BUILDING RAISED BEDS

BUILDING RAISED BEDS

Building a raised bed is a very simple concept, it is an exercise that is very easily achieved and is also extremely easy to construct and assemble. No great skills are required and we should look at this exercise as a long term project rather than a challenge. It is important to bear in mind that a raised garden bed has many and numerous advantages over the standard or conventional open garden that we may have been using up to now. Building raised beds will improve and enhance the vegetable growing area, it requires very little maintenance when complete and if given the right amount of care and attention it can in time, become a standout feature of our backyard or back garden. A raised bed can be used as a vegetable patch,  as a special flower garden area, for shrubs, it can be utilised as a salad patch or for the growing of herbs. The choices are endless and numerous.

 

 

 

What is a raised bed ?

 

A raised bed is a selected area over ground that is principally enclosed by wood or timber mostly, sometimes stone and or concrete blocks are also used in the construction of this project. The idea of a raised bed is to have a top-class growing area, that will produce great yields and will also enhance the growing experiences for all of us. These above ground gardening systems are a lot more likely to heat up earlier in the spring time and this allows for earlier sowing and planting. That critical factor gives us an added extra advantage over the traditional open garden patch, by virtue of the fact that we can plant sooner than that we did previously. We also have a longer growing period and the yields are far greater than the open ground backgardening as we knew it.  It also eliminates a lot on maintenance and weeding, thus giving us more time to concentrate on the more important issues associated with gardening in general.

 

 

Where to build a raised bed:

 

Select a nice sunny location and ensure that you can easily access the area from all sides and also that the area is reasonably level as this will enable moisture to be retained for longer. If your circumstances allow, locate your raised bed in a prominent position when, on entering your back garden it will stand out as an attractive feature and you can show it off to your neighbours family and friends. Another idea that people use a lot is, if at all possible, we could also position our raised bed where it could be seen from a kitchen or sitting room window.  From time to time some raised beds are positioned parallel to a garage or boundary wall and this can be beneficial to some gardeners who grow tall climbing plants and vegeatbles, as a trellis can be mounted on the wall to tie-in the tall plants.

Decide on dimensions and make a start;

 

Depending on the size of your back garden and how much space you can allot to the raised bed – ideally raised beds are 8-12ft. long and 4-6ft. wide. This will allow for any part of the bed to be accessible on all sides at all times. Most raised beds are anything from 10″-16″ deep. Knowing what dimensions you are using and where the bed is located, dig the existing surface as this will allow for the two soil types to integrate and also blend together. It will  allow for better drainage and aeration of the soil, something that is important to the raised bed ideals. Build a Raised bed with timber/wood to begin with, fix frame into rectangular shape around the area of the bed along the lines which we discussed above. A good idea is to insert four corner posts inside the frame at each corner and two more midway of the frame. This will ensure a strong, sturdy, robust frame to begin with. Nail or screw the planks to the corner posts thus securing it into position. If you could, use planks that are rather sturdy. Old discarded scaffolding planks are ideal for this project as these are universally 8 ft in length. Three of these will be sufficient – as this will give you an 8ft by 4ft structure for starters.

Almost there;

 

Infill this raised bed with good topsoil and a good quality compost, this is very important as this will be our foundation bed  going forward. This quality compost can be obtained at all good garden centres, there, you will also get professional advice on what type of mix to apply to your bed. You can ask for ideas on how to start sowing or planting that you may wish to begin with. Therefore to build and assemble a raised garden bed can be a very exciting and rewarding  project. The type of soil and soil mixture depends largely on what we want to plant and grow in our raised beds.

Click here for more information.   Copper Cap Raised Bed, 3′ x 6′

Best wishes and happy gardening to all……..

Philip Browne.

” If you have a garden and a library,

you have everything you need.

