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Raised veg beds - how to build?

Hi All, 

I am about to build some raised veg beds, and am wanting 2.2m by 1.4m. I had thought to simply get some ordinary planks of wood.

 But how thick should they be? I do not want really thick ones, just wide enough so a nail won't split the wood.

Also, I was going for 30cm high. I presume it's better to but one plank rather than two on top of each other to get the height unless no option?

And is it best to nail them into each other or to get a post at each corner?

Where have other people got their raised veg wood planks and posts from?




  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,167

    Dear melanie, wood has a tendency to rot when it is outside, so I made my raised beds from 'pressure treated timber' this is unplaned timber suitable for using out of doors. I used 6 or 7inch wide planks (these are called gravel boards) with 2"x2" posts at the corners. So you hammer the posts into the ground, 4 inches or so, then you drill and screw the gravel board into the little post.image

    If you want the raised beds to be higher then simply attach another layer of gravel board, but please be aware that it will take an awful lot of compost/topsoil/well rotted manure to fill such a high bed.image

  • Busy Bee2Busy Bee2 Posts: 1,005

    I will tell you exactly how I built mine.  Firstly, I sourced used scaffolding boards, they can be found on Ebay in your area.  I then bought some 3 x 3 inch fence posts and sank them in the ground. I then attached the scaffold boards at the corners using large screws (drilled first) and left the posts sticking out above the soil level some way.  I also used a spirit level to get the scaffold boards level (can't believe some people spend loads on raised beds only to put them in wonky!!)  I then lined the inside of the boards with plastic sheeting (damp proof sheeting from toolstation/screwfix type places) to prevent moisture from rotting them.  I will put a picture up tomorrow.  The reason for the tall posts at the corner is because I have a theory about making the whole bed into a kind of cold frame with polythene, by making a frame, secured by screws in the top of the posts, and then cover same with netting to prevent carrot flies or wasps from accessing late strawberries, etc.  Also to put cats off scratching and poo-ing in the bed, or rabbits nicking stuff.  Can explain all this with photos when it is not dark!!

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,724

    I've built many veg beds and I've always used " 6x1" gravel boards. ( 15cm x 1.5cm ish) in new money. If you want them 30cm, you'd need 2 high, clearly. They're relatively cheap and come in various lengths 6ft 8ft or 10 ft , or their metric equivalents. I usually use a " marking out stake" again, easily obtainable from timber yards / builders' merchants. They're usually 2" ( 5cm ) square and either 18" (45cm) or 24" ( 60cm) long. I'd not recommend nailing, always screw them onto the posts.

  • KevinMKevinM Posts: 22


    I've gone for a cheapish option and just knocked one up using gravel boards, about 19mm thick I think, and stacked two high to get the 30cm depth with a post in each corner made from roughly 5cm by 5cm wood. Quite small bed though overall  - about 90cm square - but seems strong enough.

    For longer sides I think they might need a strengthening baton or two - but I'm by no means a DIY expert image



  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,724

    tee hee Artjak, same advice, you just beat me to it.


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,724

    ditto KevinM

  • KevinMKevinM Posts: 22

    Heh many replies much the same image

  • KevinMKevinM Posts: 22

    Busybee2 - nice idea with the longer corner posts. I might copy that if I make another one!

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,167

    Melanieimage hope you are not too confused nowimage

    Please ask us if you need more info.

    If you need raised beds because of a disability, it may be that there are other options to explore.

  • PrasannaPrasanna Posts: 14

    Hi Melanie, just last week I made a raised bed from scaffolding boards available free at Epping forest in east London, through free cycle You can pick up a lot of wood free if it is not too far for you. I made another from pallets also picked up free from some builders. Just don't use wood that has been treated with chemicals if you are planning to  grow organic vegetables.

    I didn't bother lining the larger bed _just dug over and topped with compost and fertiliser. Stakes in the corners will be useful, like Busy Bee suggested, to put up netting or cloches.

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