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Creating new raised beds.

I have a (really)small town courtyard and I want to build some raised beds.

My main query is about whether to build on top of concrete, which covers the area? I plan to build them about 2.5 ft/76cms high with the hope of having  a couple of smallish trees with shrubs and perennials. Would I need to make holes in the concrete for root growth or not? I have not decided whether sleepers or rocks would be better to make the beds ? Help!! Jocelyn.



  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Depends what trees you want to grow. Any large tree won't establish a decent enough root system in a raised bed. You'd have to choose carefully Acers do well with restricted root growth as they are slow growing, anything larger and you'd be better off taking up the concrete. Shrubs and perennials will do fine in raised beds, but again choose carefully, get the smaller varieties or keep them small by hard pruning. You will get natural drainage if you use sleepers, but where is the water going to go eventually? Where does the water go now?

  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,723

    Careful that the walls of the raised beds aren't touching any house walls. Lots of trouble in store for rising damp thereimage

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • Thank you for your messages. 

    The beds will be against the garden wall and there is a very slight slope towards a drain. Although it seems minimal, the courtyard does not hold water. I am still working on suitable plants.I am hoping to start this project once the bad weather has improved. Jocelyn


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