When I’m working full time, it can be tricky to fit in any gardening so this February half term Hubbie and I decided to build a new raised bed. I wanted a new raised bed for cut flowers and a new place to grow raspberries.
Creating a raised bed for your garden is a great way to add a specific soil type for growing plants that wouldn’t usually thrive in your garden soil. It can also help if you have very heavy clay soil or a new garden full of builders rubble! They prove a popular place to grow vegetables as they are easy to access and can be looked after relatively simply. This is a great project for the late winter/early spring season so here are 5 easy steps to create one!
1. Choose your spot
Choosing where you want your raised bed to go sounds obvious but is important! Housing it against a north facing wall, for example will mean that it is in shade almost all day. Growing anything here will be challenging although not impossible. I know that I want to grow flowers for cutting so the site needs to be sunny; it needs to get sunshine for the majority of the day. The other thing to consider is how will you access your fixed bed. I want a path that surrounds my bed so that I can tend to it easily. This means that I need to make sure the bed is not too large for the space available.
2. Choose your materials and clear the site
How would you like your raised bed to look? What materials do you want to use? We chose to use old scaffolding boards as they were free. This is what we used to create our other vegetable beds so it seemed sensible to use the same materials again. You could use breeze blocks, railway sleepers, stone, blocks but wood tends to be the most popular. If you find DIY tricky, there are raised bed kits that you can buy at most good DIY stores. Make sure the site is level and clear so that you can get started.
3. Measure and getting started!
Once you have measured how large you want your bed to be, it’s time to get started! Hubbie sawed the planks and screwed them into place using a corner post to make sure the bed was square. We had the room to make the frame off site. If you need to build your raised bed on site, mark out the area using stakes and string. You can lay the timber directly on the soil. Treating the wood with a paint that resists moisture is very important so that your new bed lasts as long as possible.
4. Filling your new raised bed
The grass under our new bed was turned and added to the bed upside down so that it will rot down. We did have lots of ivy growing near this new bed so that was disposed of as I didn’t want it to start growing in my new raised bed! We added well rotted horse manure at the bottom of the bed mixed with compost from our compost bins. This should give any new plants a good start in a fertile, well drained soil. We will add more compost to completely fill the bed when we’ve planted up the raised bed. We added a T-section to our raised bed to grow raspberries. The new raspberry canes were planted out straight away as this is a good time to plant them.
5. Creating the path around the raised bed.
To create the path around our new raised bed, we used a barrier lining before we added the gravel. This will hopefully stop the ivy growing back along the path. We then added the gravel over the top.
I hope you found this post useful! I’m really pleased with our new raised bed but we’ve had second thoughts about what to plant there as it may be too shaded for cut flowers. Any suggestions?
Thanks for reading.
A blog about the renovation of our old house and it’s garden in the English countryside. I also blog about interiors, general gardening tips and visits to glorious gardens.