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  • Writer's pictureJo Connolly

A SMALL GARDEN PROJECT: OUR NEW RAISED VEGGIE BED

Updated: Jun 11

With the recent focus on home & food production (trying to become a little more self sufficient), & with extra time on our hands, a small garden project that we had, until recently, never found the time to get started, has suddenly been accomplished.


It has been a great opportunity to get outside, get busy & feel we are achieving something worthwhile – A RAISED VEGGIE BED!



As a garden designer, I also love to incorporate herbs & a few productive plants or trees wherever I can in gardens. They attract bees & insects, bring another dimension to the garden & great sense of satisfaction for clients, no matter how few or how small.

A productive area can also be a formal & smart or as relaxed & informal to suit any garden style.


Build or dig a vegetable bed to the size you have available. A little space in a sunny spot is all you need to get started. Even without a dedicated garden bed, discarded compost bags & garden pots & planters can be utilised for herbs & veggies.


The site I chose gets sun for most of the day, especially the afternoon sun which is ideal for maximum growth.


As the soil in our garden consists mainly of builders rubble & with nowhere to dump the material we removed, a raised bed was a good option. If your soil garden soil is OK, you could simply dig in some good quality compost to improve the soil.


The size was determined by the overall space, & standard wood lengths available to avoid extra cutting. 


We limited the overall height & size to require minimum support & without requiring a foundation.


RASIED BED MATERIALS:


SLEEPERS

Green treated pine (1.2m, 2.4m & 3.6mL x 200mmH x 50mmW)

Screws: 100mm Size 8 HEX screws


POSTS

Fence Posts 2.4mL x 75mm2


SOIL

Good quality garden soil for raised beds.


x 2 sleepers high (400mm) which is so much easier on your back when bending to tend your plants.


A post & trellis frame was attached to the back to support climbers.


CONSTRUCTION:

  • We marked out the space on the ground where to raised bed would be located with some spray paint. This could also be done using a garden hose & garden pegs. 

  • We turned the existing grass over in spade size amounts so that the soil was on top and grass was underneath.

  • The lengths of wood were laid out in place & the first level of sleepers were drilled & screwed into place.

  • The second layer was added & additional wood supports put inside each corner & half way along the longest length for added structural support.

  • The vertical posts were attached to each end at the rear of the bed with trellis infront, between the bed & the posts. 

  • The bed was filled with good quality garden soil.


PLANTING:

The most important thing is not to get too excited & plant too many of one variety of vegetable. 

It is also really important to grow what you love to eat & plant in succession so that as one crop finished, you have another to replace it with & you can continue harvesting throughout the season.


Allow enough space for the fully grown plant to fill & follow planting instructions of your seeds or seedlings. As I don’t have a green house I am planting directly into the soil & therefore following timing recommendations.


In my small bed I have a dwarf cherry tree, onions, garlic, herbs, raspberries, dwarf peas, beans & lettuce. I have used old plastic pots & empty compost bags to grow potatoes. These take a bout 3 months to grow & take up quite a lot of space & therefore they are sitting on the ground so that my raised bed can be utilised to maximum capacity & variety over the growing season.


I would also say that the nursery production industry is on the brink of collapse with millions of plants ready for sale & nowhere to sell them. Many are offering delivery & online options etc.

So, as the weather warms up, it is the perfect time, either in pots or garden beds, to think about a bit of productive gardening.  It is also very good for the soul & something everyone can get involved with.



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