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After using this system now, I feel the cabinets would be better arranged 2 wide rather than these single rows of cabinets. It would be very easy to work the width of two cabinets (24" - 30") on the sides and even three cabinets wide in any area where one has access to both sides of the row.
Be patient on auction sites and you can get a bulk purchase fairly reasonably. Find out where your local, regional, and state governments dump their surplus.
I grinned :D
The original bottoms of the cabinets (which I butted together) are wide open. The cabinets drain fine. The tops of the cabinets are painted. I don't expect they'll rust any faster than a car would. In 20 years or so, maybe I'll take the cabinets to metal recycling. I also expect to repaint the cabinets.
The (original) bottoms are open, so they drain well. Being commercial cabinets, it will probably be 5-7 years before the part on the ground rusts enough to cause any concern and, at that point, I'll probably build some wood bases. I'm not a fan of using any more plastic than I have to - but I know some people love to do their plants that way. That's a great idea for those who love it and I do love your greenhouse idea :) I have a lot of clear plastic available.
Iron isn't bad for plants, but the cabinets are painted and there's cloth between the soil and the cabinets. Everything drains well.
The bottoms of filing cabinets are fairly open (and not attractive). By pairing my cabinets, I was able to butt two bottoms together so they are not visible once everything is installed. With the open bottoms, the cabinets drain quite freely.
The soil is separate from the sides with cloth and the bottom, where it's likely to rust, is more than a foot away. The original bottoms of the cabinets are open. Since I butted the bottoms to each other, you don't see the draining part.
Yes, already using the drawers! See a number of the pictures, there are two off to the eft at the moment. I drilled holes in the down-slope ends for drainage, but the (original) bottoms already drain. Burying is a nice idea and would save/recover soil. I like the height. When these start to rust, I'll add wood support at first. I don't see the fill material rusting. It doesn't stay wet.
Easy Recycled Raised Beds With Deer Screen
Easy Raised Beds With Deer ...View Instructable »
Tools + Materials
Table Saw Class
Home Depot makes two different lids for their buckets. At my local one they're both the same price. You can get the snap on ones which are also orange, but they make a black lid for the white bucket that also fits on the orange buckets that are easier to get on and off. I collect liquid in my buckets so I need the snap on ones but I'm thinking about making a seat using the ones that are easier to put on and off.