Making Raised Beds from Galvanized Roofing Tins

Tin roofing makes an affordable and attractive raised garden bed.
Tin roofing makes an affordable and attractive raised garden bed. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Raised beds offer higher yields per square foot of garden and are easier to maintain than traditional beds, according to the Ohio State University Extension website. They also make it easier to have optimal garden soil; just buy some and dump it in. In addition, raised beds are a little warmer than beds placed directly in the earth, leading to a longer growing season. Most raised beds are made of wood, but an attractive and inexpensive bed can also be made of galvanized tin used for roofing. The instructions here are for a bed 12-by-5 feet.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood stakes
  • Hammer
  • Measuring tape
  • Eight 30-inch metal posts (cut from chainlink fence posts)
  • Band saw
  • Sledgehammer
  • 1/4 lb. of 2-inch metal screws
  • 32 feet of 1 1/2-foot-wide corrugated tin (cut from 3-foot-wide pieces)
  • 64 feet of 1-by-3-inch lumber cut from 1-by-6-inch planks
  • Circular saw
  • Clamps
  • 1/8 lb. 2-inch galvanized deck screws
  • Quality garden soil

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Mark the location of the bed by measuring out its dimensions and pounding one stake into each corner with a hammer.

Cut the metal posts with a band saw, so they will be as tall as the bed plus 1 foot.

Remove one wooden stake and replace it with one prepared metal post, pounding it in place with a sledgehammer if your soil is hard. One foot of the post should be below the ground. Continue removing the wooden stakes and replacing them with metal ones.

Secure the corrugated tin to the metal posts using 2-inch metal screws.

Cut the wood planks in half along their length, using a circular saw. They should be the correct length for the bed and 3 inches wide.

Place the wood against the top outer edge of the tin, clamping it into place. Screw the wood into the posts with 2-inch metal screws.

Cut more wood so it’s the correct length to place a safety “seal” on the sharp top edge of tin. Cut the ends at a 45-degree angle. Screw the wood “seal” into the wood edging using 2-inch deck screws.

Pour high quality garden soil into the finished raised bed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some gardeners feel pressure treated wood isn’t safe for edibles. An alternative is redwood or composite.
  • Be sure to build the raised bed where it will receive at least six hours of sun each day.
  • The tin can be sharp enough to cut skin. For protection, wear thick leather gloves until the safety “seal” is in place.


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