— Cicero “

 


 

8 thoughts on “BUILDING RAISED BEDS

  1. I loved this site it has plenty of information to get you started on building raised beds, i have started this form of growing vegetables in raised beds this year, and truly love it.
    This site has very good information on soil perpetration, and how to get healthy ratio of mix in your soil, witch is very important for growing vegetables. I will be following this site closely and will bookmark this site to refer back to.
    I have enjoyed the articles very much and they are well written also.
    Would you recommend organic chicken manure ( the dried pellets) on raised beds, and lightly dig in, as good matter for your soil?

    1. Hi there Gareth,

      Thank you for your comments and site feedback. Great to see that you enjoyed navigating through this website and that you found the information useful and beneficial. Yes you can absolutely use these organic pellets as a fertiliser for your beds. They are very high in nitrogen content and are especially useful for green vegetables like…cabbages, celery,courgettes and sweetcorn. They are also useful for fruit bearing shrubs like raspberries and strawberries. These pellets can also be used as lawn fertiliser, provided they are used according to instructions. Thanks again for your feedback.

      Have a great 2017,

      Cheers….Philip Browne

  2. Great site and I loved reading your thoughts on using raised beds. I’ve used them for years. There are so many benefits as you’ve discussed. For me, the rich loose soil makes it easy to pull what few weeds show up. Do you think making the beds 6 ft. wide might be too much?

    1. Hi there Scott,
      Many thanks for feedback comments, very much appreciated. Glad you like the idea of raised beds and as you’ve said, they definitely make life easier for everyone. Less maintenance as you’ve agreed and for sure…less weeding. I woud suggest that raised beds that are 6 feet wide, would create problems going forward. For starters there is the risk of health injury from over stretching or over reaching when tending to the garden. Also you may have to step onto the raised beds and that is not a good idea either, you run the risk of stepping onto the veggies, damaging and or breaking them. I believe that 4 ft. wide is adequate and having them 6 ft. or more in length would be ok.
      Happy gardening and best wishes
      Cheers..Phil Browne.

  3. Hi Philip
    As I am not really a garden person due to all the fuss and bother of it all, but after reading articles on raised beds, here on your website, I have had a change of heart,

    I like the fact that a raised bed is much more manageable than an open system, and it could be located anywhere on one’s property where there is Sun and sometimes shelter, depending on what is grown.

    Your website is easy to navigate, written in an easy to read style and good use of visual materials.

    It is clear that you are an authority on this subject as it shows in the way material is presented here on your website.

    Well done Philip, you have made a Convert of me.

    All the best with your future endeavors.

    Gary

    1. Hi there gary,
      Many thanks for dropping by and leaving some great comments, its very much appreciated. I am glad that you like the site and that you found the posts interesting, useful and informative. I agree with you that raised beds will make life easier in the garden and also like you mentioned, there is little or no maintenance.
      Thanks again for dropping by and happy gardening.
      Cheers Phil Browne

  4. Good afternoon Philip,

    What a brilliant idea to have a website on this subject. Many older folks who are not so flexible anymore can just make the beds at the right hight so they can still enjoy pottering in the garden.
    I live in the south of Spain and have quite a big veg. garden. The area is divided into small fields, each with a cemented wall around it and between those beds are cemented roads the right size for a wheel barrel to pass.
    2 Years ago there were so many tomatoes that I decided to cook my own tomatoe sauce. I managed to deep freeze 16 portions. No comparison with store bought sauce I can tell you.
    A very nice and useful website.

    Regards, Taetske

    1. Hi there,Taetske
      Many thanks for stopping by and looking through the website, its very much appreciated. I agree with you that raised beds make life so much easier nad definitely more enjoyable. The versatility that these raised beds bring is great for those people who have maybe limited mobility and don’t like to be bending or kneeling to attend to their gardens.
      These raised beds are suitable for the growing of any fruit or vegeatbles, no matter what part of the world that we live in , as you have rightly pointed out.
      Thanks again for stopping by,
      Happy gardening
      Cheers Phil Browne.

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