Forum home Garden design

Raised beds

lizhindley2L_hxcA7vlizhindley2L_hxcA7v Rufford, West LancashirePosts: 9
Wanting an area for planting but only having block paved areas, I’m thinking of building raised beds. Is this an option?
«1

Posts

  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,758
    Yep.. plenty of advice on here on how to do it.  🙂 It takes more prep work, but it can be done successfully.  What sort of plants do you want to grow?
    Utah, USA.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 39,061
    Yes - they're brilliant if you do it well  :)
    I did that here, having done it before, as the whole place was solid compacted clay  and paved/gravelled.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • lizhindley2L_hxcA7vlizhindley2L_hxcA7v Rufford, West LancashirePosts: 9
    Any advice on how to do it please? Can I just sit raised beds on top of paved areas? How to prepare....thanks
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 39,061
    You can do that @lizhindley2L_hxcA7v, but just make sure they're sturdy, and they're raised off the ground a little to help excess water drain well. A batten across the base every few feet is adequate.  :)
    It will depend what size you're making them too. Height, length and depth. It's best to make them with a decent batten in each corner, and the timber screwed on. The bigger you want them, the more volume of soil, so the heftier the batten needs to be. 2"x2" timber will be sufficient for even a fairly large container. Use decent fencing timber or scaffold boards, and line them with plastic - old compost bags are fine. That protects the timber from water, and also helps the soil hold onto the  moisture a bit longer. Raised beds dry out more quickly.  :)
    How you finish them depends on what you want. If it's just for growing veg, and they don't need to be decorative, that's all you need to do. If they're to be more ornamental, you can paint or stain them, and add an edging round the top to hide all the corners and joins.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • lizhindley2L_hxcA7vlizhindley2L_hxcA7v Rufford, West LancashirePosts: 9
    Thanks so much @Fairygirl, I really appreciate your advice. I’ve lived in this lovely little house for three years but only got block paving, around all three sides. Great for dogs but now I want to plant. Have found a guy who will build them for me but he’s coming today to discuss! Don’t really want to disturb block paving if I don’t have to. Thinking of biggish beds around 20-30 inches by several feet!
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 39,061
    Just make sure he understands what they're for. We had a poster recently who'd had raised beds made from sleepers, and the person who built them put them against the house wall, with no barrier, so the beds had only three sides and the wall formed the fourth. Not good practise! One was above the damp course too.  :/
    If they're all free standing units though, hopefully it won't be problem for you. Just make sure you have all the measurements in writing etc. I wonder if you've thought of having them on rollers, or castors, so that you can move them? 

    Mine are all on posts concreted in, so it's a slightly different process, but the basic principle is the same for construction :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • lizhindley2L_hxcA7vlizhindley2L_hxcA7v Rufford, West LancashirePosts: 9
    Ooh loving the idea of being able to move them, thanks again. I will write down sizes etc. My main question was do I have to sink them into the the ground, apparently not, very relieved! Can’t wait to get going. I guess I’ll need to make holes in the liner for drainage.
    Another question, when they are built and I’m ready to fill them. Do I get top soil delivered or use compost! Sorry I’m a total beginner!
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 39,061
    I should have mentioned holes for drainage. You'll need a good amount drilled in the base of the container, and in the lining  :)
    No need to apologise - I've learned how to do this from experience, but the filling is something I've made mistakes with at first too. You need to use a soil based compost, or mix topsoil with other organic matter like well rotted manure and compost. Compost alone isn't enough for a long term bed as it shrinks away. You can get all that stuff in GCs, but you'll need quite a big volume, so bulk buying might be better. 
    It does depend what you want to grow in them too. Shrubs would certainly need heftier soil than annuals and perennials, generally speaking. If you aim for a good balanced medium, it will suit most planting though. You will need to add to it every so often anyway, as it will settle.
    The good thing about raised beds is that you can also divide them up, so you can have different plants in each section. I have plants which like drier conditions growing alongside ones which need a lot of moisture.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • lizhindley2L_hxcA7vlizhindley2L_hxcA7v Rufford, West LancashirePosts: 9
     thanks, full of enthusiasm and “I can do this“!
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 39,061
    That's vital for a gardener!  :D
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


Sign In or Register to comment.