Idiots guide to raised bed please

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
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hotcookie101hotcookie101 Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
Hi,
I would like to make some raised beds in my back garden. I would be placing them beside the fence on the left, the garden faces south east, so they would in shade until about 10am, then full sun the rest of the day in summer.
I am planning on using gravel board from b&q-these ones (I think) , and was planning on making them 2.4x 1.2m.
First of all-are they suitable? I liked them as they were cheap :p I have no source of free timber or boards...
Secondly-is 150mm tall enough, or do I want 2 of them on top of each other-I just want them to grow veg in, and keep the weeds out as my garden is full of brambles, nettles, horsetail and bindweed-plus plantain and dandelions etc all through the grass?
Thirdly-presumably I just use some cut down square posts (dug and concreted in?) at edges and screw them onto that to make the corners-?
Fourthly-do I put weed proof membrane down before I make them?
And finally-do I fill them with topsoil? or can I use something cheaper for some of it and then top with topsoil?

Thanks-I did say I needed an idiots guide! :rotfl::rotfl:
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Replies

  • troll35troll35 Forumite
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    Whilst I can't comment on how to make raised beds I would suggest you give any local builders/timber merchants a ring to check out their prices on gravel board. B&Q is often quite expensive for such products.
    I like to live in cloud cuckoo land :hello:
  • coltcolt Forumite
    54 Posts
    Give local scaffolding firms up to see if they have any boards to sell you cos once they get any damage to them they cant be used for scaffolding. These are alot better for making raised beds and will last longer than gravel boards.
  • s4lvatores4lvatore Forumite
    276 Posts
    I made my beds out of decking

    2.4metres for 3 quid at b&q.

    Very nice looking too
  • A._BadgerA._Badger Forumite
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    A serious (if contentious) question. Why do you want raised beds? Have you really worked out they are the answer to your gardening needs, or is it just because the TV gardening programmes and newspaper articles keep banging on about them?

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not being rude, but newcomers to gardening are easily swayed by the trends pumped out by TV pundits. Ten years ago it was blue decking! I have raised beds and I like them. But they are very far from a universal panacea to gardening woes - whatever the fashionistas like to pretend! In some ways traditional vegetable plots can be better. Which will suit you depends on where you are and what you want to grow.

    One thing I will say is, whatever you do, if you decide raised beds are right for you, do not block them off from the subsoil with membrane. You need that soil for the roots to delve into searching for nutrients, and you need real topsoil in your raised beds - otherwise you might just as well grow in pots and growing bags.
  • 3v33v3 Forumite
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    s4lvatore wrote: »
    I made my beds out of decking
    2.4metres for 3 quid at b&q.
    Very nice looking too
    Precisely what I've got too! I liked them so much I have 6 of them (8x4) :rotfl:

    hotcookie101: The raised beds I've just put in my garden are made with lengths of decking and are cut to 8ft x 4ft. They are not concreted in but are screwed together with pieces of wood (which I thought I'd leave a bit longer to double as a stake so I could push them into the ground for a bit of stability).

    The ground they have been placed on has been thoroughly weeded/cleared and once the raised bed framework was in situ, the earth was dug up, sieved, mixed with compost from my heap and the bed refilled.

    Because of the time of the year, I can't possibly fill them with veggies now; so, the beds not in use, I have covered over with weed suppressing membrane and just attached it at the corners with drawing pins. The one bed I am using has been marked into 1ft squares with string so I can have a try at "square foot gardening" - less daunting at this stage then all 6 raised beds!

    A. Badger: I've gone the raised bed route, not because it's "fashionable" but because it appeals to my need to have defined areas to work in :o
  • hotcookie101hotcookie101 Forumite
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    s4lvatore wrote: »
    I made my beds out of decking

    2.4metres for 3 quid at b&q.

    Very nice looking too

    I didn't see decking that cheap when I was there at the weekend-was £4.98 so I thought the gravel boards would be better-would decking be better?
    A._Badger wrote: »
    A serious (if contentious) question. Why do you want raised beds? Have you really worked out they are the answer to your gardening needs, or is it just because the TV gardening programmes and newspaper articles keep banging on about them?

    One thing I will say is, whatever you do, if you decide raised beds are right for you, do not block them off from the subsoil with membrane. You need that soil for the roots to delve into searching for nutrients, and you need real topsoil in your raised beds - otherwise you might just as well grow in pots and growing bags.

    I don't want them because they are fashionable-I dug up a patch for a trad veggie patch and it has been completely invaded by weeds, and its really hard to keep the grass edges out, so am hoping raising it up slightly and fresh topsoil would prevent my veggie patch primarily growing weeds. Will I need to dig up the grass where I want to place them? Would it be OK just to turn it over?
    3v3 wrote: »

    hotcookie101: The raised beds I've just put in my garden are made with lengths of decking and are cut to 8ft x 4ft. They are not concreted in but are screwed together with pieces of wood (which I thought I'd leave a bit longer to double as a stake so I could push them into the ground for a bit of stability).

    The ground they have been placed on has been thoroughly weeded/cleared and once the raised bed framework was in situ, the earth was dug up, sieved, mixed with compost from my heap and the bed refilled.

    Thats a good idea-I won't concrete them in, just dig them in a little :)
  • i made some beds this year out of fence panel offcuts - which i got for free :cool:

    they were really easy to make - just made them up into panels and nailed them together

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    re what to fill them with - homemade compost, leaf mould etc would be best - but you won't get rid of weeds totally by using beds - especially if you use manure - but they will be easier to pull out - as the compost won't be compacted ;)
    saving money by growing my own - much of which gets drunk
    made loads last year :beer:
  • berriesberries Forumite
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    Slpoder seedswapper- Have you used your raised bed's this year if so what has you plantd?? It look's really nice think I might try that too as it's full of weed's!! And ground isnt good either
    1 /10 nsd 😀
  • irnbru_2irnbru_2 Forumite
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    Will I need to dig up the grass where I want to place them? Would it be OK just to turn it over?

    Turn it over.

    You said they'll be 1.2m in depth and placed beside the fence. Does that mean you have to stretch that depth to reach the back? Or is it accessable?

    I would double the height too.
  • hotcookie101hotcookie101 Forumite
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    irnbru wrote: »
    Turn it over.

    You said they'll be 1.2m in depth and placed beside the fence. Does that mean you have to stretch that depth to reach the back? Or is it accessable?

    I would double the height too.

    Thanks
    I was going to put them about a foot away from the fence I think, or possibly further away, depends on what I'm going to do with the grass....

    I don't think I want raised raised beds-for less strain on backs etc, its more to keep the edges neat etc-as I'll be planting into the ground underneath would 150mm be high enough? Am thinking of the cost of topsoil (and the fun of getting it up 6 steps at front of house from road, and 6 steep garden steps, up 80 foot of garden to where I need it to be :rotfl:)
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