Yet Another Cycling Forum

Random Musings => Miscellany => Grow Your Own => Topic started by: Charlotte on January 01, 2010, 02:38:05 pm

Title: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: Charlotte on January 01, 2010, 02:38:05 pm
We've just finished getting our garden ready for this year's growing.  Julian and I have spent the last couple of days making up some new raised beds and paving off an area of the garden to sit our new chicken house on.

The chooks arrive tomorrow  :smug:

(http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b187/vicechair/b1e51675.jpg)
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: Martin109 on January 01, 2010, 02:42:52 pm
Yes, there's a notable absence of Liz/Julian in this photo... camera probably set up on auto....   Mmmh...
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: LEE on January 01, 2010, 02:51:44 pm
I will be doing similar in a few weeks.
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: fboab on January 01, 2010, 03:01:05 pm
I think there's room for a little pig or two like these in there...

(http://www.pigsrus.zoomshare.com/files/my_images/JEN_PIGLETS_001.jpg)


Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: Bledlow on January 01, 2010, 03:01:28 pm
I will be doing similar in a few weeks.
Perhaps we should inform your local constabulary.
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: nuttycyclist on January 01, 2010, 05:02:05 pm
Yes, there's a notable absence of Liz/Julian in this photo... camera probably set up on auto....   Mmmh...

HHHhhhhhmmm.......
...
Also, unlike wood, a quick wipe with isopropyl alcohol will clean away all traces of blood and other bodily fluids.
...
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: Charlotte on January 01, 2010, 05:40:30 pm
I think there's room for a little pig or two like these in there...

Bad fboab!  Plz to not tempt my cohab with such ideas  ::-)

As it is, she's read all of Hugh Fearlesslyeatitall's Big Book of Meaty Things and has registered an interest in raising a brace of Sus domestica within our grounds.  I've tried to tell her that our neighbours (not to mention Ealing Council) may take a dim view of this, but I still fear the day I get home from work to find a selection of even-toed ungulates running around the vegetable plot and my cohab sitting on the back step sharpening our kitchen knives with a glint in her eye...
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: Julian on January 01, 2010, 05:47:52 pm
:D

Not until we have somewhere a bit bigger.  If we do move house, I want a little corner with a couple of apple trees and two piggies called Shakespeare and Bacon. 

Also, the pigs would nom down the parts of careless BMW drivers that won't fit under the patio.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: docsquid on January 01, 2010, 05:54:17 pm
The chooks arrive tomorrow  :smug:

Ooh, what hen house are you getting?  An Eglu?  It looks great, Charlotte.

We've got two raised beds at the woods for potatoes, two to be put up for the onions, a large potato patch, a new greenhouse that will grow saplings but also accidentally probably some tomatoes, courgettes, squash, peppers and salads (6 raised beds to go in there), and of course, the chickens.

We're almost self-sufficient, given that we also grow veg in the front garden at home (can't grow in back garden as chickens eat almost everything).  There's also an orchard at the woods (new apple, plum, damson and cob-nut trees), and loganberries, blueberries, blackcurrants, rhubarb and gooseberries at home.

It is addictive, growing your own food.  The eggs are pretty good too :-)
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: Julian on January 01, 2010, 06:00:33 pm
We're getting one of these:

(http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g219/liz1848/image039.jpg)

Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: TimO on January 01, 2010, 06:08:33 pm
You are the Goods (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Good_Life_(1975_TV_series)), and ICMFP. ;D
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on January 01, 2010, 06:29:05 pm
We're getting one of these:

(http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g219/liz1848/image039.jpg)


Oh, I think that's the one my mum's got. She's built a larger fence around it with a lockable gate so they can come out for a wander during the day when she's at work.
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: clarion on January 01, 2010, 06:38:20 pm
We've just finished getting our garden ready for this year's growing.  Julian and I have spent the last couple of days making up some new raised beds and paving off an area of the garden to sit our new chicken house on.

...

That's precisely what I should have been doing.

