Raised beds

Raised beds can be a good starting point for a beginner but are also an easy to  manage method of gardening that many professionals prefer to growing in an open plot where you grow crops in rows and walk between them.

A  wooden raised bed with a big pile of crops ready to be shared out at Golden Hill Community Garden.  Raised beds allowed both able and less able people to garden together.

This is a bed at Golden Hill Community Garden – not the most beautiful construction, but very productive – we got good crops despite the awful summer of 2012. That is the benefit of good drainage and newly imported green waste compost.

A system of paths and beds should be designed so you can reach all parts of the bed from the paths. This means you don’t ever walk on the soil and so you can work even when the soil is wet without compacting it.  You can also concentrate your water, compost and effort just on those areas that are going to be producing your crops.

Raising the beds by building retaining walls and filling them with soil and compost has additional advantages – the soil doesn’t spill onto the paths, the quality of the soil is under your control and so is the drainage – you can either retain water or improve the drainage.

Raised beds are also a boon to anyone with limited mobility – whether you just find bending hard or have to use a wheelchair, beds can be designed to make gardening possible for you.

If your only priority is growing as much as possible, a bed garden is designed to maximise the a growing area, which means simple rectangular beds as long as possible.

But if this is your only outdoor space pure practicality may not be  only aim, and so a pattern of beds and paths can become a decorative element in itself.  Curved shapes are possible with the right edging materials.

A starting point for growing your own food can be to just install one or two raised beds. We can price these as single items or as part of an overall redesign  of your garden.

Options include wooden scaffold planks as robust, chunky edging, recycled roof tiles, brick work or even woven willow.   They can be high or low, simple and practical or decoratively shaped and embellished.

There are also beds which are self contained and self watering to a great degree making them very low maintenance s well as very productive.  These can sit straight onto paving and are 60cm high, which makes them very easy to fit into a town garden and to work.  For details and pricing for these have a look here.

 

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