Thursday, 12 February 2015

Raised Bed renewal - the finished article

Ta dah! My new raised bed is finished...


My hands are sore, but the rest of me is happy. It looks just how I wanted it to look - big, sturdy and deep. The inside dimensions are the same as the old beds, that's to say 1 metre x 2.4 metres. With the 10cm thick sleepers though, the external dimensions are 20cm bigger in each direction.


But the biggest difference is the height, which at 40cm is more than double that of its predecessor.


By the way, the bed is positioned over open soil too, so theoretically plant roots can go down as far as they want. However, the soil down below is very poor - sandy and stony, and containing lots of builders' rubble from when the house was built.

The bed is surrounded by shingle now, since the paving-stones are all going to be removed before long.


The wooden sleepers are quite heavy (33.5kgs per 2.4m length), so they would almost stay in place just with their own weight and the pressure of the soil within, but I have held the corners together with steel angle-brackets, secured with some long screws. I would have liked longer brackets, but unless I wanted to pay silly amounts of money, these were the biggest I could get.


To hold the two layers together I used straight brackets like these:


Should you be interested in constructing a bed like this for yourself, here is a costing for you:

6 x 2.4m sleepers @ £21.65 = £123.24 + £18 delivery charge [Travis Perkins]
8 x 6" angle-brackets @ £1.35 = £10.80
2 x 6" straight brackets @ £1.00 = £2.00
56 x 3" screws, approx £3.00
Total cost: £157.04

Add to this the cost of shingle of course. I paid £71.64 for a tonne of it (including delivery), but I have only used a small fraction of it so far, and there will be enough for all the rest of my planned alterations too. [Jewson]

Now I know you will all say "I could have got it cheaper", but I take into account time and convenience as well as materials, and I am well satisfied with what I got. To buy the Woodblocx bed like the one I have (which is a very similar size) would be £321.98.

Next, planting....

18 comments:

  1. It looks fabulous, a great depth. I expect to see some show quality carrots and parsnips now that there's room for their roots.

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    1. Show-standard Parsnips? You wait till tomorrow's post!

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  2. Looks fabulous! Bet you can't wait to start digging in...

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  3. Very nice. Those ought to last a very long time too. I have a huge depth of soil in my garden, but that is because when we landscaped the yard (just subsoil when we got it) we had them put in a foot of good soil in there. Then I put in my 6" boards.

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    1. Sometimes I wish I had been the first occupant of this house - then I could have done what you did to your place.

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  4. The new bed looks great and I'm sure it will be well worth the investment.

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  5. looks very sturdy and, as someone mentioned, looks like you can sit on the edge whilst working

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  6. Excellent!! Am really impressed. You should be able to fit cold frame covers over that as well, if you wish. Fine Job.

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    1. Thanks, Bren. Should make covering the bed with fleece / mesh easier too.

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  7. It is a brilliant job, That look great and the rubble below should be good for drainage - will you use topsoil the fill it?

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    1. I plan to top-up the soil that is already there with home-made compost. My bins are bulging and sorely in need of emptying!

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  8. Well done you. It looks fabulous and very sturdy. I guess you will be replacing them all eventually.

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    1. Thanks, Elaine. I plan to do another one later this year (when PSB is finished?), and then after that maybe a couple each year.

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  9. Wow Mark what a brilliant job. No wonder your hands were sore.
    It looks fabulous and raring to go. Your veg will be top of the range growing in such a prestigious bed.
    I've shown your post to my hubby saying "yes please.... here's the plan for our plot!" 😊
    I'll be certain to let you know if he takes up the challenge.
    Thanks for sharing... he's got no excuse now with all the info and photo's.
    Enjoy and happy planting

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    1. Well, yes, as you say, there is no excuse now. I expect to see your garden full of veg by Summer-time!

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  10. Sorry I should have said... he was very impressed and seems keen. Woohoo

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  11. Very smart, Mark! Happy planting - and growing.

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  12. Water is a big issue for us Aussies. My raised beds (1 plank high) dry very quickly.
    What type of soil do you fill your beds with?

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