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...
Those huge wide pieces of wood like they will last forever. I contemplated wider wood when I made mine, but the cost was very high and I think I would have had to have one less bed as the width would have made my current paths too hard to walk through. I wish though. You can sit on the edge of your beds. Right now I have a little stool that I drag around with me when I weed or seed something.ReplyDelete
Your new beds are looking great and the extra depth will be good to have. Thank you for the link on your cucumber post, I'm glad you've managed to get hold of some Mini Munch. I know you've grown the smaller cucumbers before but a different variety so I'll be interested to hear what you think of Mini Munch.ReplyDelete
I often have wood issues when building raised beds, but in my case it usually stems from the wood not having been dried out properly and then warping. I don't worry to much about it and do the best I can to "force" the boards into place. Once the beds are filled, you don't even really notice the odd gap here or there, as you're too busy looking at what's growing inside!ReplyDelete
Awesome!! Looks fantastic to me.ReplyDelete
Your new raised bed looks great! I will be keeping it in mind if we ever get our own house. I will want one as sturdy as yours. Your asparagus looks wonderful too!ReplyDelete
Lots of great progress, looks fab :)ReplyDelete
The new bed is lovely! I agree with Daphne that it would be really nice to be able to sit on the edge of the bed. It would be nice to place something there as you're working too. Are you planning to eventually increase the height of all of the beds?ReplyDelete
Yes, Audrey, I plan to replace the remaining four beds too - maybe not this year though.Delete
Twins! They look great. Will you have to uproot the asparagus when it's time to replace the bed that they are in?ReplyDelete
Yes, I have been think about that too. Maybe I will buy some new crowns rather than attempting to relocate ones that are already 10 years old?Delete
Very professional looking Mark, I may point Mike towards your post I want a new asparagus bed.ReplyDelete
It's all very smart and should last ages.ReplyDelete