I want to build my raised bed on top of a two-wheel utility trailer for a movable FarmBot! I’ll most likely be moving in about a year, so this would prevent the need to transplant.
It would definitely add more cost, but it would be good for people who move often or don’t know where they want a permanent bed. It would also have the added benefit of not having to crouch down so low to reach the garden, which would help older people. It might be a good idea to have some sort of drainage in the bottom of the trailer.
Transportation would just require a vehicle with a tow hitch, and removing the gantry. And a protective cover of some sort for the plants while driving is probably a good idea (maybe just a tarp).
Anyways, let me know what you guys think, and throw out some better ideas if you have them!
The main consideration is total weight - top soil is going to weigh at least 50 pounds per cubic foot, so the top soil for a bed 8 feet wide x 12 feet long x 1 foot deep would weigh 4800 pounds, more if wet. Most two wheel trailers are going to be 3 - 4,000 pound maximum capacity, so you would be overloaded if you include top soil. And a one foot deep bed isn’t really adequate for good root development - two feet would be better but your total weight doubles to nearly 5 tons.
A four wheel trailer with two 3,500 pound axles would work, but only if top soil is relatively dry.
I would suggest building a raised bed frame that could be more easily transported, and use new top soil after moving.
You do have some good points there.
A gravity fed (with floating value in upper sump tank, or none and just control the pump ) hydroponics set might be the best for you. When empty the pvc pipes can be taken part and transported lightly and easily. Depending on if you are going to use a medium like lava stone to help the roots you should use one of the ones that is very light when dry. You can only grow some things in this type of set up (my understanding) but most of your leafy greens do well in them and I can testify to that. Its other types of vegetables and grains that have issues.
You can go the arduino controller route for under $100 for the electronics but a outlet simple timer (>20usd) on your pump outlet would do you the same.
Imagine the one in the pic just with a tank at the bottom and a pump that leads back to the top.
They also dont require much space
On the other hand if you do want a mobile farmbot I would use a flatbed for a truck. I would not buy one of course but instead buy a wheel axle set at the junk yard and make the frame or convert a boat trailer.
A good place for looking into the buying or making of these are “tinny homes/ tiny houses” sites.
Its totally possible imho
I am currently stuck with the same problems / decisions you were facing.
I do want to be mobile and I guess i cannot afford having tons of soil on my terrace (need to check the max. load allowed…). It says that a raised bed in a normal garden would need at least around 85 cm of height, look at this pic for example: http://www.biozac.de/biozac/biogart/hochbeetqs.jpg
That would be definitely too much weight, considering I want to use a 3 m by 1,5 m big area.
I already though about building a drainage system of having a kind of slope on the lowest plane to direct the drain water to one side of the “basket” and then let it drain into the environment.
However concerning a max. height around 30 to 45 cm, my question is related to the plants. Would the whole garden “die” after one year because of the lack of nutrition or something? Could I add a layer of drain foamed clay and then simply add soil for 30 cm height? What would be the outcome? That I would need to use fertilizer?
Please share all of your ideas, I am more than glad to discuss…