Sunday, April 8, 2018

Renewing the raised beds

So, the parsnips did even better in 2017 than in 2016, this was the last of the crop that I dug up a couple of weeks ago in order to clear the ground for this year's planting. 2017 was another bad year for the veg growing (and blog) due to other commitments, but the parsnips went in early and did a grand job.


When I dug these up, it became clear that the raised beds we installed way back in 2012 (see here, here and here) were well past their best. The corner pegs had rotted, as had some of the side boards. 3 of the beds were completely falling apart, the other 3 were worse for wear so we decided to replace them all. Time for an upgrade.
One of the old beds in better less bad condition with Autumn planted onions.

I scraped back the gravel, and in the empty beds I dug the soil away from the inner edges too.

My husband made up new beds from pressure treated gravel boards and fence pegs from Wickes. The pegs are quite a lot bigger than those in the original kits, so hopefully they'll last longer this time. They're also quite a lot taller, so they stick up above the bed sides about 14cm which will give me some extra height when netting the beds.

The other improvement I've made is to peg down the weed-proof membrane under the gravel. Whilst it hasn't really been a big problem, there were a few places where the edges has poked up through the gravel. I've used old tent pegs that are past their best but still good enough for this job.

The finished product, ready for this year's planting.