chilekat's latest photos on Grows on You, where garden ideas are shared.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

How to Make a Raised Bed!

I recently decided to grow garlic after my success with the chillies, but wasn't too keen on using pots; I've also been tempted to dig up my lawn here and there to make it more interesting, so I decided the best thing would be to make a raised bed for garlic, chives and whatever else I can squeeze into it!

I'm putting this little tutorial here for anyone who wants to try it the way I did it.

I used:

2 x 2.4m Gravel boards
1 x 2.4m length of timber to be sectioned off for steaks (see photo)
1 Pack of 3 inch nails
1 Roll of Weed Control matting
3 -4 Bags of Topsoil
2-3 Bags of compost
1 Measuring tape
A Hammer
A Saw
A biro

If like me, you want to put your bed on the lawn; you don't have to remove the grass, but it's worth digging it and turning it over - it will improve the drainage of the soil that'll be pretty compacted after years of being walked on. The grass will break down over time and provide the soil with nutrients...Double Bubble!!

So first of all I marked out my work area, giving enough space for the bed and a border around the edge. My Bed measures 1m x 1.4m, to make best use of the wood I've chosen.

I marked it out using skewers into the ground and then using string between them as a guide, I cut a line out of the lawn:
Then using a fork, I dug up the lawn and turned it upside down:

Now to cut the wood:
Measure and mark 1 meter along one of the gravel boards and cut across it horizontally, giving you two pieces; 1 measuring 1.4m and one 1m. This is one front piece and one side - repeat this process to get your other 2 pieces! Simple.

Then we need some steaks - Take your thinner piece of wood and make 4 pieces 11 or 12 inches long, cutting one end of each into a point:

Now the fun of knocking it all about with some nails!....My granddad would be so proud ;-)
Take one of your side pieces and attach a steak to one end:

Obviously the steak in the above pic isn't lined up with the side, make sure yours is!
Repeat this at the other end. Now attach the remaining 2 steaks to the other side piece.

Take your longer pieces of wood and nail them to the sides of the shorter pieces:

And Hey Presto! One raised bed, simple but effective (and clearly upside down, but don't worry about that for now....):

So, back to the soil, and we need to put a layer of matting over the area where the border will be to stop any weeds coming through:

Position the bed over the matting (the right way up this time!) and hammer it into the ground. I made holes in the matting so the steaks would go in easier; once it's hammered down and level, pull the matting within the frame up and over as we don't want the matting to be in the bed, only around it:

Now fill it up with the good stuff!!:

Get in there!!!:
....that's the mucky stuff over which is a bit sad really; I kinda liked it!

Using some kind of decorative stone, cover the matting around your new raised bed:

And that's it!! I finished mine off with a few ornamental odds and sods, but again; that's up to you.... mine will look nicer again once the grass around it has recovered, right now it's all trodden down and covered in mud!

I'm thrilled with my new raised bed - now I'm off to plant my bulbs!! Happy growing :-)