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Raised beds - lots of advice needed

(5 Posts)
MollieO Thu 11-Jun-09 19:16:24

My garden is in the process of a make over and I want to have two raised beds 6' x 3' each.

How deep should they be?

How close to the fence and what is the optimum gap in between. I'm thinking of training fruit trees up the fence.

I have a small narrow garden - 25' x 75' so I need to ensure they don't end up in the middle!

Finally should they be close to the house or doesn't it matter?


paranoidmother Fri 12-Jun-09 10:53:47

Hmm - Bumping this for you.

I would say you need to have it somewhere that you get a decent amount of sun to the raised beds to get the best out of them, out of the wind as much as possible. I tend to leave enough space to get a wheelbarrow/lawnmower between things - so it can be kept tidy.

mistlethrush Fri 12-Jun-09 11:23:34

If you are using them for veg, you need to choose somewhere that has a good amount of sunshine. You only need to be able to walk between them - but you might want to walk with a wheelbarrow - and remember that some plants will have leaves that spread out further than the bed and make an allowance for this if necessary.

Distance to fence - depends which side of the garden the fence is on - ie if its on the north side of the fence, no problem as it won't shade them....

Apple tree - if the raised beds are tall this wouldn't get light to low branches if you espalier them - so here fruiting wouldn't be great. Also the roots are likely to come up into the raised bed if its too close.

Height/depth - depends on why you're having the raised beds - if its so you don't have to bend down as much, 2 - 3' probably a good height - if its just to improve the veg growing, 8" probably sufficient.

(I built a raised bed - 3 railway sleepers long, one wide, and 3 sleepers high.. I filled it myself hmm and its now happily growing veg - although we're having to get some nematodes to deal with the slugs.]

MollieO Fri 12-Jun-09 13:52:45

Thanks for this. Good point about the apple trees. I will plant them away from the raised beds. The beds will be along the southern edge of the garden so does that mean they will face north? [confused emoticon].

Getting raised beds in order to have somewhere organised to grow veg with my 5 yr old. I was thinking of about 18" depth.

Think I need to try and do a plan of what is going where!

mistlethrush Fri 12-Jun-09 16:33:26

What you need to do is to get some string and put pegs where you're thinking of having them. During the day (weekend if you do 'office' hours) check whether they are shaded and, if so, for how long. Remember that the sun is quite high at the moment - so the area won't look as shaded as it will do in the spring and the autumn (you're unlikely to have much growing over the winter to worry too much - but the winter is even worse shade-wise except deciduous trees lose their leaves...)

In my garden, the bit right close to the southern boundary is quite shaded, but it does get sun fairly close to this as its not a tall boundary.

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