Raised beds

I am looking at creating some raised beds, height is important to me, about 3ft, I looked into railways sleepers but for the size I need these are looking expensive, what are my other options? I will need something that looks good and can withhold the weight of the soil needed.


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,193

    The alternatives are brick walls or breeze block walls which require foundations, material and labour so weigh up the various costs and you'll find railway sleepers come out not so expensive.

    May I ask why 3'?   For sitting on the wall to work the beds or to get access from a wheelchair something lower would be far more comfortable.    Knee height works well and would need fewer sleepers as well as less soil.


    The Vendée, France
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,359

    I used decking planks and 50x50mm vertical stakes about every 80cm of length.  This is strong enough and the wood is pre-treated so will last a good few years if also lined on the inside.  These are only about 2 feet high though:


    There's over 2 cubic metres of topsoil in them, weighing about 2 tonnes.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • MrToastMrToast Posts: 169

    I am looking at 3ft high for beds and seating.

  • bekkie hughesbekkie hughes Posts: 5,294
    Hi, b&q sell wood thats like a sleeper, but smaller, a bit like a telegraph pole but with the sides trimmed so they lie flat, i think they were about 9quid each, i had a raised bed made of these for my birthday, they also went together without fixings (tho the top ones are slightly wonky), might be worth a look. I think they are around 4ft long image
  • chrissieBchrissieB Posts: 772
    3ft sounds quite high for seating unless upu just want so teething for people to perch on/rest against.

    The seat of most chairs are about 40 to 45 cm high?
  • This is a bit odd but consider using filing cabinets turned on their back. This has worked really well for me.

    Paint them with an enamel and clad the top and bottom with timber held in place with either bolts or exterior adhesive.

    I have now got four of these and I love them.
  • MrToastMrToast Posts: 169
    Thanks for all the input, I think 3ft is excessive and after thinking about it 2ft seems more reasonable. I will have a look at the timber in B&Q.
  • chrissieBchrissieB Posts: 772
    My post was supposed to say something rather than teething, blasted auto correct - although it is quite amusing what it sometimes comes up with!
  • WakouWakou Posts: 21


     These are gravel boards, with concrete posts. Permanent, easy to maintain, and not expensive.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,692

    As I'm redoing thisnew garden, I built a run of raised beds last year - similar to Bob - but varying heights. I used fencing timber, lined, and with a ledge round the top. Around eighteen inches is the ideal height to double as seating so you could always incorporate a few sections which have a wider 'top' to use as seating MrT. You can see the longest bed in this pic - it's about that height and I often perch on it with a cuppa! 



  • MrToastMrToast Posts: 169
    Thanks guys, some great inspiration
  • bev allenbev allen Posts: 19

    I have raised beds made out of railway sleepers supposedly to stop my sons football flattening my plants!!  Not sure that it works for that purpose but I do sit on it to have a cuppa and plan what to do next!  did try to post pictures but it didn't work for some reason.  



  • KT53KT53 Posts: 2,093

    We have 2 raised bed which are 3 sleepers high and that is more than enough for a seat height.

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