The building of a second super-deep raised bed has been awaiting the end of the PSB season. Now I have pulled up the PSB plants, composted the leaves, chopped and bagged the tough stems for subsequent disposal - and built this:
It is exactly the same as the first one I made, and the building was much easier this time because I knew what I had to do. Having said that, it was not as easy as it should have been because the timber was not cut as precisely as I expected. One of the long pieces was shorter than the other three by a good 2cm, which has meant that there is a gap where there shouldn't be a gap. Anyway, this bed was only ever intended to be "rustic" and not a fine piece of carpentry, so it will serve its intended purpose.
The biggest challenge was shifting the soil sideways by 60cm, which is necessary if I am going to be able to fit in the other raised beds I have planned.
This photo gives a good impression of the depth of the previous raised bed. It was only about as deep as the blade of my spade (approx. 20cm). This is the reason why I am making the new beds double-height.
Shifting the soil has of course given me opportunity to turn it over and aerate it very thoroughly. I have also added a lot of composted stable manure, because the soil was very sandy and dry, with much less organic matter than desirable. After taking this series of photos I emptied the contents of one of my compost bins into the new raised bed, so it is now much fuller, and has plenty of organic matter in it!
In the background of this next photo you can see my Asparagus bed, with loads of spears showing through.
Here is a closer view:
The only down side of all this is a huge pile of rubble: paving slabs, cement, hard core, half-rotted wooden boards....
Looks like I'll be making a couple of trips to the Council tip then...