But I rided my bicycles instead :-[
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: andygates on January 01, 2010, 10:06:40 pm
I say, you can grow slugs and cat poo just like I did!  ;)

Nice shovel pose there, C.
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: Welsh Man on January 03, 2010, 12:49:46 pm
Just think in a few short months it will look something like this ,

(http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b346/Brevet/DSC00870.jpg)

This was my little plot last year in only it's second season.

 ;D
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: woollypigs on January 03, 2010, 05:55:52 pm
I saw the six bodies raised beds you have created and they looked well made. Looks like a nice use of your garden with chickens and veggies.

But for the life of me I can't see the point in raised beds when you still have to bend down to get to them, isn't the point that you can stand up next to them and do your gardening?

Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: Julian on January 03, 2010, 06:24:45 pm
No, the point is that they're raised slightly and so they drain better & so the soil is better - we have claggy, clay-ey waterlogged soil here.  We'd never have enough earth to raise them right up!
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: Kim on January 04, 2010, 02:04:19 am
No, the point is that they're raised slightly and so they drain better & so the soil is better - we have claggy, clay-ey waterlogged soil here.  We'd never have enough earth to raise them right up!

...unless you started digging a tunnel :)
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: Bledlow on January 04, 2010, 06:44:40 pm
We're getting one of these:

(http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g219/liz1848/image039.jpg)


Ah, a real one. Still, I'd prefer to be able to move it around, as chickens are wonderful for 1) removing all weeds from a piece of land & 2) fertilising it. ready for a crop. But I realise you lack the space for that.
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: Julian on January 04, 2010, 08:08:37 pm
Not enough room for that unfortunately.  But they'll be out (supervised) as much as we can manage for them to do our weeding :)
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: rogerzilla on January 04, 2010, 08:19:32 pm
You are the Goods (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Good_Life_(1975_TV_series)), and ICMFP. ;D

Can whoever is Barbara please post a picture of their arse?  Thank you.  ;D
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: andrewc on January 04, 2010, 08:25:24 pm
You are the Goods (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Good_Life_(1975_TV_series)), and ICMFP. ;D

Can whoever is Barbara please post a picture of their arse?  Thank you.  ;D

You'll regret that when you're chained up in the cage with nowt on but a gimp mask  ;D
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: LEE on April 04, 2010, 03:32:55 pm
Well, the process has started.

Stage 1, a Lorry with crane dropped about 2 tons of reclaimed (untreated)Railway Sleepers over my fence last week.  24 Sleepers didn't seem that many until they turned up because I was going to do the raised beds 2 sleepers high.  Now I can see them I think that may be excessive but what do you do with spare sleepers? 

(http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u249/freddered/Home%20and%20Garden/IMG_7785-1.jpg?t=1270390760)

Stage 2, start moving them to the rear of the garage (lucky my son is home from Uni because these things are heavy)

(http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u249/freddered/Home%20and%20Garden/sleepers2.jpg?t=1270391063)

Stage 3, The old swing and climbing frame need to go.  That section of lawn will be raised beds.  That "Wendy House" will be gone next year for a 4th bed if the first 3 beds are a success.  A double height bed will take 6 sleeper (with some extensive sawing in half of sleepers to form end sections.  2.6m x 1.3m per bed)

(http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u249/freddered/Home%20and%20Garden/IMG_7784.jpg?t=1270391440)

Stage 4, why bother with the Gym when you can stack 24 of these things?

(http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u249/freddered/Home%20and%20Garden/sleepers4.jpg?t=1270391063)

Stage 5, include a gratuitous bike picture as an idicator of how big these things are. 

(http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u249/freddered/Home%20and%20Garden/sleepers5.jpg?t=1270391063)

Now to get them onto the lawn and order some soil.

Watch this space.
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: Charlotte on April 04, 2010, 04:32:05 pm
Blimey, you don't do things by halves do you?

We got a load of B&Q ready-made raised beds and I knocked them togther in an afternoon.  Then we filled them with about 4" of soil.

