The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Growing => Vegetables => Topic started by: Mad Goatwoman of Madeley on February 25, 2013, 11:14:36 pm

Title: Raised beds
Post by: Mad Goatwoman of Madeley on February 25, 2013, 11:14:36 pm
I already used raised beds for vegetables but now I am less mobile, I have decided that I need to have them made to waist height so I can garden from a chair.  I won't use treated wood as I garden organically.  Anybody got suggestions as to what they can be built from?  I will get someone to do the work as I can't.
Title: Re: Raised beds
Post by: lachlanandmarcus on February 26, 2013, 07:53:39 am
You might want to consider these to compare prices against getting them made for you.
http://www.harrodhorticultural.com/standard-wooden-raised-beds-pid7994.html (http://www.harrodhorticultural.com/standard-wooden-raised-beds-pid7994.html)
There is also a 10% discount if you quote RB10 at checkout.
I have them (or rather the economy range below this - which doesnt have the sort of height you would want whereas this range does) and was pleasantly surprised by the quality
RE the preservative they say "High pressure treated with a non-toxic preservative after consultation with the country's leading organic growing body - mGarden Organic - before selecting treatment"
hope this helps
Title: Re: Raised beds
Post by: doganjo on February 26, 2013, 09:05:35 am
I've always made higher raised beds - and smaller, with a shelf at one side so I can perch when weeding.  Pallets are good for this, and they are often free if you can find a source. The smaller ones can be used as they are and the larger ones can be split up and the wood used.  Put a high post in each corner with a frame round the top so you can attach netting to keep out birds.
Title: Re: Raised beds
Post by: sharnaloo on February 26, 2013, 03:19:13 pm
have you tried putting an ad in the free papers in your area  you may be surprised how many ppl have old wood laying around  or try a local timber yard  they often have 'offcuts' that can be used very cheap often free
or another cheap option maybe to get breeze blocks  a pallet of the cheap ones is around 45.00  as long as you know someone that can cement them together
Title: Re: Raised beds
Post by: Fleecewife on February 26, 2013, 05:08:43 pm
Breeze blocks are a good idea as you won't suffer from rotting wood.  Leave drainage holes towards the bottom
Title: Re: Raised beds
Post by: clydesdaleclopper on February 26, 2013, 06:01:25 pm
Have you thought of making hugelkultur beds as these can be made to any height and use up any old rotten logs or brush you have around the place. There is some info here http://www.richsoil.com/hugelkultur/ (http://www.richsoil.com/hugelkultur/) but if you need to know more just ask  :)
Title: Re: Raised beds
Post by: Mad Goatwoman of Madeley on February 26, 2013, 11:14:10 pm
Some great suggestions here and you've all given me food for thought.  I need to do some research into the different methods. 
Title: Re: Raised beds
Post by: deepinthewoods on February 26, 2013, 11:18:16 pm
tanalised timber is safe for use on organic crops, the preservative is not toxic, and tanalised wood is cheap enough.
Title: Re: Raised beds
Post by: Mad Goatwoman of Madeley on February 28, 2013, 11:13:27 pm
Today I had a reply to an enquiry I made to Garden Organic and they have said that Tanalith E is a safer way to pressure treat wood.  The original CCA pressure treating contained arsenic and has now been banned.  So it looks like that is the way to go.

Thanks all.
Title: Re: Raised beds
Post by: sabrina on March 01, 2013, 12:02:11 am
Just was thinking about this the other day. As we have quite a few pallets no longer used I decided to give them a go.
Title: Re: Raised beds
Post by: Mad Goatwoman of Madeley on March 02, 2013, 09:53:17 pm
Someone told me that she made raised beds with pallets.  She made a stack of small ones then put four big ones round that, one on each side and joined them.  Lined the bed with heavy duty plastic with holes made in the bottom and fill with soil.  I can't get hold of enough pallets or I'd do that.
Title: Re: Raised beds
Post by: doganjo on March 02, 2013, 10:50:24 pm
You don't need them that big.  Use four small ones to make a raised bed 1 metre cubed.
Title: Re: Raised beds
Post by: GaddesdenGal on March 03, 2013, 10:14:06 pm
Old scaffolding boards are good (skips  :innocent: ). Pallets are such good all rounders.
Title: Re: Raised beds
Post by: Mad Goatwoman of Madeley on March 03, 2013, 10:17:14 pm
I'm thinking that maybe I'd use pallets to raise the level inside the raised bed, otherwise I've got to find an awful lot of compost.
Title: Re: Raised beds
Post by: Fleecewife on March 03, 2013, 11:01:39 pm
What about the one ton big bags used for fertiliser, gravel etc?  They use those in Cuba or Africa or somewhere as raised beds.  They don't last forever but can be sat on a pallet for extra height and if you can get used ones would be very cheap.
Title: Re: Raised beds
Post by: lachlanandmarcus on March 04, 2013, 07:50:35 am
Or talk to a local roofing contractor who does more of the listed buildings type of work; they sometimes have roof slates secondhand and they often come in a 1 metre cubes pallet type raised bed ready made. When our roof was done I acquired two and grow tatties in them.
Title: Re: Raised beds
Post by: benkt on March 04, 2013, 10:03:52 am
Ah yes, those tile/slate boxes are brilliant. We turned on into an emergency chicken coop and have a couple that get used as portable work benches. Not thought about using as raised beds but would give it a try if I could get more of them.
Title: Re: Raised beds
Post by: GaddesdenGal on March 04, 2013, 03:36:33 pm
What about the one ton big bags used for fertiliser, gravel etc?  They use those in Cuba or Africa or somewhere as raised beds.  They don't last forever but can be sat on a pallet for extra height and if you can get used ones would be very cheap.

I know someone who uses these, tastefully camouflaged behind wicker panels  ;) They seem perfectly as good as anything else as long as ample drainage.
Title: Re: Raised beds
Post by: Mad Goatwoman of Madeley on March 04, 2013, 10:33:57 pm
That's a good idea.  :idea:   I already have one.