Jo Connolly is an experienced garden designer working in Australia and England: London and the home counties. Her design aesthetic is strong and simple. She embraces current trends but with a timeless approach, to combine formal design with the informality of nature. Every project is unique.
t: 07722 036 395
a: Maidstone Road, Tonbridge, Kent
How To Make A Raised Veggie Bed
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 attracts 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:
– Green treated pine (1.2m, 2.4m & 3.6mL x 200mmH x 50mmW)
– Screws: 100mm Size 8 HEX screws
– Fence Posts 2.4mL x 75mm2
– Good quality garden soil for raised beds.
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.
- 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.
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 abit of productive gardening.
It is also very good for the soul & something everyone can get involved with.
Note the chickens aren’t real but they cheer me up anyway!