I hope you've got an electric saw  :D
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: jogler on April 04, 2010, 05:13:00 pm
Them realmcoy railway sleepers will last for years&years.I have some forming the edge of a dropped part of the bottom lawn which have been in situ for several years.Two sides of each sleeper are buried & show no sign of deterioration.Cutting them down to size is a career job without some decent tools
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: LEE on April 04, 2010, 11:36:21 pm
I'll use a combination of circular saw and a reciprocating saw to get through them, a chainsaw would be ideal.  They are fairly soft (the exposed side is pretty crumbly) but thick enough to last for years (250mm x 150mm x 2.6m).

I'll get a load of Timberlok bolts from Ebay next.

As for doing things by half, well, we've been here 15 years and there's no reason to move.  We're lucky to have a fairly large, and relatively unused, "spare" section of SW-facing garden and my wife has "green-fingers".  It's not really about money as such as it will take years, if ever, to recoup any outlay, more about the principle.  We want to eat seasonally and be less dependant.  This seems a perfect way of doing it.

The long-term plan (I don't want to wish my life away) is a Hectare or so in SW France but life can sometimes scupper long-term plans so we thought we'd have a crack at it now.

Next year we should have 4 deep beds, 2.6m x 1.3m.  We've already got some spuds planted in deep soil containers and raspberrys bushes planted.  Not exactly self-sufficiency scale but I intend to savour every mouthful next year.

The Wendy-House may turn into a greenhouse yet (ironic because there used to be a Greenhouse there but we didn't know what to do with so many Tomatoes at the time).
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: rogerzilla on April 05, 2010, 09:45:38 am
Them realmcoy railway sleepers will last for years&years.I have some forming the edge of a dropped part of the bottom lawn which have been in situ for several years.Two sides of each sleeper are buried & show no sign of deterioration.Cutting them down to size is a career job without some decent tools
Probably because they're soaked in diesel and lubricating oil from the trains, as well as the original preservative.   What sort of wood are they, anyway?
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: LEE on April 05, 2010, 11:42:47 am
Them realmcoy railway sleepers will last for years&years.I have some forming the edge of a dropped part of the bottom lawn which have been in situ for several years.Two sides of each sleeper are buried & show no sign of deterioration.Cutting them down to size is a career job without some decent tools
Probably because they're soaked in diesel and lubricating oil from the trains, as well as the original preservative.   What sort of wood are they, anyway?

Mine are untreated African Azobe from the French Rail network (uksleepers.co.uk).  They are rated safe for veggie plots and playgrounds.

Plenty of different types to choose from.
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: LEE on April 22, 2010, 09:59:47 am
Well, the process has started.

Stage 1, a Lorry with crane dropped about 2 tons of reclaimed (untreated)Railway Sleepers over my fence last week.  24 Sleepers didn't seem that many until they turned up because I was going to do the raised beds 2 sleepers high.  Now I can see them I think that may be excessive but what do you do with spare sleepers? 

(http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u249/freddered/Home%20and%20Garden/IMG_7785-1.jpg?t=1270390760)

Stage 2, start moving them to the rear of the garage (lucky my son is home from Uni because these things are heavy)

(http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u249/freddered/Home%20and%20Garden/sleepers2.jpg?t=1270391063)

Stage 3, The old swing and climbing frame need to go.  That section of lawn will be raised beds.  That "Wendy House" will be gone next year for a 4th bed if the first 3 beds are a success.  A double height bed will take 6 sleeper (with some extensive sawing in half of sleepers to form end sections.  2.6m x 1.3m per bed)

(http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u249/freddered/Home%20and%20Garden/IMG_7784.jpg?t=1270391440)

Stage 4, why bother with the Gym when you can stack 24 of these things?

(http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u249/freddered/Home%20and%20Garden/sleepers4.jpg?t=1270391063)

Stage 5, include a gratuitous bike picture as an idicator of how big these things are. 

(http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u249/freddered/Home%20and%20Garden/sleepers5.jpg?t=1270391063)

Now to get them onto the lawn and order some soil.

Watch this space.

J.H. Christ!  My back is sore now, but I love it when a plan comes together.

