Friday, 1 April 2011

Raised Bed

I finished making a raised bed for vegetable growing today.

I started off with these bits of waste wood.

Cut them to size and nailed two little "legs" to each of them.

I dug out the rectangle ready to house the raised bed.  I cut the turfs out carefully & stacked them to one side to re-use.  I mounded the earth up into the center.  As you can see, the soil is pretty poor on this ground.  Pretty much all the top soil is attached to those turfs.

The big stones I put to one side, so I can use them to pack around the legs of the wooden sides to add a bit of strength.

It's taking shape!  I put an extra couple of nails in each corner so it's nice and sturdy.

Now the turfs go back in face down, this way they will break down & we won't waste any of that precious top-soil.

Now I'm going to fill the bed in a lasagne style way.  It can be pretty expensive to fill up a raised bed, so this is a nice cheap, but still nutrient-rich, way of getting it nice and full.

I'd usually start with a layer of newspaper for water-retention, but, typically, I couldn't find any, so had to miss this out & move onto the kitchen-waste layer.

Next is a layer of old potting compost from old house plants, seed trays etc.

Then a layer of grass clippings, which I give a good douse of water to help speed up the decomposition process.

The final layers are made up of well-rotted manure, home-made compost & more of the used potting compost.  I gave it a good watering & left it to settle.

I expect it all to sink a few inches in the next week, so may need to top it up a bit.  This will be a no-dig system, (my favourite; -less digging, more growing!) so it'll need to be topped up with organic matter from time to time anyhow.  There's also the option of growing a green manure crop on there come the Autumn, which will add in some more bulk & nutrient content. 

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