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  • Been down to the plot this morning and had another measure using the 6ft by 3ft beds instead of the 2m by 1m. I think they are probably better, as although the bigger beds would fit, the bottom one is getting a bit close to the leylandii hedge. In fact I am inclined to remove the strawberries too, as I don't know how old they are, what variety they are or anything and I have strawberries at home. It would make for a better layout with access to both sides of the rhubarb.

    Currently I'm thinking of putting some raspberries on the higher part, next to the rhubarb. I'm going to need to find some way of curbing their enthusiasm runner-wise though as I don't particularly want them popping up through the tunnel mesh or in amongst the rhubarb. More thinking required on this.
    A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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    • Originally posted by Penellype View Post
      I'm also in a quandary about raised bed sizes, as I had planned on 2m x 1m beds but I have now found some 6ft by 3ft ones that are about half the price, and I could get 10 for less than £200.
      Are these the ones from B&Q?

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      • Originally posted by Welsh76 View Post
        Are these the ones from B&Q?
        No, they are these:
        https://www.greenfingers.com/product...dept_id=200486

        However the B&Q ones look pretty much identical and my local store has some in stock so I will go and look, maybe tomorrow. Might be easier than having them delivered and I can buy them slowly without having to pay multiple delivery charges. Thanks for the heads up.

        Edit: The reviews don't look great for the B&Q ones and one of them says the holes are not pre-drilled. However, the lady I spoke to at Greenfingers said she thought they just slot together when I asked about pre-drilled holes, so I doubt theirs are either. I will go and look.
        Last edited by Penellype; 05-01-2018, 04:56 PM.
        A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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        • Looking at the photos they’re either exactly the same or they’ve used the same photo!

          Blooma Rustic Timber Raised Bed (H)150mm (W)1.8m | Departments | DIY at B&Q

          The reviews didn’t do the raised beds justice, either there was a bad batch or they changed supplier because mine were perfect for what I wanted, solid and sturdy (ironically I put 10 in just this week!). I only have the 4 corner spikes in so far and they’re solid enough with just those, but I’ll add the mid-ones sometime over the next few weeks.

          They don’t come with pre-drilled holes but they’re easy enough to put together. The instructions show the spikes being screwed to the raised beds from the inside but the screws aren’t long enough for that to get a solid connection to the planks so I attached them by screwing through the planks from the outside (the online photos show them done this way anyway).

          I used a battery screwdriver which held enough charge to screw 5 of them together before being re-charged. It wouldn’t be much fun screwing them all by hand.

          I’ll take some photos of them tomorrow or Sunday and add them to my allotment thread.

          I would have no problem using them again.

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          • So, I went back to play some more this afternoon as work was quiet.

            Something else I did this morning was finish off removing the bigger weeds and shallots from the east side of the tunnel and put down some weed matting now that the staples I ordered have come:

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            The matting is 1m wide, so its a big tunnel. It is something of a muddy mess in there now!

            Outside, this is where things were this morning, with about 1/4 of the growing area having been hoed on Wednesday:

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            I'd measured along the grass path for the raised beds this morning, so the next job was to remove the raspberries from the dug area and measure up for the other ends of the beds. The dug area fits 2 raised beds and 3 paths.

            I used some of the spare pieces of white piping to give me an idea of where the beds were going, and put a stake in each corner of the beds. I now know where the paths are going to be so I am not so bothered about walking on those bits. The measuring took some time and gave me a welcome break from digging up raspberries, but I had had enough by the time I'd finished.

            Some of the raspberries did have live shoots at the bottom - I'm pretty sure they are autumn fruiting ones as there are no canes without old fruit on them. Anyway, they are going as I don't want them where they are.
            A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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            • These raised beds look nice & big,there's a video too & no tools needed,I can't find reviews for it anywhere?
              https://www.homebase.co.uk/the-organ...d-grey_p375174
              https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WlwzaO5h3bg
              Location : Essex

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              • That does look a nice deep bed. I might need a deep one for a hotbed. The problem with steel is that it conducts heat very well - exactly what you don't want in a hotbed. I'm also not sure that the horse manure I'm going to use wouldn't corrode steel. I couldn't even nearly fill 10 beds that deep. Worth considering though if the B&Q ones are hopeless, but I do have an idea for those.

                The main issue with the B&Q beds seems to be that people assemble them and then try to push them into the ground and they fall apart, damaging the wood. I don't think there is any way I can push 6 stakes into the soil I have to a depth of a foot - it isn't going to happen (I'm managing 2-4 inches with the marker stakes, and that is using a mallet). I could get them in further if I loosened the soil with the fork first but I can see the whole thing falling apart, particularly as I don't have any help. So my plan is to buy a couple of the beds (unless they really are diabolical) but not screw the wood together. Instead I will put in the fixing posts to whatever depth they will happily go, and lean the timber against them, then use some 2x1 inch wood pieces (which I might be able to find lying about) to peg the sides upright from the outside. That way I don't need 2 people, there is no drilling or nailing to do, and I can move the beds much more easily if I need to,
                A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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                • Penellype
                  Im still following your thread.

                  With respect,The raised beds you are looking at are 1.Overpriced.2.Flimsy and cheap .

                  3.wont last as long as the time and effort you spend installing them...TOTAL waste of Time , Money and Effort......!!!!

                  I have a source of good quality timber ,cheaper ,Thicker and in a selection of ready cut lengths i.e 6' x 3' or 2m x 1 m and anything between to order.

                  For 10 beds @ 6'x3' or 10 @ 2m x 1m the cost would be between£ 98.32 and £72.60 for timber delivered and ERECTED on your site in position indicated and agreed by you.
                  £ 20 delivery and erection charge.
                  The highest price is for 125mm x 28mm thick NEW Redwood Decking board, the lower price for 6'' x 22mm (3/4'' inch ) flat board. All Pressure treated with a 15/20 year life.

