Building a raised bed

Traditionally, vegetables are grown in long rows on flat soil with space between the rows for access. A raised bed is a concentrated growing area, higher than the surrounding ground, and its sides are usually constructed of wood. Or you can even set up a vegetable border that is every bit as attractive as a flower border. I’ve written more about raised beds and their advantages here.

A couple of weeks ago we decided to build the ultimate raised bed, inspired by our trip to Edinburgh and a visit to the Gallery of Modern Art and their beautiful walled kitchen garden.

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For constructing the raised bed we bought nine sleepers (2.4m long, 200mm x 100mm) at a local builders merchants, it came to £155 including VAT. You’ll also need screws: 6-inch decking / hex head treated screws – 24 pieces and some galvanised brackets to hold the sleepers together. And here’s the process.

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Firstly measure out, clear and level the site the bed will occupy.

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The raised bed will be 1.2m by 2.4m, cut 3 sleepers in half to get the 1.2m lengths, take care doing this as it is essential to get a straight cut for a neat finish, now lay the first layer of sleepers in place, once you are happy with the level secure the sleepers together at the corners, repeat this process for the remaining layers, in our case it was a total of 3, now secure the layers of sleepers together with your choice of galvanised brackets, to ensure there is no chance of movement.

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Now backfill with some rubble etc, for drainage then top off with 150mm, or so top soil or your choice of compost.

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This post is for my wonderful friends Ruth and Helen and for anyone else who fancies giving it a go.

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4 thoughts on “Building a raised bed

  1. Loving your blog and Instagram feed! Could this be built on a gravel surface? We have a very large gravel area at the front of our house in Scalloway that isn’t getting used for anything and i think these raised beds would be great as our veg patch isn’t that big.

    • Thank you for your kind words Joy! I think building raised beds on gravel would be ideal as it should be free draining. You can always start with a little raised bed and see how it goes. It might be an idea to clear the gravel back and check if the site is levelled. Good luck with your growing!

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