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Galvanized Raised Garden Beds (Olle Garden Bed Review)

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We love raised garden beds here on our homestead. They make the gardening experience so much easier when you aren’t fighting with amending soil. You should check out my Olle garden bed review if you’re looking for a new galvanized raised garden bed.

Galvanized raised garden bed by Olle® in midnight grey.

We’ve been on our property for seven years, and when we started out we didn’t have any garden established at all. We also didn’t have a penny to our name, so breaking up asphalt and preparing a new garden bed in the ground was our solution.

And while, even in that first year, our garden has been productive it has taken seven years to get it really established and fight to improve the clay soil that was underneath that asphalt so we aren’t fighting with it all season long.

Then, in 2020 before lumber skyrocketed, we built wooden raised garden beds all around the perimeter of our garden so we could add to our garden space, enclose the area and not have to fight with amending soil.

Garden surrounded with a perimeter of raised beds made out of wood

I’ve seen a lot of folks over the past few years building their own galvanized raised garden beds and they look great, will last longer than wood, and are just as versatile as any other raised garden bed. While there are a ton of DIY projects, I am only one woman and had no desire to go get steel and try to fit things together myself.

Enter Olle® raised garden beds. Made of galvanized steel, completely food safe, have a wonderful rubber strip to line the top of the bed so no one is cutting themselves on the edge (the places where the beds come together are particularly sharp), and have the added bonus of coming in a variety of colors.

And while I love the raised beds we built with landscape timbers, these Olle® beds are amazing. No rotting, discoloring lumber, no sharp edges or splinters, and added bonus, they match all of the infrastructure we are currently working to add to our homestead!

Assembling Olle® Galvanized Raised Garden Beds

Assembling an Olle® galvanized raised garden bed with a duck walking in front of the camera

When I got the box, my kids and I pulled everything out and got to work with the satisfying, albeit slightly time-consuming, plastic removal that protects the bed pieces inside the box from scratches and such. My middle daughter particularly enjoyed this job, but wouldn’t let me take her picture helping out.

Pulling plastic off of metal used to make Olle galvanized raised garden beds.

After we got the plastic off of the 12 pieces of galvanized steel we went to work deciding what setup we wanted to utilize as this is a modular system and there are 4 different setups available to create with those 12 pieces of steel.

We decided to put our Olle® Garden Beds at the entrance to the garden and make two oval beds so we could have one on each side and fill them with herbs and flowers. Since our chickens free range whenever the weather is nice and we are home, I will be draping these with fine mesh garden netting to keep the chickens out of it, but I wanted to be able to expand our growing area, not keep it the same by placing these inside our already established in ground garden.

Building them was really straightforward. I had my youngest help me by putting the washers on the bolts that came in the box while I stuck them through the pieces and tightened the nut. I attached the two curved pieces for each end together first, then I attached the long side pieces to the outside of those as the instructions informed me to do.

Assembling Olle galvanized raised garden beds.

After we got everything built, I took the included wrench and tightened all of the nuts. Then, We took the included rubber strip and fit it over the top of the first bed, cut it to length with a pocket knife and attached the rest to the remaining bed and cut the last little excess off. A few of the edges where the pieces of steel meet were a little wonky to get the rubber strip over, but it just took a little finesse and they slipped right on.

After we built them, we picked their permanent spot. These beds are open on the bottom, which is great as it allows for adequate drainage unlike utilizing a stock tank and drilling holes (these are also cheaper than stock tanks and built just as well). However, we chose to line the bottoms with a little weed fabric because even though they are 17″ tall, it will help keep the weeds down at least temporarily.

Next, we filled them with composted topsoil. Now, there are all kinds of arguments for and against filling your beds in this way. Some people layer in wood and all kinds of things to cut down on the amount of soil, but personally, we’ve always had good luck with topsoil, so that’s what we choose to use to fill them. It took quite a bit of composted material to fill each bed… about a total of 3/4s of a ton.

Then, we planted them with our flowers and herbs! The whole process from removing the plastic, to assembly, to filling and planting took an hour. The actual assembly was about half of that and we have a tractor to fill the beds so it was a bit quicker for us.

Benefits of Olle® Galvanized Raised Garden Beds

Olle® galvanized raised garden bed

These beds are very versatile. As I mentioned there are 12 different configurations to assemble to make the most of your space and make it fit where you need it.

And while I’m all about functionality, something aesthetically pleasing is always a welcomed addition and these come in a variety of colors to match whatever you have going on on your property.

Planting daisies in a galvanized raised garden bed made by Olle®

These galvanized raised garden beds are made out of 24 gauge galvanized steel and coated with a completely food safe coating meaning that they won’t leach questionable things into your soil and plants and they’ll last a really long time (20+ years). They also don’t heat up super hot. We built these on a really hot day and I have the midnight grey and they weren’t too hot to the touch even with the sun beating down directly onto them.

Another great thing about these is they’re open on the bottom. While a lot of people use stock tanks and other items that are closed and drill drainage holes into it, this isn’t ideal as it really doesn’t allow for adequate drainage.

And lastly, they’re recyclable. Unlike wood which will just naturally break down these beds can be recycled if and when the need arises so you’re not just wasting material… it can be reused.

I don’t know about you, but I’m all about streamlining processes, making things easier for myself and not trying to DIY every single project on our homestead. I will definitely be adding more of these raised beds to increase our growing space year after year.

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Thursday 11th of May 2023

I love these beds too. I bought the sage green 17" 12-in-1. It was cheaper or about the same price as our 12'x3' redwood bed with brick corners, requires no staining, went together instantly, and is easy to move around - not so for 12' long pieces of redwood! We filled ours halfway up with the dead tree that gave us the space in our orchard for another vegetable bed, limbs from pruning, and rotting straw ( I bought too many bales for mulch one year), then topped with our own compost and filled to the top. You "charge" the debris with water before covering with soil, and it acts as a sponge and releases the moisture slowly as needed. I usually put a chicken wire bottom under my beds to keep our gophers, but not this one, as it is for asparagus and artichokes, which have deep roots. I also use indoor/outdoor carpet instead of weed cloth, it takes much longer for the weeds to come through that, and the water drains right on through. But I left it off this bed because of the deep roots. After one year, the straw and wood "core" has gone down to about half, and I'm not sure if I should fill it back up with fresh compost, as the artichokes and asparagus are perennial. Will it hurt to bury them? Try to raise them up? Another mistake I made using bird netting - I put it over the top of a raised vegetable bed that had critter fences around it - and the bees wouldn't go inside, so nothing got pollinated that year! I took it off and put "bird scare tape" (mylar strips) at the top of the fence, and I haven't had much bird damage. I'm definitely getting more of those Olle beds, as soon as I can.

Danielle McCoy

Sunday 21st of May 2023

They are great beds. I would go ahead and put some soil back on top of the beds, while I don't have experience with artichokes, you can definitely cover up asparagus and it will be fine, the artichokes should be, too. Happy gardening!!

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