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Wood prices

Im looking at building several raised beds, and replacing the picket fence, Im keen to build them myself but the price of wood is holding me back.

My local timber merchant (in Kent) is about £25 for a 3m sleeper, is that about right?

Are sleepers laid on edge the right way to go for 2m by 2m raised beds you can sit on?
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  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 2,447
    That sounds about right for price here. You can't sit on genuine old sleepers because your clothes get covered in the tar-like stuff they are treated with.
  • Hampshire_HogHampshire_Hog Hampshire Coast 100m from the seaPosts: 1,089
    Sounds about right @Tin pot I have been looking at them to for a raised bed at the allotment. It's best to use new ones as Posy said the old ones contain tar or creosote not easy to handle, sit on or for the plants.

    "You don't stop gardening because you get old, you get old because you stop gardening." - The Hampshire Hog
  • JoeXJoeX Posts: 1,472
    Ah, okay and thanks for the tip on old sleepers.  It was the “new tanalised” timber I was looking at:

    2.4mt 115mm x 190mm..................................£20.17 3.0mt 115mm x 190mm..................................£25.38 2.4mt 120mm x 240mm..................................£24.50 3.0mt 120mm x 240mm..................................£33.49

    ———————

    On dimensions, how high should the raised bed be for easy sitting?  Two of the 190mm gets me 38cm off the ground which seems low, the more expensive 240mm would be up to 48cm.

    Also in terms of using the raised bed, is 2m x 2m a bit large for reaching in?

    If I do 3 of these with the most expensive, it’s going to cost...16m/bed, 48m of sleeper at £33.49 for 3m...16x33.49= £535.

    Feels expensive for raw materials!

    Maybe I’ll do one at a time to make it feel less expensive...and less manual labour.
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 2,447
    Will you be able to get round all sides? I think 2×2 will be difficult to work if you have to do everything from the front. My daughter has a raised bed in her garden, made by previous owners, and you have to climb all over it to reach plants at the back. It isn't as deep as you plan, about 1.5.
  • See if you can find a proper old fashioned wood yard. Those prices don't seem excessive but like everything else, it all adds up. It's worth shopping around.
    I have threaded bar to secure mine that I picked up at auction for £5 for about 50ft. Check on Gumtree regularly too as folk often have leftovers from projects.
    2m is way too deep for working at the back but depending on your planting scheme it could be done. Larger plants and shrubs at the back will require less maintenance and if you keep them well mulched almost none at all. Maybe just an annual 'visit'.
  • JoeXJoeX Posts: 1,472
    Ah yes I didnt explain - these are going in the middle of the lawn to break it up so ill have access all around.

    Good tip on secondhand but I bought use that for less prominent areas.  I think these will need to look good or at least consistent.

    Im thinking of slimmer, lower planks for my path border 10m x 1m and raising the front garden which would need about 18m as well so yes, I’m expecting it all to “add up”!
  • Hampshire_HogHampshire_Hog Hampshire Coast 100m from the seaPosts: 1,089
    @Tin pot don't forget its not just the building but the filling with material you need to consider it's amazing how expensive that can be and quantity needed a 2mt x 2mt x 48cm bed will need approx 2 cubic meters of soil.

    "You don't stop gardening because you get old, you get old because you stop gardening." - The Hampshire Hog
  • I bought scaffolding boards for my veg garden raised beds and single height 8' by 6' was under £30.
    They look neat and tidy as they are for the veg garden, but could be stained.
    If making double height, I would add posts at corners and middles and then you could put a coping on that would allow you to perch. They won't last as long as sleepers but could still be worthwhile for their potential length of life - gardens are always changing!
  • JoeXJoeX Posts: 1,472
    I bought scaffolding boards for my veg garden raised beds and single height 8' by 6' was under £30.
    They look neat and tidy as they are for the veg garden, but could be stained.
    If making double height, I would add posts at corners and middles and then you could put a coping on that would allow you to perch. They won't last as long as sleepers but could still be worthwhile for their potential length of life - gardens are always changing!
    It’s a fair point - and everything is an experiment for me, so may decide I hate it all.

    I need to raise the bed behind he front garden picket fence - any idea how it would look with a scaffold board screwed in behind it?

     I’m thinking one high will be unnoticeable but double height (450mm) May look weird.

    If I extend that round the front garden I guess it would need to be painted white too.
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