Myth 1: Zinc can seep into the soil
Galvanized steel is produced by bonding a layer of zinc to the surface of the steel. This helps prevent the metal from rusting.
One of the biggest concerns gardeners have with metal garden beds is that the zinc used in the process can seep into the soil and damage any plants and vegetables growing in them.
While small amounts of zinc may seep into your soil over a long period of time, that's not necessarily a bad thing for your vegetables or the people who eat them.
Zinc is a natural mineral commonly found in garden soils. In fact, both plants and humans need small amounts of zinc to survive.
The trace amounts of zinc your plants may be absorbing from garden beds are not enough to affect your plants or harm anyone who eats vegetables grown in your garden beds.
Also, galvanized steel beds are very durable and require exposure to high acidity to break down the steel. Most garden soils are pH neutral, so they are highly unlikely to damage your garden beds.
If you're still concerned about the possibility of zinc leaching into the soil, think about it. In the past, galvanized steel has been safely used as the primary material for a variety of food and water-related items, including livestock watering troughs, granaries, water storage, and even household water pipes.
Myth 2: Metal garden beds can get too hot
Metal conducts heat and is usually warm to the touch after sitting in the sun.
Do metal garden beds cause plants and soil to overheat? the answer is negative.
On warm days, soil temperatures near the edge of the garden may rise slightly, but not enough to have any effect on the plants. If you water your garden bed plants properly, you don't have to worry about them drying out.
Like metal patio furniture or fencing, metal garden beds will warm after sitting in the sun for extended periods of time, but are still safe to touch and handle.
In fact, at the end of the growing season, when temperatures start to drop, metallic materials will insulate your plants and soil, and make soil temperatures more consistent.
Myth 3: Metal garden beds need a lot of soil
One of the main advantages of raised garden beds is that you can choose the best type of soil for a particular plant, rather than relying on existing soil in your yard or garden.
However, beginner gardeners may be intimidated by the initial amount of soil required to set up a garden bed.
It's true that garden beds do need soil, but they're not as much as you might think. Most plants and vegetables only need about a foot of good-quality soil to grow.
Instead of filling the entire garden bed with soil, use a filler like pine cones, packed peanuts, or sand to cover the bottom half of the garden bed. Then, place a piece of landscape fabric on top of the fill and fill the top half with your favorite soil.
For other tips on how to use stuffing, check out our article, 5 Tips for Gardening with Large Pots.
Myth 4: Metal garden beds need a lot of water
Raised garden beds are often large, and the thought of keeping the bed watered may seem daunting, but by following a few tips, you can keep the soil moist without constantly watering the garden bed.
When it comes to gardening, choosing the right soil is key, whether you're growing in the ground, in a garden pot, or in a garden bed.
According to a 2021 article from bobvila.com, the best soil choice for raised garden beds is a light soil mix. This type of soil retains moisture so you don't have to water the bed as often. Avoid loose, sandy soils as the water will flow too fast and you will need to water again.
When the plants need to be watered, water them deeply in the soil around the base of the plants. Do not water their leaves or flowers. A soaker hose or drip irrigation system are two useful watering methods for garden beds.
Myth 5: Metal garden beds have poor drainage
On the other hand, another myth about the persistence of raised garden beds is the opposite of myth #4, that metal garden beds are poorly drained and your plants will drown in standing water. This is also not true.
Once again, being able to choose the right soil for your metal garden beds is a great benefit, as you can choose a light soil that drains easily. Also, many garden beds are either bottomless or have drainage holes that allow water to easily pass through the soil and into the ground.
Maintain Your Metal Garden Bed to Keep It Safe
Now that you know more about metal garden beds, here are some additional tips to help you maintain your garden bed to prolong the life of its product and solve some of the aforementioned problems and grow healthier plants and vegetables .
Avoid acidic soils: To further prevent small amounts of zinc from seeping into the soil, do not use highly acidic soils or amendments in garden beds, as acid is what causes galvanized steel to break down over time.
Use a liner: If you plan to grow plants that require acidic soil, use plastic liners on the sides of the garden bed to prevent direct contact between the soil and the sides of the pot.
Add mulch: Adding mulch to your garden bed will help prevent evaporation, so your garden bed will retain water for longer.
Water your plants early: Another tip for properly watering your garden bed is to water it early in the morning, before the sun is high. This helps ensure your plants get the moisture they need before they evaporate.
Choose the right location: When setting up your garden bed, place it in a location where it won't receive full-day sunlight to prevent the garden bed from drying out in the heat.
Build your dream garden with durable metal raised garden beds
Now that we've cleared up some of the myths and misconceptions about metal garden beds, you can safely use these stylish containers to grow delicious vegetables and beautiful flowers.
You'll love the many benefits these elegant containers offer. With durable construction and a unique look, you'll be able to grow your favorite plants season after season.
Interested in a garden bed that fits your landscape? Be sure to check out our collection of the highest quality olle garden beds. Thanks for reading, and happy gardening!
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