? Best way to start raised beds ?

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sarahkeast
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? Best way to start raised beds ?

Post: #191473 sarahkeast
Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:22 am

I am about to actually 'make' my raised beds; just waiting for the bad weather to pass and paint/treat the scaffold planks. There is a fair bit of creeping buttercup and goodness knows what else lurking under the carpet that is on the patch at the moment, so it will need some thorough digging/cleaning.

Soooooo.....

I am trying to figure out how to go about it. Whenever I dig first and then add stakes and build sides they end up all higledy pigledy and lopsided. As I will have 6 in a grid I would rather like them to look straight and square !

So do I make the 'boxes' knock them in and then dig from the inside ? how awkward will it be fitting [tripping over] the wood and getting into the edges ?

Or do I dig the approximate area and fit the box over ? Will the stakes go in square ? shouldnt be too many rocks as it used to be a veg bed a few years ago.

Or some other permutation of the above ?

Any recommendations ?

Thanks

Sarah :flower:
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JulieSherris
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Re: ? Best way to start raised beds ?

Post: #191490 JulieSherris
Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:33 am

When we did ours, Sarah, we used large pegs & twine to mark the beds out first. Then screw the stakes onto the long side of the box - hammer those stakes in & attach each end - a bit of pushing & pulling, but it should work fairly squarely.

As for digging... hmmm... depends on how deep your beds are - I covered the ground inside with cardboard first & threw the soil on the top, no digging required! Our beds are 9inches deep though, & so far, so good!
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Keaniebean
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Re: ? Best way to start raised beds ?

Post: #191529 Keaniebean
Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:49 pm

When my husband put my raised beds in for me over the winter :hugish: we had already dug the area first. Then he used a spirit level and a BIG sledge hammer to knock them down to ground level. This was after we 'trod' the earth back down.

Good luck with your project, it's a big job but gives you a great sense of satisfaction :king: when you get it done and get some seeds sown in them.
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mybarnconversion
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Re: ? Best way to start raised beds ?

Post: #191595 mybarnconversion
Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:15 pm

If they're shallow beds then I'd dig first, then grin and bear the inevitable muck when installing the beds. If not shallow (6 inches plus) I'd go for the option I and Julie above favour - line with cardboard that will break down then fill and plant directly - let the worms do the work underground over time ;)

sarahkeast
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Re: ? Best way to start raised beds ?

Post: #191610 sarahkeast
Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:09 pm

Thanks for the advice.

Will the cardboard covering kill off perennial weeds ? buttercup is thick and possible ground elder.

Maybe I will dig/weed a little and then fill, altho not sure how much 'volume' I can generate for 6 beds, got some dirt from conservatory clearance/foundation and some compost; but dont know it will make a super thick layer. Got LOTS of cardboard tho from packing boxes from moving house [and country !]

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Re: ? Best way to start raised beds ?

Post: #191716 confused
Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:18 pm

I made mine 4ft x4ft and 1ft deep put 6ins of cardboard in them ,and filled them with soil, i just topped them up with compost /grass cuttings over the next two years, and now i have 12ins of great topsoil.

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JulieSherris
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Re: ? Best way to start raised beds ?

Post: #191721 JulieSherris
Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:55 pm

Sarah, if I dug out all the creeping buttercup, ground elder & moss where our beds are, I'd just be left with dirt!!
OK, there's a bit of weeding going on, but I suspect that those weeds came in with the soil that we moved anyway. The cardboard will certainly halt the nasties underneath :cheers:
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