                  Should corner posts or intermediate posts be necessary they are 2'' x1'' pressure treated @ 18/20 p per foot ( worst case you may need 60 x 1 foot).But I doubt it Especially if you go for thicker timbers.
                  All screws ,nails and fixings included.

                  As for choice of timber, decide if you merely want to build beds to contain soil in your preferred position , ie Shallow beds.
                  As you know most/all plants like to sink deep roots .

                  Or is the aim to build a depth of Fertile/malleable soil to grow healthy crops above that ..??

                  If your existing ground is heavy Clay maybe consider breaking that barrier by adding a suitable depth of Horse muck and then concentrate on creating a growing medium above ground deep enough to sustain crops .

                  At a realistic cost( going from your budget earlier) , beds can be installed deep enough now with a view to fully filling with you Horse manure/compost over time ..???

                  Feel free to PM me with any Q,s
                  Gp
                  Last edited by geepee; 05-01-2018, 10:52 PM. Reason: afterthought
                  Never Let the BAD be the Enemy of the GOOD

                  Conservation and Preservation for the Future Generation

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                  • It's a great thread to be following My grounds difficult for that fixing post depth in my newish bed,there's a lot of roots & large stones,I was going to put some edging in once but the thought of digging a moat round the bed to fit it in changed my mind My raised bed doesn't have the posts that go into the ground,it sits on top of the earth,I've sunk it in the soil about an inch to keep it in place.
                    Location : Essex

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                    • Geepee, thank you. That opens up a whole new range of possibilities.

                      I am not at all happy with the apparent quality of the B&Q beds, as deduced from the reviews. I don't like the look of them from the pictures and I anticipate huge problems constructing them which is why I am looking at the alternative of using the boards without using nails or screws. I would MUCH rather have something of better quality and more solid, that will last longer. If I had the DIY skills I would build the beds to my own preferred design, which would enable me to move them about. Some of the area will not be ready for months, but I want to start growing in the area I have cultivated in Feb/March.

                      I will have a think about what I want to do and pm you
                      A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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                      • Do you really need the raised beds for this year - or could it be a next autumn/winter project ?

                        That would give you a year of 'getting to know your plot'.
                        .......because you're thinking of putting the kettle on and making a pot of tea perhaps, you old weirdo. (Veggie Chicken - 25/01/18)

                        My Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnC..._as=subscriber

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                        • The idea of the raised beds is to at least partly reduce the impact of the heavy, waterlogged clay soil. Its going to be a compromise between building nice deep beds which would give plenty of root depth but require a huge amount of filling and probably a lot of watering in summer, and shallower beds which will lift the crowns of the plants above the waterlogging and take less filling up. I'm definitely going down the no dig route and the beds will be filled lasagne style with whatever organic matter I can get to the plot.

                          I think the soil is reasonable - the ground around here is so wet that it is hard to tell, but it has clearly been reasonably recently dug. The biggest problem is horsetail, but I really do think I am going to have to live with that. Therefore I think a 6-8 inch high bed is probably sufficient. Fresh horse manure is available if I want to transfer trug/sack loads of it in my car. Rotted horse manure requires about a 1/4 mile trek to the muck heap with a wheelbarrow, followed by the car journey, so unless I decide to pay for a load to be delivered I can only do it a bit at a time. It is certainly going to take a while to fill all 10 beds.

                          One of the things I want to do is create a hotbed, partly as a receptacle for a large amount of fresh horse manure that will rot down and give me something to mulch the other beds with next year. Beds I can lift and stack to give a decent height (say 3 layers high) would be great for this.

                          Lots to think about.
                          A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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                          • Originally posted by KevinM67 View Post
                            Do you really need the raised beds for this year - or could it be a next autumn/winter project ?

                            That would give you a year of 'getting to know your plot'.
                            What I was going to do was use the soil as it is for a year and find out what is what, but because there is so much weed I would need to cover it with something to suppress weeds, or I would never keep control of it. If I am going to mulch it deeply anyway to suppress weeds it makes sense to make the raised beds now and only have to do the deep mulch once, and only on the bed areas not the paths. I'm pretty sure what I want to do with the area, and if I decide I want the beds arranged differently, providing that I can lift them I can move them.

                            That's my take on it anyway.
                            A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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                            • Collected the first car load of rotted horse manure this morning, which gave me a chance to try out the wheelbarrow left at the plot. Its old and rusty, with a crack in the bottom, but it enabled me to make only 2 trips to the car instead of 5 or 6 that would have been needed without it.

                              Getting the barrow out was not at all easy due to the overgrown hedge at the side of the plot, which is a mixture of hawthorn and leylandii. I wasn't going to go down there this afternoon after the hard work humping horse muck about, but I decided to trim back the hedge a bit so that I don't scratch my face on it again tomorrow. Quite pleased with the amount of difference I have made armed with just a pair of secateurs.
                              A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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                              • I'm not sure if this is ever done, but could you make the raised bed sides out of brick but use no mortar so they could easily be removed and repositioned? The lower layers of brick are likely to remain in place because of the weight of bricks above them. Only the upper layer is liable to shift much, but probably you wouldn't have much soil at that height anyway. That would make life easier for you if you did decide to move the beds, as each brick is more manageable than a great long length of wood. It would be easier to get the bed dimensions that suit you. Plus, bricks are very long-lasting, unlike wood.
                                Location: north-east Spain, where the sun is too hot, the rain too torrential, the hail too big, the wind too windy and the snow too deep. Last frost: usually mid-April, sometimes first week in May. First frost: mid-October.

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