cheap/free stuff for raised beds?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
5 replies 748 views
berkshireladyberkshirelady Forumite
150 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
Hi all,

my new allotment is plagued in places by bits of old rubbish and glass so I've decided to play safe and rely on raised beds for most of my stuff, so that I can ensure the beds are safe for when my friends' kids come round to have a go at gardening!

I want some nice solid planks and also some car tyres but freecycle is a problem as I don't drive - so can't collect anything at short notice. There's a garage in my village and a sawmill not far away - is it worth asking if they have any old tyres/timber offcuts?

How have other people sourced this typed of stuff?


BL x


  • mrbadexamplemrbadexample Forumite
    10.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Combo Breaker Photogenic
    is it worth asking if they have any old tyres/timber offcuts?

    Always worth asking - the worst they can say is "no". But tyres? I can't see the value in them myself - not pretty and not very environmentally friendly if you ask me.

    Are there any scaffolding companies locally that you could ask? They will almost certainly have old boards to dispose of.
    If you lend someone a tenner and never see them again, it was probably worth it.
  • valk_scotvalk_scot Forumite
    5.3K Posts
    My entire allotment was built out of stuff I'd found in skips, or scrounged when my neighbours had work done in their houses. I had 26 raised beds, most of them 20' x 4' so it can be done! However it took me four years to finish building all the beds, I used to carry a saw and heavy gloves in the car at all times and I never went past a skip. I think if you don't drive though you're going to have to put at least a little money into the equation, unfortunately.

    In the meanwhile though, crack on with digging these beds. It's May and the sowing and planting season is here. Mark the beds out with sticks and string, they won't be raised but you can get all the glass and rubbish out of each section and get some crops this season. You can use the stones on the path sections. As you get your scrap timber you can edge off a bed at a time. I may have taken four years to build all the beds but I was growing in them all the time and improving the soil and when I finally got the last bed edged the actual soil was in great condition.

    Carpet tiles are good for paths btw, if you're going the recycled route.
  • floss2floss2 Forumite
    8K Posts
    We buy scaffolding planks for £2-£3 here, and old tyres can be used to contain things that spread like mint or for courgettes / squash / pumpkins too.
  • I'm digging like crazy! and the stuff is coming up all the time, this allotment was derelict before I took it and prone to fly tipping :-(

    re: tyres, some of the other allotment holders have them and have got some good stuff on the go, and also use them to weigh down tarps in winter, so thanks floss2 :-) my partner has unexpectedly had to take his car today in for repair so I got him to ask about tyres and I've been promised some, so I will make good use of them!

    thanks valcs scot I'm keeping my eyes peeled but I'm in a bit of a hurry because time may not be on my side...I rent my flat privately and shortly after I took the allotment my landlord passed away, so once my tenancy ends next year the flat may be sold. I will try to stay nearby but if I can't I need to get the plot sorted ASAP so if I need to travel in, it'll be more maintenance than development...we will see, but in the meantime I will crack on and get as much out of it as I can! x

    thanks again! BL
  • NinjaBNinjaB Forumite
    298 Posts
    I am always looking out for pallets and when I find them I break them up with a hammer ... Bit of effort but not too much then put the pieces in an "old lady" shopping trolley on wheels to get them to the allotment as I don't have a car. So, I have what I called edged beds rather than proper raised beds but it keeps it all tidy. If you know of anyone working in a warehouse you could have struck the jackpot if they ask if you could have broken pallets they can't use anymore.
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