Raised beds are the ideal way to create an easy to manage bed system for growing your own veg. Raised beds are free-draining, easily accessed, early warming and particularly useful to help you get better results on poor soils. A raised bed can even be used as garden beds for your flowers, either to display or to use for cuttings.
For the purposes of this project, I am using a raised bed made from recycled UPVC boards. I chose this system because the unique Link-a-bord system consists of rigid double skinned, recycled UPVC boards and it comes with easy to use linking sections and fastening dowels. This allows me to make my beds up into a variety of sizes and heights that will suit my needs.
In addition to this, the boards won’t fade or rot, and can be easily dismantled and moved if necessary.The double skin construction provides good insulation to help maintain a stable soil temperature, which of course is vital to seed germination.
Assembling Your Raised Beds
Now you have your raised bed, it’s time to put it together. This is a very simple task, takes just 10 minutes and requires just one person. I know, I have just done mine and believe me, self assembly is not one of my strengths!
When you unpack this raised bed, you will find 4 corner pieces (your own model may well vary but a corner joint will be present). Just slide these into one of the link boards and then follow this around until all four are connected.
It really can be that simple.
Filling Your Raised Garden Beds
Once you have assembled your raised garden bed, you need to fill it and depending on your location, you may wish to line it. If you have gone onto hard ground (concrete, slabs etc) I would strongly suggest lining with a good quality weed surpresser.
I have placed my bed in a fantastic sun trap but alas it is on concrete slabs so a liner was a must. If you are on poor draining soil then I would NOT use a liner unless weeds are a major problem. This raised garden will aid your soils recovery so let it flow my fellow growers, let it flow…
As for the compost, there are so many to go for so I will leave that up to you, but the quantity you will need will vary as shown below. I have mixed my in a 2 to 1 ratio with topsoil as I find shop bought compost a bit ‘fluffy’.
As a guide, for raised beds of 1 board depth (in height) = approx 125 litres to fill to within 1 inch of the top
Raised garden beds
Part 1 summary
In conclusion, remember, the choice of bed material is up to you. I have selected this solution as it is recycled, long lasting, flexible and very portable. Your placement should be considered.
Aspect is vital, you need at least 6 full hours of sunlight per day so get the kettle on, pull up a garden chair and watch the suns movement. To follow my project exactly with the materials I have selected, you will need A raised bed. The size and depth is up to you and some lining material to control weeds (depending on your placement) and finally compost, and lots of it!
In my next part, I shall be going through the selection process of what to grow and how to prepare so do check back again soon. That is all for part 1, so I shall leave you to get organised and I shall return later this week with part two.