Cheapest material for raised beds

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
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soupdragon10soupdragon10 Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
I am hoping to set up a number of raised beds in my large garden - there would be 5 or 6 beds 30 - 35 ft x 4 ft and I was wondering what would be the most economic method of building the beds?

I've looked at sleepers but these are mega expensive.

I need raised beds as with increasing age I find it more difficult to bend to do the basics. Any ideas welcome.

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  • edited 1 December 2019 at 10:18AM
    unrecordingsunrecordings Forumite
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    edited 1 December 2019 at 10:18AM
    Old scaffolding boards, most scaffolding companies will cheaply sell off old boards that are no longer safe to use (some may even cut them to length & deliver)

    Failing that for smaller beds, some people cut up old pallets

    Edited to add: If memory serves, scaff board is around 9" wide (& 1.5" thick) so double height makes for a slight stoop, triple height means no stooping at all

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  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    People will say secondhand scaffold boards*, but those do rot, say within 5-10 years, so it depends perhaps on what 'increasing age' means. I'm 70 and I still build stuff like I'm going to be using it when I'm 90!

    My beds are built with 150 x 25mm tanalised boards and pegs derived from 50x50mm wood of the same type. In the polytunnel I started with a single wall of these, but increased it to double height as new material was added each year, so the soil surface is about 25cm high now. That's fine for me, as I don't have any physical problems. Any higher and I think they might need larger posts.

    In the past, I've collected secondhand concrete blocks from demolition and used them, loose laid to a bonding pattern on their backs, to create temporary deep beds. Not very attractive, but the blocks are usually available cheaply or free and they're virtually indestructible.

    *See, before I could finish!:rotfl:
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  • unrecordingsunrecordings Forumite
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    Davesnave wrote: »
    *See, before I could finish!:rotfl:

    We aim to please...

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  • madjackslammadjackslam Forumite
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    those do rot, say within 5-10 years,

    Mine have done exactly that! Thinking about what/whether/how to replace them now.
  • vacheronvacheron Forumite
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    We used decking boards for ours which cost about £3-4 each if you find them on offer.

    One bed has been in place for almost 7 years with no signs of degradation. Plus they come in 2.4M lengths so makes it easy to make an 8x4 foot bed with just 3 boards for each tier in height you require.
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  • -taff-taff Forumite
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    Whatever you use in the wood stakes, it will eventually rot. Decide on how long you're prepared to wait for this and choose accordingly.
    Personally, I have used wood, I've used the half trunks in between steels, they lasted the longest. At the moment, I have 4 x 4 railway cast offs making a large knight on a chessboard moving shaped bed.
    However, we will be having our prefab garage taken down at some point, hopefully next year, so I'll use the concrete blocks from there as a sturdier unrotting material. I can live with that once it's painted.
    I also saw some metal ones being used by a bloke in new zealand [ watch his vids if you have time and are interested, will have to search for him, cant remember his name offhand ] and those are available here, they're quite expensive but I haven't shopped around for different suppliers. The modular ones are the ones I mean

    https://www.harrodhorticultural.com/metal-raised-beds-cid234.html
  • -taff-taff Forumite
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  • silverwhistlesilverwhistle Forumite
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    On my new allotment I've made beds with 3m long gravel boards (x20cm), and with corner posts from B&M (by far the cheapest).



    You won't be surprised to hear that the beds I've made are 3x1.5m and 2x1m, although today I made a 1.5m square bed for ericaceous plants.
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