallon plastic barrels. I used three of the barrels to build six raised garden beds. They’re high enough that we don’t have to bend over to plant or pick vegetables.

“I cut the barrels in half, drilled 1/2-inch holes in the bottom spaced 3 inches apart for drainage, and added topsoil. Then I used treated wood to make a 4-legged structure for each half barrel. The barrels are recessed about 4 inches inside the upper part of the structure to make the growing area a little deeper. The vertical support legs are made from 2-by-4-inch treated wood.

“This is our first year using our new raised garden beds. We’re growing watermelons and squash in them, and so far, so good.”

5/6/2020 7:30:36 PM

How are the barrels fastened to the wood?

James Thompson
4/28/2019 6:34:02 PM

I did almost the exact same, but made the frames to hold both halves of the barrels so they are basically double length. I put rock in the bottom so it raises the soil and leaves a water reservoir with the overflow at the caps of about 1/2 inch. You did a great job on yours, ty for posting it.

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