Making a raised bed- suitable timber?

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1jim

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Making a raised bed- suitable timber?
« on: March 30, 2010, 09:58 »
Hi Everyone, would welcome comments on raised beds---- have not managed to obtain any free wood from freecycle and the likes, none on ebay and have even taking to driving with one eye looking for skips :blink:. so being the impatient kind of guy that I am I have accepted defeat and moved on to looking at buying wood, I have managed to source wood off ebay and wondered if these would be suitable
Pressure treated timber fence board (like gravel board) 12foot long, height 6inch, width 1inch. Plan to make beds 12foot long x 6 foot wide).  would these beds be ok size wise and would the wood be suitable- have emailed and asked what the pressure treatment is

Also had a thought to take the first few cm from the paths to use in raised beds which would drop the height of plot, so thought I could put a wood edge around the plot to keep whatever I use on the paths in place- for this I thought that 6foot x 3inch x 1inch would be suitable- any thoughts on this?

thanks

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Ice

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Re: Making a raised bed- suitable timber?
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2010, 10:12 »
Mine are made from pressure treated gravel boards.  Not too worried about them as the nasty ingredient in the treatment has been banned for a while now.

The best width for beds is four foot so you can reach the centre from both sides without having to step on the beds.  Twelve foot long is fine, any longer and there is a temptation to step on beds to go round.
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1jim

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Re: Making a raised bed- suitable timber?
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2010, 10:20 »
thanks, have just come across 4inch deep boards which are "muuuccchhhh" cheaper, would these be ok or false economy?

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Jamie Butterworth

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Re: Making a raised bed- suitable timber?
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2010, 10:23 »
http://www.wickes.co.uk/Sawn-Treated-Softwood/invt/107062

I used this wood, also I did drop the path a few cm to help fill the raised beds then filled the path with bark chippings that I got from some tree surgeons. Also topsoilinsnt that expensive if you look around, i got it doen to 30 but went for the 50 stuff because it looked better  :D

Hope this helped
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HugglescoteGrower

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Re: Making a raised bed- suitable timber?
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2010, 10:40 »
I use 12' x 6" "gravel boards" for my raised beds. Agree with the 4 foot width, and still fits nicely as 8 boards will make you 3 raised beds. You can also use the same stuff for building strawberry planters, herb planters etc. The 12' lenght is very flexible.

Ensure that the treatment is not creosote, which was banned for sale to the public but is still available to trade and commercial suppliers, so if you are buying surplus from a tradesman just make sure it is tannelised, rather then creosoted. Where you cut the boards stand them in a bucket of fence care for a few minutes to make sure they don't rot prematurely.
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Knight Family

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Re: Making a raised bed- suitable timber?
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2010, 12:40 »
I made mine out of kickboard from wickes was doing a great job till i moved!  :mellow: But hey gave them to my dad hope hes installed them think he will at some point.

Now i need to finish off the house decoration, install the greenhouse footings, oh and plant some veg before the years out!!! Just wish the ground would dry out a bit....
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1jim

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Re: Making a raised bed- suitable timber?
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2010, 17:11 »
thanks everyone, the wife has just been doing some rough working out, if I make the beds 4 foot wide as opposed to 6 foot wide then although will have a couple more beds I will loose "quite a bit" growing space and shes worried it will make quite a difference to what we can grow...she just read the "your allotment book" by clare foster and the wife reckons she says that 6 foot is good for reaching in. Is the consensus here that 4foot is best?

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HugglescoteGrower

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Re: Making a raised bed- suitable timber?
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2010, 17:14 »
I'm very much in the 4 foot camp. I'm sure others will share their opionis. If you mark six foot out on the floor you may well be able to readch into the middle of it, but doing any kind of meaning ful work is very difficult, which means you end up stepping into the beds.

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mumofstig

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Re: Making a raised bed- suitable timber?
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2010, 18:59 »
Think about it....will you be able to reach over 3ft to fork over the middle?

I suppose you could walk on a board when it is cultivation or planting time . But that  seems at odds with the whole point of raised beds...that you don't walk on them.

Monty Don, Bob Flowerdew and Alan Titchmarsh all advise 4 ft wide.

Beds dug on the allotment are often 6ft wide, but they are not raised beds, just areas for different crops, with paths between.
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Ice

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Re: Making a raised bed- suitable timber?
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2010, 19:00 »
1jim, growing in a raised bed is different to growing on an allotment style plot.  You can plant things much closer together and at equal distances.  What you lose in space you can make up for in the planting. 

If, for example you want to grow cabbages, grow ones that are pointed rather than ones that are ball shaped.  Four foot is the recognised optimal width for beds.  Have them wider by all means though, it is your plot to do with as you like. :)

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sunshineband

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Re: Making a raised bed- suitable timber?
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2010, 19:46 »
I'm 5ft 10 and only ve 4 ft wide beds as it is not just a case of stretching in but working the bed as well.

Ours are made of recycled decking planks, with few new ones bought very cheap.
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MoreWhisky

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Re: Making a raised bed- suitable timber?
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2010, 20:35 »
Mine are made out of scaffolding planks. They are very strong and a few ppl have since used them on my site.


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sunshineband

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Re: Making a raised bed- suitable timber?
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2010, 20:39 »
Mine are made out of scaffolding planks. They are very strong and a few ppl have since used them on my site.


Ive just made Hero member to  :D is the any sort of prize?  :D :D

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mumofstig

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Re: Making a raised bed- suitable timber?
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2010, 20:42 »
Quote
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1jim

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Re: Making a raised bed- suitable timber?
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2010, 07:54 »
thanks everyone 12foot by 4foot it is then :)
Im guessing 6inch deep is better than 4 inch and worth the extra cost? and 3inch around the plot?

The plot is short grass at the minute....would it be enougth to loosen the grass/soil and then place the topsoil/compost/sand mix on top of this---will it kill off the grass, Im guessing the best approach is to lift the grass and dig properly but would this work as a compromise. The other idea was to rotivate the area where beds are going to be- build the beds and then fill with the soil/compost/sand mix, Im working on the assumption that any roots that work way back to surface would be easier to pull out doing this



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