What are Raised Beds and what are they used for?
Raised beds are often used in the growing of fruit, vegetables and flowers, and devised to allow roots to grow out while allowing access around a larger area of growing space. While the length of your construction is open to personal taste, most of the experts opt for a width of around four feet to further allow for stretching to the middle of your construction, digging and weeding purposes. Of course, there are no hard and fast rules on this, as long as you can reach the middle of your construction comfortably.
What are they made of?
The large majority of raised bed constructions are made of varying types of timber, many pre-treated to allow for durability. If purchasing untreated wood, there are many types of liquid treatment that can be purchased after consultation with your garden centre. Of course, various types of concrete blocks can be used, which will require the inclusion of an internal sheet of membrane. A few moments research on YouTube will help immensely in finishing your job professionally.
Where do I start?
Clear the area where you require your beds to sit. Measure out your bed[s] using plumb-lines and tape measure. Construct your wooden rectangle ensuring that each corner is held in place, and square, by hammering a piece of timber [a peg] in to each angle and securing back and side. Each peg should be a good six inches or more below the timber line to allow to establish, and approximately three or four inches below the top line of the timber.
Will this be strong enough?
Further timber should be used to strengthen your longer sides as your construction is going to be filled by heavy earth. This will save unsightly buckling, while strengthening your raised bedding and eliminating unnecessary movement. Line with a single layer of cardboard, which will form a base of permeable mulch when dampened. Fill with earth, mixed with compost and level off. Each peg should be secured at a lower height than your construction using screws for external use.
- measure out your beds
- build and reinforce your rectangular construction using external screws
- line with a single layer of cardboard
- fill with earth, mixed with compost to improve the quality of growth
- level off