April 7, 2024

A new raised garden bed

Mr S built me a raised bed that is quite tall to save me bending when I am gardening.  I could not afford to fill it with compost and so decided to fill it using the hügelkultur  kind of method.  This is how I filled my raised bed to save money but you do not have to add everything that I do, as long as you have a variety of some of them.

I put cardboard on the bottom and then added some rotten logs.  On top of those I added some branches and a bit of old straw.  I looked around the garden and house to see what else I could add and added some coffee grounds, some fallen leaves and some leaf mould.  Some people add vegetable scraps but I did not want to encourage any rats. Other things that can be added are pine needles and/or grass clippings.

I emptied a couple of buckets of old compost and some worms from my compost bin as well.  On the top I added 6 inches of compost and left a little space from the top to defend the seedlings from the wind when planted.  This is the first time I have filled a raised bed in this way and so we will see how things grow in it.  I will probably grow things with shallow roots so that they remain in the compost. If you want to plant something with deeper roots you will need up to 12 inches of soil.

The trouble with a wooden box raised bed like the one that Mr S built for me is that they can go rotten.  I therefore put some breathable fabric in the bottom so that there is not a build up of water, and covered the insides with black plastic that I already had.  Sometimes I have used plastic bags with holes in the bottom.

Last week we visited a double glazing company as we had seen glass units in a skip out side.  They let us have a large window that is almost the size of the raised bed.  This free addition  meant that I could sow the seeds a good six week earlier.  The picture was taken one week after I sowed the seeds. I am really happy with my new growing area.

How do you fill your beds to save money?

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  1. Barbara April 7, 2024 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    That is an awesome structure. Happy gardening this season!

    • ToniG April 8, 2024 at 1:48 pm - Reply

      Thank you. Yes it is going to make a big difference forthe crops like radishes and spring onions which I did not have much room for.

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