Scaffolding Boards for Borders

I have 10 beds each 14 foot by 4 foot and I have used the boards on the first plot to keep the weeds and grass from growing from the in between grass paths onto the plots

? I have been told by the scaffolders that the boards are pressure treated and should be OK in the ground for a good few years

? Has anyone had any experience please

Never change Tigers in Mid Stream


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 24,622

    Hi NewBoy. Not used them myself but I believe they make good edging for raised beds. Just make sure they're attached to some secure pegs int the ground so that they stay put image 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 7,864

    Yeah, putting in stakes every half metre or so is important as soil is heavy (esp. when wet) and can easily bow the scaf. boards.  I usually use 50x50mm treated timber for the stakes (oak is ideal if available and will last longer) and use 70mm stainless steel woodscrews to secure the boards to them.  At least a 1/3rd of the stake needs to be driven into the soil to stop them from being pushed over.


    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • NewBoy2NewBoy2 Posts: 1,138

    Thanks for that you two

    Just need another 20 boards now !!

    Never change Tigers in Mid Stream
  • All my beds r made from scaffolding boards. They came with me from last house, so have been in the ground for about 7 yrs now. My beds are 8'x 4', as the boards were 8' to start with, so just cut some in half. Perfect size, can reach or step over, and not too long to go around when taller plants are in. Have to say that mine are only staked at the corners and I have had no problems. However, where I have used thinner boards as a border, thinking that they had less weight to support, I have needed more stakes.

    I did build 16' long beds at the last house, thinking that I would save path space, but it was a pain in the bum walking all the way around them if they were full of big plants and I left a trowel or something at the other side.  I've also found that more, smaller beds allow for more crop rotation. (although I do get tempted to grow more and more stuff that we can never eat!) I have 6 beds, since I stole the kids sandpit, a fruit cage of 16x8', a currant bed of 25' long and still plant fruit and veg in any corner or pot I can find, including an old bath. And there are just 3 of us. I only like toms, onions and the fruit! I do manage to keep us in fruit and veg for most of the yr by freezing and preserving, and only really buy in main crop spuds, onions when I run out, and sometimes carrots as they get eaten small and never make it to a maincrop. This yr, I direct sowed my broccoli and cabbage, then discovered I have clubroot, but the caulis did fantastically well, I think cos I stated them off inpots as was short of space. So we have lots of cauli, but will have to buy broccoli. (what a waste of time and space, won't make that mistake again!) And I still have mange tout and beans growing well, sick of sight of 'em, now!  And a late crop of baby carrots, lettuce, turnips and beetroot, and Christmas spuds just covered with fleece now in the bath, along with loads of raspberries! Garlic and Autmn onions from seed to plant out tomorrow, then start my early peas and broad beans in coldframe.  And my blueberries came yesterday! 

    Raised beds from boards can be very productive as you can easily cover them with black plastic to warm them, fleece to protect early and late crops, mesh to keep out the bugs.  The wood insulates the soil to a degree, they drain well as you can control the soil so much better by adding anything necessary, Feeding is more precise so you can crop more closely. Just so much easier to grow more of everything.

    Sorry, I can't shut up! You only wanted to know how long they last! I reckon I'll get at least another 7 yrs out of them. There are no signs of rot, yet, and I only paint the outsides with waterbased shed and fence paint (Cuprinol or sim) to keep them looking neat every couple of yrs.

  • I've just bought a large number of scaffolding boards to create a large number of raised beds on my allotment. Am I right in thinking they will have been treated and therefore I won't need to paint in a clear wood preserver like Cuprinol? I'm happy to do so if this will extend their life as I don't fancy having to rip everything out in ten years considering the cost and effort involved in creating them in the first place.

  • FruitcakeFruitcake Posts: 810

    Newboy if you manage to get hold of a job lot of boards, let me know please- i have been trying for months to get some either very, very cheap or free! 

    Seems quite easy if I lived up north, but here it's a completely different tale!

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 1,197

    There is no harm in painting them with a preservative Matt if you want to. I'm sure it will help to extend their life. I line mine with clear plastic stapled to the inside. This stops direct soil contact on the inner surface with soil. My scaffold board raised beds lasted for years and years painted in Cuprinol and plastic lined. image

  • Thanks GemmaJF. That's really helpful advice. I'll get a 5l vat of Cuprinol and hope that covers all 12 of the 3 metre x 1.2 metre beds (!). I think I might need two...

  • Gardengirl..Gardengirl.. Posts: 3,951

    any pics me like pics

    Hampshire Gardener
  • image





     I created all the borders at the end of my garden out of scaffolding boards, 4 years later they are still rock solid, only fixed in the corners! Nice economical way of defining the space, especially as they were free!

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