Wooden Raised Beds

Afternoon all!

I'm going to (eventually) create three square raised beds for the vegetable plot by the greenhouse and I wondered how people start off the bases. Do you just lay the (pressure treated possible railway type sleepers if I can afford it) wood straight onto the soil or you do think it best to put some kind of liner down / sink breeze plots into the ground to give it some additional protection? Would I be best to also line the inside of the raised bed with something or does the mud not affect the wood greatly?


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,631

    We have raised beds built from a combination of a railway sleeper retaining wall to make the ground level and then roofing beams for the beds.  The railway sleepers have blck polythene stapled to teh inside to prevent any chemicals leaking into the soil but also to prevent water seeping in from the soil and rotting them prematurely.

    The sleeper walls have been in place for a good 15 years and are doing fine.  The roofing beams are recent and have been treated with an oil based wood stain to give added portection.  They replaced ordinary untreated planed pine planks which had had 2 coats of Cuprinol.   They lasted between 10 and 13 years with no other protection. 

    We placed them on the soil and screwed them to short vertical posts bashed into the soil to hold them up and keep them firm.  We have gravel paths between the beds on a weed supressing membrane.  Here's a picture of part of it with the old blue stained pine boards - http://s211.photobucket.com/user/Obelixx_be/media/2008%20garden/080826005.jpg.html?sort=2&o=71


    The Vendée, France
  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,892

    Gosh your garden is beautiful!

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,631

    Thank you.   It was, but I've had some disastrously cold winters since I took those photos and lost a lot of those plants.   I've also lost a year in the garden thanks to needing remodelling of both feet and having surgery in January and April so the weeds have been having a field day.   However, I'm starting to get back on top of things and am adjusting my plantings to suit the colder winters.

    It will be much better again by spring and better still the following year - optimistic folk we gardeners.


    The Vendée, France
  • Gardengirl..Gardengirl.. Posts: 3,674

    Hello, I use cuprinol garden shades brightens up the garden with different colours and helps make the raised bed last longer





  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,233

    I love the pictures of your garden, obelixx, esp the nosy neighbours staring at you.image

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • Gardengirl..Gardengirl.. Posts: 3,674

    Fidgetbones I had to look back at obelixx nice garden then looking for a neighbour being nosy oh nice views there wildlife

    the compost does affect the scaffold boards that I use so I tent to try paint inside the raised bed as well as making the outside colourful they have lasted a few years now

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,168

    Clarington, I used treated timber 'gravel boards' for my raised beds, with 2x2" treated timber bashed into the ground for the corners, screwed, not nailed into the planks. It has survived for 10 years or so and in the next couple of years I hope to add another layer of height, using mainly homemade compost, so another layer of gravel boards.

    There are critics of using treated timber, possibly to do with the chemicals killing beneficial bugs in the soil, but I didn't want to use plastic or metal, which seemed equally harmful.image

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