This guy makes decorative molds for pouring his own concrete panels that rapidly and easily assemble into a garden box (or boxes of various dimentions / ratios). They also come apart readily and can be easily moved or reconfigured.
They are 8 inches tall and 2.5 inches thick. Made in 2 foot, 3 foot or 4 or “whatever” length you like. I’m going to present the videos in the same order he made them, just be advised that the first video uses plywood for the mold, while in the 2nd video he makes them simpler with dimension lumber.
First up, the first make with plywood. Nice intro to the whole idea of them. Having had a set of nice redwood framed slightly raised beds ( all of 6 inches) just rot away after a few years, I can see the attraction of the cement ones. Then, having wanted to re-lay my squares into rectangles, and realizing that would mean all new lumber, well, I still have squares. Finally, at least in California, plank wood, and redwood in particular, has become astoundingly expensive. Cement is still cheap. 24 Minutes:
These would be easy to make once the forms are made and oiled. Then, they are also easy to move around. Here, in the 2nd version, he has an “easier” way to make the forms. This was the one I saw first. I like the various raised bed boxes he has in the background of the opening. 25 minutes:
In his third variation, he tries a few different light weight concrete mixes, including “Aircrete”. Cement and foamed shampoo? Who knew… 19 minutes:
I like the idea of the lighter weight panels. I suspect there may be better concrete mixes than what he used, but I’m not sure what that might be. I wonder if anyone sells crushed pumice? ;-) It would likely be needed to have a top board on the mold to keep it all from floating to the top… Using a decorative inset on both sides would also lighten the panels while not reducing strength all that much, though keeping the reinforcing wire centered might be a bit harder.
I’ll not be doing this any time soon, but want to “mark it” as it would be very helpful in Florida; where you need good drainage from all the rain, and where wood tends to not last long what with the tropical heat and humidity and the termites. So while not interested in moving concrete panels across the whole country, I am interested in making a better set of raised beds once moved.
I’m also thinking this would be a better way to make the base for hydroponic tables. Cinder blocks are OK and all, but I think this might work better. Perhaps with a concrete “table top” slab laid over it to support the water table.