Those sleepers may be a bit crumbly on the outside but they are like granite once you get below the surface.

I snapped 2 10mm auger bits trying to drill through them (Even Timberlok bolts won't penetrate them without drilling first)

Now I will hand them over to my green-fingered Wife.
(http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u249/freddered/garden/RaisedBeds1.jpg?t=1271926535)
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: Regulator on April 22, 2010, 10:24:42 am
Where did you order your sleepers from Lee?  I'm in the market for some...
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: clarion on April 22, 2010, 10:27:36 am
Woody Allen?  Louise Wener?
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: LEE on April 22, 2010, 11:09:04 am
Where did you order your sleepers from Lee?  I'm in the market for some...
Uk Sleepers (http://www.uksleepers.co.uk/product-catalogue/?gclid=CLXXl4mGmqECFQc9lAodpCd2OQ)

I got the reclaimed, untreated, African Azobe.  2600x250x150.  They are pretty rough and battered (errr..rustic) but do the job perfectly. 

Cutting them was pretty easy, I went around with a circular saw first.  That left a section in the centre about 2"x 4" that I cut with a handsaw.

I used Timberlok bolts 250mm from Bunnys Bolts (http://www.bunnysbolts.co.uk/fastenmaster?gclid=COLCsZ6HmqECFQuElAod61FdMg)

I needed 6 cubic metres of soil.  Hampshire Turf sent me some superb stuff in cubic metre bags.  I got 4 bags of their screened soil and 2 bags of their superb compost/soil-conditioner.  The compost seems like superb stuff, it was hot to the touch as I was digging it out of the bags, usually a sign of a good active compost.
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: TimO on April 22, 2010, 11:24:33 am
... The compost seems like superb stuff, it was hot to the touch as I was digging it out of the bags, usually a sign of a good active compost.

Either that or it's come from Sellafield. ;D
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: LEE on May 23, 2010, 07:09:40 pm
It's ALIVE!!
(http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u249/freddered/Home%20and%20Garden/raisedbedsmay.jpg?t=1274638114)
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: rogerzilla on May 23, 2010, 07:23:21 pm
It looks like the H--------- family plot.  In more ways than one.
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: LEE on June 22, 2010, 02:18:23 pm
It's MORE ALIVE!
(http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u249/freddered/Home%20and%20Garden/raisedbedsjune.jpg?t=1277212421)

We're actually eating stuff now, New potatoes, Lettuce, Radish (why?) although it's still a bit too early.

The way it's suddenly filling out I reckon it should peak just as we go away on holidays in July/Aug.

(http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u249/freddered/Home%20and%20Garden/raisedbeds2june.jpg?t=1277212651)
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: RJ on June 23, 2010, 01:29:16 pm

The way it's suddenly filling out I reckon it should peak just as we go away on holidays in July/Aug.


That's traditional (and therefore good ...  :-\)
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: LEE on June 04, 2011, 11:15:27 pm
2011 update

My wife spent the day pulling Garlic & Onions and then plaiting them.

Here are the Garlic cloves, I suspect we will be having Garlic in everything this year.

Amazing increase in yield this year.  Maybe the soil has compacted a bit and is more suited to onions and garlic. 


(http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u249/freddered/Home%20and%20Garden/IMG_0658.jpg)
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: Regulator on June 06, 2011, 06:50:21 am
Can I borrow your wife?  I hae loads of garlic and onions that will be ready soon - but I can't plait....
Title: Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
Post by: hellymedic on June 06, 2011, 04:02:35 pm
Can I borrow your wife?  I hae loads of garlic and onions that will be ready soon - but I can't plait....

You could learn, like I did off the telly when I was about six.

Divide into three bunches.


Place left most bunch in the centre.
Place right most bunch in the centre.

Place left most bunch in the centre.
Place right most bunch in the centre.

Place left most bunch in the centre.
Place right most bunch in the centre.

Place left most bunch in the centre.
Place right most bunch in the centre.

Repeat ad nauseam.

That is all.