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Raised Beds - does size matter? ;)

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  • Iamhanuman
    replied
    oh such a confused person am I....!

    I do have a go at DIY and have a few projects on the planning table right now, but not much resource at my disposal, so not sure I want to add another one to my list.

    seems like a pretty mixed bunch of opinions from a variety of seasoned gardeners!
    gawd...

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  • Eyren
    replied
    Originally posted by Lazgaot View Post
    I was set on making raised beds for my allotment for the reason of bed demarcation and aesthetics. However having visited Charles Dowding's farm last year I changed my mind, the effort and cost put me off.
    I haven't bothered with raised beds on my lottie, either. I just use old fence planks sunk into the soil to delineate the paths and keep the (free) bark chippings in place - they're probably slug havens, but getting the layout sorted is a higher priority at the moment. Once the paths are settled in (I'm thinking of trying the newspaper method described in GYO recently) I'll probably chuck the boards and go with unedged "mounded" beds.

    I do have Link-a-Bord beds in the back garden, though, because the soil is rubbish and the ready-made beds are tidy and durable. Plus if we ever move we could take them with us (I'd want to returf the back garden anyway if I was selling the house, as the whole thing is pretty tatty!).

    Very jealous of your visit - Charles Dowding's book "Organic Gardening the Natural No-Dig Way" is one of my main reference resources. I can feel another holiday in the West Country coming on...
    Last edited by Eyren; 18-02-2009, 06:44 PM.

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  • kentvegplot
    replied
    I love the link-a-bord. Yes, they cost more than making them myself, but the previous owners had made beds from sleepers which only lasted 3 years on our wet clay, that's why I went with plastic. I had to move one this year and it was easy, no sure it would have been so with wood.

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  • selfraising
    replied
    Actually I might just have a go at a small one myself, I feel brave! Will have to do it while Hubbys out. Last time I had a drill in my hand, he nearly had a fit. Don't know what he thought I was gonna do with it, emergency dentistry perhaps! Will keep you posted.

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  • zazen999
    replied
    I'm another of the 'make it yourself' brigade, I'm sorry to say. My first set of raised beds cost 2.50 each - and that's because I bought the wood [from a salvage yard at 50p each]. They were 1.2m long and about 6 inches deep.

    The rest of my wood for all the other raised beds currently in production are from either palletts [free] or from the job lot I got off a bloke that I followed through Derby as I saw it poking out the back of his van. I followed him to the tip and asked if I could have it off him. Got about 60 pieces, about 2m lengths - like shorter scaffold planks. Talking of scaffold planks, you can ask scaffolders for old planks and use those. I bought a wrecking bar from Aldi for 4 a couple of weeks ago and the palletts are being [wo]manhandled into pieces and reconstructed into smaller beds.

    I couldn't bring myself to part with money for the plastic link-a-board types and if either of you were nearer I'd be round there myself making them for you. It's so easy, and the bought raised beds [wooden as well] are such a rip off for what they are it really annoys me!

    But then again, I am a girl with a jigsaw, dremmel, cordless screwdriver and drills, and a circular saw...diy floats my boat but even so - raised beds are ridiculously easy and cheap to make - have a go..you might just surprise yourself.

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  • selfraising
    replied
    Hmmm I do think wood does look nicer and no doubt cheaper but I'm hoping the plastic will last longer than wood would, particularly as my clay soil gets very wet in winter. I have also bought a kit this year which will fit onto the raised beds with hoops to throw over a plastic cover. Also the plastic for the raised bed comes from re-cycled plastic and I'm all in favour of that.

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  • BrideXIII
    replied
    it is very easy to make you own movable ones, plus you can have them so you can adjust depth.
    all measurements in inches:

    4 yard long lengths of 4x1 screwed together make one square 'section', then you need 4 foot& half ( or more depending on how high you are going) long lengths of 1x1, and drive them into the ground at the inside corners.
    then make another 'section', and you can just slot this over the corner pegs, then another 'section' and on and on until you reach the desired height, great for potatoes, cos you can add a section at a time for earthing up, and easy to dismantle if you want to move them, plus you can wallop a nice plastic cover over the top as a cold frame in winter. and definitely cheaper and more versatile than the plastic ones.

    potato buckets? now you are just be provocative

    here is a thought for you though, plastic flower buckets are perfect AND if you cut the bottom of some and place them on top of the first one, you have perfect earthing up mechanism
    Last edited by BrideXIII; 18-02-2009, 03:44 PM.

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  • selfraising
    replied
    Pretty rubbish ground really. Heavy clay and enough stones to build a house!

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  • Iamhanuman
    replied
    Hi self raising

    are the raised beds on top of soil or rubbish ground?

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  • selfraising
    replied
    Hi
    Just to say I have raised beds from Harrod but they are link-a-bord ones. They are also 6 inches in depth and 1 x 2 m. I have two of this depth and 1 that is twice the depth for deeper rooted veg (basically two 1 x 2 kits, one on top of the other). I have had no problems with the size of them and this is the third year I am growing in them.

    Leave a comment:


  • Iamhanuman
    replied
    Originally posted by Hazel at the Hill View Post
    I feel that I'm getting to know a bit about the subject, put it that way!
    You most certainly are!
    When I do come to making my own, I know who i'll ask for advice!!!

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  • Hazel at the Hill
    replied
    Originally posted by Iamhanuman View Post
    lol Hazel!

    I saw your blog by the way ......all those raised beds you've put in.
    Thank you! I feel that I'm getting to know a bit about the subject, put it that way!

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  • Iamhanuman
    replied
    lol Hazel!

    I figured I would work the soil into the beds around the lawn if I needed to.

    I saw your blog by the way - your allotment looks so impressive with all those raised beds you've put in. Really blows me away.

    I think as i'm starting small i'm going to go for the deeper ones. They are more expensive, but I think the positioning etc it would be better.
    I'm trying to cut costs everywhere else and as i'm planning on growing a load of my own veg...

    thanks for the advice everyone.
    My next question is potato buckets!!!!
    let's see how controversial that one is!

    Leave a comment:


  • Lazgaot
    replied
    Flummery raises two good points. I was set on making raised beds for my allotment for the reason of bed demarcation and aesthetics. However having visited Charles Dowding's farm last year I changed my mind, the effort and cost put me off.

    I've made raised beds by simply digging out the paths and moving the soil onto the beds. This raised them above the level of the path. I've also added alot of manure and compost, raising the beds further. Simple and functional, but not as pretty! Luckily I have deep sandy / loamy soil.

    I came across a site run by an allotment holder in Liverpool (all about liverpool or something like that). Google it and have a look at his raised beds, phenomenal!

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  • bobleponge
    replied
    As has already been said, I would make my own (jeez but we're a tight bunch on here) but if you are going to buy them and your ground is heavy clay, then I would say get the deeper ones.
    The root veggies, carrots parsnips etc will appreciate that extra growing room.
    I'm still unsure as to what you will do with all that soil if/when you pack the beds away, and I am sure that you must be able to find something cheaper than quoted prices to make your own. If you screw yours together rather than nailing, then they can be undone in a very short space of time anyway.
    Either or, its cleary your choice and good luck.

    Leave a comment:

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