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Raised Beds for Growing Vegetables in Ireland


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MargeSimpson
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Joined: 04 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 8:17 am    Post subject: Raised Beds for Growing Vegetables in Ireland Reply with quote

I thought I did a good job preping my soil this year with manure for my veggie patch. But it's been a disaster. I think my soil is just too poor. It has been described as 'dauby' (sp?) and pure muck.

So next year I am going to create raised beds. I have seen loads of piccies of what I want to do but noone says what timber to get and how to treat it?
Someone suggested sleepers but then I think they are painted with creosote.
If I go to my local timber supplier - what do I ask for - I don't want to look like a eejit!
Txs!
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birdie
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Joined: 16 Jun 2006
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Location: west of ireland

PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are right about the sleepers there Marge.
They are treated with an oil based product or creosote which will constantly leech into your veggies.
I get enough oil from my morning fry-up.
If you go to your local timber supplier ask for 6 x 4 or 6 x 6 pressure treated timber.
This will not contain any oil based preservative.
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MargeSimpson
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks birdie - do I need to treat it with something to stop it rotting? Something veggie friendly.
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Bugs
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

quot[qe="birdie"]You are right about the sleepers there Marge.
They are treated with an oil based product or creosote which will constantly leech into your veggies.
I get enough oil from my morning fry-up.
If you go to your local timber supplier ask for 6 x 4 or 6 x 6 pressure treated timber.
This will not contain any oil based preservative.[/quote]


6x4 or 6x6 will cost a fortune ,
I use ordinary decking , drive a piece of 4 x 2 into the ground leaving about 12 " above ground , nail the decking to this , 2 boards high . With the soil below + 12 " of extra soil it should be sufficient to grow most things there is a pic of something similar in the members gallery . The courtyard garden . Most decking is pressure treated and should last 10 to 20 years
Cool Bugs

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birdie
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:



6x4 or 6x6 will cost a fortune ,

Cool Bugs


Laughing there I go again blowing the budget on non essentials.
Now where did I put that Dolce and Gabana shovel Laughing
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STEVE PARTRIDGE
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 11:36 am    Post subject: Raised Beds Reply with quote

Hi MargeSimpson, you could try getting your timber from a reclaimers yard or use fencing gravel boards. To help stop the moisture from your soil rotting the timber you can line the inside faces of the timber with black plastic, this will also reduce moisture loss from the soil in your raised beds as well, hope this helps you, regards Steve.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Dragon
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 6:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Raised Beds Reply with quote

STEVE PARTRIDGE wrote:
. To help stop the moisture from your soil rotting the timber you can line the inside faces of the timber with black plastic, this will also reduce moisture loss from the soil in your raised beds as well


Left over radon barrier worked well for me as the cut off strips were just the right size for the wooden edging.
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Foxylock
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Marge Simpson, You are well advised to steer clear of the cresote soaked sleepers although I think there are now cresote free sleepers available from some timber importers. They will however cost a bit and if the budget is tight .....forget. Some replies have mentioned pressure treated timber but my concern is what is the timber pressure treated with and are MSDS sheets available from the supplier ? Any chemical that is forced into the fibres of timber will leach out over time into your soil and consequently into your veggies. I have some raised beds which I constructed using 9 X 2 ceiling joists. I left the timber bare so there is no possibility of contaminating the soil. Will they rot ? yes over time but a 9 X 2 will last many many years.The cost of a 16 foot length of this is around a tenner or you could use old scaffold boards which are around 3 quid but half the length. We must ask ourselves do we want beautiful raised beds or do we want beautiful veggies ? I go for the latter every time, here's a pic as a picture is worth a thousand words. Best of luck with your construction Wink


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stanmake
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foxylock, your beds look fantastic.

I would echo your advise on using untreated timber. 9X2 unplaned timber is less expensive than you think, especially compares to sleepers, etc. 6X2 is even less expensive. The boards will last for years without treatment, especially if you put a small block in each corner so that the board is about 10-15mm ablove the ground (no, your soil won't leak out!). If worried about losing too much moisture, staple a polythene skirt around the inside. But this way the wood breathes as much as possible and lasts taht bit longer.

For those that are starting a bed, give some consideration about how much soil you can get. There is a big difference in the amount of soil needed in an 18" high bed and a 12" high bed.

Good soil is a limited resource in my garden and when i built my first beds I was scrabbling around for ages to find enough to fill them. In the end (and in desperation) I ended up using too many bags of Compost to help 'fill' the beds. This was a) expensive and b) didn't give me the right soil density.
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John H
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would scaffold planks do for the raised bed. You should be able to pick up these relatively cheaply now a days.

Does any one know what a load of good top soil should cost and where could I get some?
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forest flame
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JOHN H
SCAFFOLD PLANKS WOULD DO FINE AS REGARDS TOP SOIL ITS ABOUT €50 A TON IN DUBLIN DONT KNOW ABOUT KILKENNY
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good top soil in tonne bags can run anything up to €100 euro.
A bulk buy of 20 tonne by truck load should see you getting good topsoil at €20 to €30 per tonne.

As to suppliers, well that is ever changing. As in a site is cleared then soil becomes available, then nothing for 12 months or so.

Some of the constant suppliers are turf grass suppliers, so try them.

Ask in your local nursery or garden centre for someone locally supplying as well.

Corner truck drivers entering quarries and sand pits as these guys go from site to site and will know where all the recent cleared soil is.
They will also be able to source a digger driver to load it.

Locating soil for sale is one thing....... making sure you are not buying in muck is a whole other battle.
See Vegetable garden soil testing, amending and improving

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John H
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers lads, there is a new road being built near by so I might harass a couple of the drivers and see how I get on Laughing
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walltoall
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:13 am    Post subject: raised beds in an essex garden Reply with quote

Hopefully the attached picture will save 1000 words? There is a 1000 word story behind the picture, but the purpose of this exercise is to get yiz to think outside the box. I DO have cemented raised beds too. I have not measured it but it is 6 brick lengths in width and 18 in length. The width is important for being able to stretch in and work it to the middle. The length depends on what space you have. I allowed for my motor-mower to be able to pass by the three sides that have grass at the footings.

originally the purpose of the raised beds was to accept accumulated compost made from recycled garden and kitchen waste. I put chopped up rotten garden fence, rotten path edging, leaves from an adjacent park and shredded paper in the bottom of the bed before filling it up with a mixture of existing soil {london clay] 'compost' made by the council from recycled waste.

What you see in the photo is the plan for a cemented version to be done by my favourite brickie in January. If you look in the heaped soil you may see a dahlia to be lifted later at one end and a gooseberry (right of frame)



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Last edited by walltoall on Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:09 pm; edited 2 times in total
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