There are many reasons to make - and also not make - raised beds.
We have plans for at least four types of raised beds:
Taller solid-sided oak raised beds. In October 2016, Guy and Julian made four from beautiful oak sleepers, purchased with the S106 grant. Thanks to other SOS staff for lots of carrying too! They define a new social area in the green, provide somewhere to sit on their edges and also opportunities to enjoy planting and do some gardening for people for, whatever reason, can't get down to ground level. We filled the oak raised beds with layers of different substrates, permaculture style, with a soil conditioner topping.
Shallow raised beds around some of our narrow beds - so we can increase the depth of good soil a little and help keep some neat edges of grass next to them. The wood was bought with a donation from the Queen Edith pub/Milton Breweries and constructed by Kate, Julian and Justin.
Middle height thin raised beds - we made two blue ones from painted pallet wood, for veg growing and two large unpainted ones, from air conditioning crates, for pumpkin growing.
Hugelkultur raised beds - these use layers of organic matter on top of part-buried logs. They are good for using up materials that would otherwise be garden waste and improve fertility and water retention. In 2016, we started to make three using felled logs from the park and branches, leaves, meadow cuttings, turf and soil from the garden. We have subsequently raided two of these for logs to make the hibernaculum, for around the pond and branches to fill the tall raised beds. One became an open woodpile trench and we will probably continue to add logs to this. ~
One became a wildlife habitat - i.e. covered in grass and colonised by a big bramble. In 2018, we cleared the beds and in February 2019, we have made three middle-height raised beds for a kiwi berry plant and some more pumpkin growing. Flat topped beds are easier for access and watering. We bought some tanalised wood for this - we just didn’t have the time to take apart pallets and they will last much longer.
Last updated: 5 March 2019