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Raised Bed on firm surface

I have a small garden that is entirely brick paved and am looking to place 3 raised beds for shallow rooting vegetables. The raised beds I have received come complete with liners for a hard surface.

These liners (19" depth") have no holes, surely they will need some putting in, and have gravel/crocks around them to prevent blockage.

I want to leave them in place from year to year, how best can I prolong the life of the compost I am using/how long before I have to replace it?

Any tips gratefully received


  • You're absolutely right, you will need drainage for the raised bed. One prolonged period of heavy rain without them and everything would be waterlogged.

    I never replace the compost in my raised beds. I add a little each year to top them up.

  • I have an 'ordinary' wooden raised bed which I have lined with porous membrane to enable the bed to drain freely without the compost washing through and out of the bottom of the bed - mine is not on a hard surface, but I would have thought that the same system would work if it were. 

    I filled the bed with a roughly half and half mixture of top soil and Farm Yard Manure, and each year I add a layer of well-rotted FYM to the bed about now and fork it in lightly.

    I also add a sprinkling of Fish Blood and Bone before planting.  


    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    My raised beds are on Tarmac - school playground.  The beds have no specific drainage.  They in fact dry out too much when the weather is dry.  If I were constructing them again (they are made from old floorboards)  I would line them round the sides with damp-proof course plastic to preserve the wood a bit longer.

    I also do not replace the soil, just add more compost each year + compost from pots, etc.

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