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Thread: Affordable raised beds

  1. #1
    TrixC is offline Rooter
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    Default Affordable raised beds

    After three seasons of wrestling with the heavy clay soil and encroaching weeds on my plot Iíve come to the conclusion that raised beds are the answer. However, I donít have hundreds of pounds to spend on fancy raised bed kits. I donít mind building my own from scratch, except Iím a novice and not sure what sort of timber to buy or where from. Would welcome any advice or recommendations.

  2. #2
    chris_m is offline Rooter
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    I've done mine as semi-raised beds, the sides and ends each being three lengths of timber gravel board fixed together with battens (approx 18" high) then sunk into the ground such that the tops are close to being level - about 4" proud of the ground at the high end, 7-8" at the lower end.

    Once the timbers were in place I dug out the contents (poor quality sandy soil) to a depth of around 3 feet, lined the resultant hole with heavy duty weed barrier membrane (stretching almost to the top of the boards) stapled in place, before refilling with most of what came out, topped off with a decent layer of manure and one of topsoil.

    The beds are now waiting for the weather and worms to "do their thing" ready for next year, although I have already bunged in some veggies - overwintering onions, peas (hopefully) and broad beans, a few kale for use as baby leaves and a few PSB.
    All the best from rural South Cumbria
    Chris

  3. #3
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    Scarlet is online now O'Hara
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    Affordable raised beds-image.jpg
    Scaffolding planks?

  4. #4
    SelkirkAlex is offline Sprouter
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    after battling my disabilities I made my first two beds from scratch, then found Scaffolding Direct | High Quality Scaffolding & Trade Supplies the convenience of having the kits outweighed any saving, quality is brilliant so my last 3 beds are theirs

  5. #5
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    jackarmy is offline Early Fruiter
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    If your clay based plot gets as wet as mine then you may well need to spend a couple of quid on treated timber as as good as scaffolding planks are they dont last long on our dripping wet beds.

    Euro pallets are awesome although involve some heavy work splitting them . Ive used the 7ft x 4 x2 bases from them and coated them old cut up compost bags ( black side out) stuck on with silicon, although i have wondered how long the plastic will last and whether it will leach.
    Last edited by jackarmy; 07-11-2017 at 07:58 AM.

  6. #6
    mrsbusy is offline Sprouter
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    Hi - just to add my experience of raised beds - our issue was not the cost of making the surround for the bed but getting enough affordable compost to get a decent depth - we got cow manure which rotted down well but was not enough - we also got green council compost for free but difficult to get enough in a normal hatchback. I have looked at buying in compost but it is really expensive so we are plodding on with making compost and topping up as we can.

  7. #7
    TrixC is offline Rooter
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    Quote Originally Posted by SelkirkAlex View Post
    after battling my disabilities I made my first two beds from scratch, then found Scaffolding Direct | High Quality Scaffolding & Trade Supplies the convenience of having the kits outweighed any saving, quality is brilliant so my last 3 beds are theirs
    Which kits do you mean Alex? I looked at the link but Iím not sure where to start.

  8. #8
    TrixC is offline Rooter
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    I don’t think this will be too much of an issue because we’ve already started building up the beds by digging out paths around them and piling it on the beds, we also get bulk deliveries of both council compost and manure to our site.
    1Bee likes this.

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