South Yardley Allotments Society
Allotment sites in Acocks Green and South Yardley

Some of the benefits of raised bed gardening are:
  • Less weeds
  • Better drainage in areas with clay soils
  • More growing space
  • No soil compaction from human feet
  • Warmer soil earlier in the season
  • Warmer soil for a longer season
  • Look neat and Attractive
  • Help with crop rotation
  • Easy to attach netting and fleece to protect crops

Making Raised Beds using Softwood boards

For a relatively cheap, rustic look, you could make a raised bed using pressure-treated softwood boards fixed horizontally onto stakes driven into the ground.
The positives of softwood boards are: 
 softwood is cheap and doesn’t need a great deal of skill or strength to use there is no need for foundationsThe things to consider are:
  • the wood has a limited lifespan
  • as the wood is not particularly strong, the maximum height of the bed is 450mm.

How do I build it using softwood boards? (these instructions are for 45cm high raised beds but you may choose to have beds only 15cm or 30cm high)

• Use 25mm x 150mm pressure treated softwood board, which you’ll need to cut to the lengths required
• Place 1,000mm x 50mm x 50mm stakes at corners and at every 1m length.
• Drive the stakes into the ground, to leave 450mm above ground. In soft conditions, use 550mm stakes and bury 60 per cent (600mm) below
• Check the stakes are straight vertically and horizontally with a spirit level and also check they are all in the ground to the same height.
• Set the lowest boards 50mm below ground level. After checking the level, fix the boards to the stakes with galvanised nails or screws. Butt the next row of boards up to the first and fix, and so on.
• Seal any gaps with waterproof self-adhesive tape on the inside.
• To improve drainage in the bed, break the soil surface up to a depth of 300mm with a garden fork.
Then  dig the soil topsoil from between the raised beds and add it to the soil in the raised beds. Cover the paths between the beds with weed control fabric and a deep layer of wood chippings.


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