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Soil Seeping Under Raised Beds (Possibly)

Last November I put together some raised beds with Woodblockx which was all great. Since spring, I've noticed that some soil has gathered along the outer edges. I have been in contact with Woodblockx who think it could be that during winter when the soil froze (to be honest it wasn't THAT cold here) it pushed the bed up and the soil seeped out from under it. Their suggestions are to remove all of the soil, line the bottom and refill (not going to happen), or alternatively, drive some posts into the ground and screw them to the beds so that they're anchored. The thing with this is that the beds are already anchored with galvanised steel ground spikes (27 in one bed, 20 in the other) so I don't know that it would be much of a solution. Plus, it'd ruin the aesthetic. An alternative explanation that has crossed my mind, is that it's a result of the beds settling in wet soil, squeezing out the excess. The edges against the patio slabs have no such issue and I'm wondering whether the best idea might just be to slide something down the sides to block any soil from coming up (if that is the issue) but I don't know what would be best (and cheapest) for doing that. Any ideas?

Posts

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,146
    edited May 2020
    Have you got a photo showing the problem?
    I find it odd that soil would be coming out in that way. I have raised beds - I've had them in several gardens, and never experienced any issue, and we get more than enough frost/snow/rain, and we have soggy clay soil.
    Mine are all lined, but I don't do anything special with them. They're sat on the ground, albeit with concreted posts at the corners. Timber is then screwed onto those. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286
    edited May 2020
    I think wet and dry cycles may/could be behind it. It is amazing how much our clay can move up and down between winter and summer. I'm surprised though the beds don't just shift with the soil.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,632
    Could be ant activity, their excavated soil is usually quite fine. I wouldn't worry too much about it though, one of our raised beds does the same and I just brush it away occasionally.
  • februarysgirlfebruarysgirl Posts: 566
    Fairygirl said:
    Have you got a photo showing the problem?
    I find it odd that soil would be coming out in that way. I have raised beds - I've had them in several gardens, and never experienced any issue, and we get more than enough frost/snow/rain, and we have soggy clay soil.
    Mine are all lined, but I don't do anything special with them. They're sat on the ground, albeit with concreted posts at the corners. Timber is then screwed onto those. 
    Not very good photos I'm afraid, they don't show it that well.




    I've just scraped away some of it on another part and it turns out it's not all soil. On the bit I just took a look at, there's only a very thin layer of soil, it's mostly the sand I put down so it's looking less like it was seeping out and more like the excess was squidged out when it settled. I'm still half thinking about sliding something down along the edges to be sure or does that sound a bit unnecessary?
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,146
    Is the sand what they're sitting on?
    I think they may just be settling down. Unless it's  a huge amount of sand, I think it's ok. I don't know if you'd really need to do anything. They would eventually just settle completely- I think.
    I've always had mine just on the ground [often compacted] and in this plot, there was only compacted ground covered with gravel, so they're all on that. I just loosened up all the internal ground and added soil/compost etc to it for the beds.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • februarysgirlfebruarysgirl Posts: 566
    Fairygirl said:
    Is the sand what they're sitting on?
    I think they may just be settling down. Unless it's  a huge amount of sand, I think it's ok. I don't know if you'd really need to do anything. They would eventually just settle completely- I think.
    I've always had mine just on the ground [often compacted] and in this plot, there was only compacted ground covered with gravel, so they're all on that. I just loosened up all the internal ground and added soil/compost etc to it for the beds.  :)
    To be honest, it's a bit of both. The sand was what I used to try to level the ground a bit. I wouldn't call it a huge amount. In the areas where a bit more building up was required I mixed the sand with the soil. I am definitely leaning on the settling side now but I suppose time will tell! 
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