What you need:

4 x lengths of timber board (similar to scaffold planks or railway sleepers), two each of equal length.  This is the frame of your bed.

4 x rectangular wooden blocks or brackets.

1 x edging tool or spade

Compost and manure

Seeds/bulbs for chosen vegetables

How to:

Dig foundations

Using an edging tool, create the shape of your bed in the ground (based on length of timber).  Dig your foundations approximately 10cm deep, moving the soil into the centre of the bed (if you want to reuse it).

Position the timber

Position the planks into the foundations, using a trowel to dig out any excess soil if the planks aren’t level.  If you aren’t positioning your raised bed in a lawn, then you will need to erect and fix the timber to a base board.

Attach brackets

You can screw the planks together directly, but your bed will be easier to move or take apart if you place four wooden blocks or brackets in the inside corners of the planks.  This is also make the frame more rigid so it won’t move when the soil is added.

Add compost and manure

Fill the bed a few inches short of the top with compost and manure.

Sow the seeds

Space the seeds as directed on the packet, then water and wait.

Broad Beans – By Honeyhuyue – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24799833

What to grow?

It can either be decorative or practical, it’s up to you!

You can start to sow seeds indoors in egg boxes or seed trays from Jan/Feb onwards, ready for outdoor planting in March/April.

Broad Beans – sow in large containers in spring allowing about 20cm (8in) between each plant.

Carrots – sow in early spring to later summer.  Carrots and parsnips can be planted close to garlic to help disguise their smell.  It is the odour of the carrot leaf that attracts the carrot fly pest.

Lettuces – sow from mid-March.

Spinach – sow spinach from early spring to late summer, and again in early autumn, for a succession of leaves.

Onions – growing from set (immature bulbs) in the easiest and most fool-proof method.

Potatoes – plant chitted seed from mid to late March for first earlies.

Note: always following the planting instructions on the seed packet.

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Rachel takes inspiration from her local surroundings as well as being influenced by her travels in South America. She trained as a graphic designer...

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