Are Galvanized Steel Garden Beds Safe?
Are galvanized steel garden beds safe? Yes, they are perfectly safe to grow food in. The zinc coating that is on the steel that makes it galvanized takes acid in order to break down before it can any potential issues. When it comes to filling your garden bed most soil blends are neutral in pH so the soil won’t cause the coating to break down.
When it comes to gardening, there are many different materials that you can choose from when constructing your garden beds. One popular option is galvanized steel. But is this material safe for use in a garden?
In this blog post, we will take a look at the pros and cons of galvanized steel garden beds and help you decide if this is the right choice for you!
What Is Galvanized Steel?
Galvanized steel is steel that has been coated with a layer of zinc. This process, known as galvanization, helps to protect the steel from corrosion and extends its lifespan. To make galvanized steel, manufacturers first clean the steel in acid solutions to remove impurities. Then, the steel is dipped in a bath of molten zinc, creating a strong bond between the zinc and the steel.
What Is Galvanized Steel Used For?
Galvanized steel can be used for many different things including roofing, fencing, and even garden beds. The zinc coating helps to protect the steel from rust and corrosion in outdoor environments.
What Are the Advantages of Using Galvanized Steel Garden Beds?
Some of the advantages of using galvanized steel in your garden beds include:
Durability and longevity – the zinc coating helps protect the steel from rust and corrosion, meaning your garden beds will last for years to come.
Easy to clean – since the surface is smooth and nonporous, it’s easy to wipe down or hose off any dirt or debris.
Versatility – galvanized steel garden beds can be used for a variety of plants and are easily adaptable to different gardening styles such as raised bed gardening or square foot gardening. Certain galvanized raised bed kits can be configured in multiple layouts so you could change it up if you wanted to after a few years.
Lightweight – compared to other materials like wood, galvanized steel is much lighter and easier to move around your garden if needed.
Longer Life – galvanized steel garden beds will outlast any wood. Untreated pine lasts 3-4 years, treated pine lasts 6-8 years, and cedar has been known to last upwards of 10-15 years depending on the thickness of the wood and the climate. Galvanized steel beds can easily last 30 years in your garden.
Reliable – Because these beds are built to last you will not have to worry about having to replace them for a long time. They are tried, true, and very reliable.
Extend Your Season – galvanized steel garden beds will heat up the soil inside them quicker in the spring than traditional wood beds and hold onto heat longer going into fall. This adds about an extra two weeks to your growing season in the early spring and another two weeks in the late fall extending your season so that you can grow more.
Our Favorite Galvanized Steel Garden Beds
- Olle Galvanized Raised Garden Bed Elevated Raised Garden
- Olle Galvanized Raised Garden Bed Elevated Raised Garden 32″ Deep
- Olle Twin Round Metal Raised Garden Beds
Is Zinc Going to Leach from Galvanized Metal?
Yes, but only in very small amounts over long periods of time. Galvanized steel beds have had a protective layer of zinc put on them to help them last and to prevent corrosion and rusting.
Is Aluminum Going to Leach from Galvanized Metal?
No, galvanized steel is steel that has been coated with zinc so that it will last for years without rusting or corroding. Typically, galvanized steel beds do not contain aluminum unless they are put together with aluminum hardware. In this case, you do not have to worry about aluminum leaching into the garden.
Can Galvanized Steel Be Used for Raised Beds?
Yes, galvanized steel can be used to build raised garden beds. It is completely safe to use for this purpose and will last an incredibly long time in your garden. You can buy a pre-made galvanized steel garden bed kit or make your own by buying the materials and building it yourself.
Is It Safe to Plant in Galvanized Steel?
Yes, it is safe to plant in galvanized steel. The steel is coated with a zinc coating that helps the steel not to corrode or rust over time even with coming into contact with moisture in the soil.
Zinc is a widely used metal in all sorts of different applications as well as being a natural substance found in the ground so there is really nothing to worry about when it comes to this coating.
How Long Do Galvanized Steel Garden Beds Last?
In comparison, metal beds last considerably longer than traditional wooden beds but when you are talking about the galvanized steel beds that are available on the market today – you will get a ton of years out of one of those.
The galvanized steel beds will easily last anywhere between 30 to 60 years. It would be other materials like wood braces or posts if you build your own galvanized beds that would give out first.
Are Galvanized Steel Garden Beds Good?
Yes, galvanized steel garden beds are good. They work very well for growing all sorts of vegetables, fruits, and even salad greens all during the year. I have a couple of galvanized beds and they are amazing.
Do Metal Raised Garden Beds Get Too Hot?
One of the most asked questions is whether metal garden beds get too hot and whether they will cause damage to the plants that are grown in them. The answer is no. They do heat up more than your typical wooden bed.
The outer edges of the soil that comes into contact with the metal itself may get slightly warmer than the soil in the middle of the bed but it shouldn’t hurt your plants.
This can actually be used to your advantage in the shoulder seasons (the time right before spring and the time right after fall but before winter) as this will help to extend your growing season.
Related: Is Corrugated Metal Safe for Garden Beds?
Are Galvanized Steel Raised Beds Worth It?
Yes, galvanized steel raised beds are definitely worth it. They are easy to put together, they last longer than any wood bed that you can buy or build, and they look great. I have two of these beds and plan on completely replacing my entire raised bed system with galvanized raised beds this year.
You can get a variety of galvanized raised beds online in different shapes, styles, and colors and there is something for everyone and every garden.
Here are some common questions about galvanized steel raised beds:
Is Wood or Metal Better for Raised Garden Beds?
There are advantages and disadvantages to wood and metal raised garden beds. With wooden raised beds you will have to replace the wood at some point as the wood will most likely rot. The wood will also shrink, swell, bend, and even buckle over time being exposed to moisture and the sun.
On the other hand, galvanized steel raised beds are a much better option as they will last between 30-60 years without needing to be replaced or worried that they will fall apart.
Overall, both wood and metal are good options for raised beds so whichever one you can get will work. I have both wood and metal raised beds in my garden.
All in all, galvanized steel garden beds are perfectly safe to use for growing your own food. The zinc coating that is on the steel protects it from any potential acidity in the soil and will not corrode over time.
So if you’re looking for a sturdy and long-lasting garden bed, go with a galvanized option!