A good source for raised bed materials

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Barry sharpe

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A good source for raised bed materials
« on: December 16, 2008, 18:55 »
Hi,

First question one of many, :wink:

I have read or am reading Johns excellent book "Vegetable growing month by month."  I am leaning towards the raised bed idea for two reasons one is my allotment is at the bottom of a slope. Two i will be able to use other materials for the paths rather than grass, currently thinking wood chip. I have a good plan that will enable me to create four main beds.

bed A = 4 feet wide and 23 feet long
bed b = 4 feet wide and 25 feet long
bed c = 4 feet wide and 27 feet long  
bed d = 4 feet wide and 29 feet long

i have room for another couple of smaller beds one which is going to be in the shade a lot this i am going to call my testing bed as one end of my main beds wont get a lot of sun. (yet to verify that but not looking promissing)

Anyway my simple question is i need wood for all of this so an online source would be handy one that will serve non trade. Johns book talks of at least 38mm wide, and will need enougth depth to raise the beds.

All suggestions welcome, even if it is to suggest another look at the design itself.

Thankyou in advance

Barry

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Yorkie

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A good source for raised bed materials
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2008, 19:14 »
I'm sure you have your reasons for wanting up to 6 beds, albeit some smaller than others, but beds a - d look very narrow to me, you probably won't get much more than one row of anything in each one.

It may only be a matter of personal style, but I'd consider wider beds to start with, and perhaps fewer of them.  This would probably mean less wood to acquire (fewer long sides of beds).

I've never used raised beds so can't comment on the construction itself, sorry.
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Ice

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A good source for raised bed materials
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2008, 19:27 »
Four feet wide is perfect, but I would break up those long lengths because instead of going around you might be tempted to step on the bed to get to the other side.  Defeating the object methinks.
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Yorkie

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« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2008, 19:31 »
:D  :D I bow to greater experience  :D  :D

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Barry sharpe

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A good source for raised bed materials
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2008, 19:31 »
I know where you are comming from Yorkie, the idea is that you dont ever need to clamber on the beds. And can easily reach the center from both sides. Not having any growing experience i cannot say whether 4 feet will be wide enougth i am tall so could possibly do 6 feet at a strech. Once i peg it out i will have a better idea of  how wide it can be. Its a worthy note though Yorkie i imagined two rows per bed.

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Ice

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A good source for raised bed materials
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2008, 19:35 »
Don't forget you can plant closer together and use equal spacings all round.  No six inches between plants and 12 inches between rows for example.

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Elcie

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A good source for raised bed materials
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2008, 20:01 »
I have raised beds and love them (although I have never tried anything else!)

They are mainly 4ft wide and 6 or 8ft in length.  I have some 4x4 too which I use for radishes and salads.  They are very easy to work as you don't have to reach too far to get into the middle or walk too far around the outside.

My OH built them and we started off with more expensive scaffolding planks but when we went back to Wickes they had sold out so we moved on to (much cheaper) wooden planks.  Thick post in corners, nailed planks onto it.  The wood literally sits on the soil and then you dig in the middle of the bed.  OH put three sides on, dug in the bed and then put final side on to complete.  Saves digging up the paths too!

We have woodchip for paths.

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Salmo

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A good source for raised bed materials
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2008, 21:32 »
Personally I would be thinking of lots of 4ft rows going across. These have the added advantage that sowing short rows every week of things like salads does not take a lot of discipline.

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Ice

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A good source for raised bed materials
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2008, 21:35 »
Also, it recommended that your beds should align north to south if possible.  This should give them maximum sunlight.

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Barry sharpe

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A good source for raised bed materials
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2008, 21:59 »
Thats the plan to align them noth to south, the problem i have is with a 12" plus hedge that effectivily creates a north aspect for my beds. Looking at it i reckon that half the allotment to the north will only see sun in the summer. I was considering taking down the hedge to the height of the 6" fence that borders the gardens. The hedge is located in the allotments, but not sure if this is the right thing to do.

So my current thinking is maybe some goesberry bushes and blackberry bushes, maybe also kale etc.

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MOLUSC

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A good source for raised bed materials
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2008, 14:19 »
i have become very popular on my allotment because of my job....i install p.v.c.ue fascia boardsand windows etc.
This means that i keep all the old (in good condition) fascia boards as well as old guttering ,downspouts ,glazed window sashes ,polycarbonate roof sheets etc
Since re-cycling all the allotment friendly stuff, i have saved about 1 skip every two months and gained many new friends in the process.  :D

I am sure if you look locally you will find a p.v.c.ue roofline installer who would be more than happy to put aside any old fascia boards for you to take away or allow you to look through the skip.

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Barry sharpe

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A good source for raised bed materials
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2008, 18:51 »
Quote from: "MOLUSC"
i have become very popular on my allotment because of my job....i install p.v.c.ue fascia boardsand windows etc.
This means that i keep all the old (in good condition) fascia boards as well as old guttering ,downspouts ,glazed window sashes ,polycarbonate roof sheets etc
Since re-cycling all the allotment friendly stuff, i have saved about 1 skip every two months and gained many new friends in the process.  :D

I am sure if you look locally you will find a p.v.c.ue roofline installer who would be more than happy to put aside any old fascia boards for you to take away or allow you to look through the skip.


Thanks MOLUSC,

That meets all the criteria for a good idea I shall ask about and look up such companies in the yellow pages.

Barry

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Porffor

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A good source for raised bed materials
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2008, 16:42 »
Am here browsing for the same sort of info.. I was wondering about using Decking boards as they are pre-treated :) I garden in my garden though rather than an allotment but am looking to build beds in my 'sunny' area - back garden has a fair bit of shade unfortunately.

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peter james

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A good source for raised bed materials
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2008, 17:48 »
if you contact local scaffold companys thay will put aside all the boards thay are desposing of. thay have very strict saftey standards which means thay scrap a lot of split or rotton boards thats where i sorced my 9 15ft by 5ft beds all for the price of the nails and time thanks p,j,

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Porffor

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A good source for raised bed materials
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2008, 18:31 »
sounds great! :) And great way to recycle too :)



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