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Hello raised bed makers,
If you don't have a supply of weed-free soil you can buy large (1m cubed) bags of topsoil. You can have them delivered. Although it won't be cheap, the advantages of weed-free, pest-free and pathogen-free soil are huge. If you start off with good soil you'll reap the benefits of great crops without trouble in your first year. And if you keep the weeds down and practise crop rotation, you'll be able to keep it that way!
My son built me raised beds with reclaimed stone and bricks, they are just over 3ft high, and they are super, no more bending and stooping, I ordered 1 ton of top soil and spent a whole day shifting it by muck-bucket, it was very hard work and I sat down after every 10 buckets, but very satisfying and best of all the plants love it, they can grow lovely deep roots, and I don't need to water so often, also all the flowers are at eye level, which is lovely, last year I grew Cosmos and it reached up to the roof of the conservatory, and they were full of lovely Bees, I have never regretted having raised beds,
Just read Emmas reply! Thanks... Now, where can we order such soil bags? The garden centres near me only have little bags.
To get top soil try your local builder they scrape off all the soil on a new site and just keep a wee bit for the garden.
I've just built low raised beds using wooden pallets . I sawed them along the line of the outer blanks so i ended up with four sides to the bed and then nailed them together to form the bed about a metre square. I also used two on top of each other raises the bed to about two feet. It was very easy, quick and only cost the me for the nails. These are low raised beds for more delicate crops and a bit of relief in my vegetable garden.
I built 4 raised beds and just filled them with 2 ton of topsoil then next year i will just condition the soil with the growbags i used to grow the tomatoes in and also dig the good old Home made compost
Our garden is on a slope so raised beds were built eighteen years ago when we moved in. I used old railway sleepers over most of the garden, one circular bed with modern treated 'railway sleepers', and the raised vegetable beds using 9" x 1.5" tanalised timber.
No worries about Elf n Safety, the veg is nice and tasty and the old sleepers are so damned heavy they almost never budge.
Going back to that demo, I almost never ever use nails. Drill pilot holes and use decent Posidrive screws. All that thumping and hammering without a nice sledge hammer behind the short posts to support them.....hmmm.
And as for what soil to add. For goodness sake, dig what's in the middle to about two spafe depths adding well rotted horse muck, old growbags, and so on. Our raised beds are a fertile at ferrets.
Not totally level, some of the Allotments around here are built on a slope,one in particular has 6 raised beds around 12 foot long which will be about 2 to 3 foot lower at one end. He does appear to grow some amazing crops on his system, I asked him once while passing about the slope , he said he does have to keep working the soil back up to the top now and then.
Pretzel, it's your garden - do what suits you! If you are on a severe slope position your beds with the long side ACROSS the slope - this way you won't have the problem described by Netherfield. As Paul says Pozidrive screws are best for fitting the boards to the posts - you can get good ones which you hammer in to start with and then drill home.
My darling hubby built me two raised beds, he did a great job I'm delighted with them. I do appreciate having someone to do these jobs for me
My friend filled her new raised beds partly with soil and partly with coir blocks expanded in buckets of water, from greenthusiasm (online). She loves them and the produce is briliant. Also she had access difficulties, so the little bricks were ideal.