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recommendations for raised bed material


I made some raised beds about 5 yrs ago out of tanelised gravel boards, they are already starting to rot on the bottom edge.  I intend to make some more this year in my back garden. Can anyone recommend some other material / supplier, e.g. UV resistant tough plastic, ideally not too expensive.  I'm happy cutting down / DIY-ing, so they don't need to be a 'kit'. 

Can anyone recommend other commercially available materials, from which I could knock up these ?

Thanks for your comments



  • higgy50higgy50 Posts: 184

    Hi TJ,

    I have made all my raised beds out of treated wood but I always line them with old compost bags before filling with soil. The polythene takes away the contact with the soil which is what rots them out so quickly.

    If you can afford it sleepers will last longer as they are so much bigger and wider? I have also recently built a raised bed using 3'x4' fence posts which if you shop around you can get fairly cheaply, these again are better than boards due to their thickness but cheaper than sleepers. With both these build them like bricks and the beds will look nice and neat also.

    I do however think whatever you use once built paint the inside surface with preservative and line with polythene. this will protect the wood and also help to hold  in some moisture (not that you'd need that with this years weather!!) One other thing worth considering is sitting the bed on simple gravel foundations which will drain and prevent the bottom boards from sitting in water or on damp earth?...

    If you have a look at my blog I do have a couple of posts about building raised beds if it helps?



  • TJ666TJ666 Posts: 18

    Thanks Higgy.  I assumed plastic would leave a lovely hidey space for slugs to live (between the plastic and wood). When I've previously used plastic to line things it seemed to come away when troweling / digging over the soil.

    I shall continue my hunt, for something more permanent.

  • Years back I made a raised bed out of old paving slabs when I took what had been a patio up and bedded it.
    After careful measurement I made an outside frame then set the slabs on edge inside the frame with a metal clip screwed to the wood and bent over each slab to hold it until the soil was in. Some bags of gravel in the base then top up with soil and you have a rot proof raised bed. It was still there when we moved and probably still is.


  • Hi, I just posted minutes ago on this topic. Please see my POSTS for what I ended up getting for my 3 raised beds. They may outlast me... ;-)

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