Making the beds 2: the foundations

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I bought a load of treated planks to make a 6 x 4 metre frame, double-depth at one end to combat the natural curve of the land, and levelled it up inside with the dug out turfs. I left a 5 cm gap so that there’s room to top up with gravel to make easy-to-maintain paths around the beds.

I covered the whole area with permeable plastic landscape sheeting. This will stop weeds growing up through the beds and paths above. I wonder about cutting the plastic away from the beds bases, and replacing it with sheets of cardboard. This would suppress any weeds and by the time it had decomposed would allow veg roots to use the rich fertile soil that’s beneath. However, there are so many slugs and weeds in the lawn that I decide to keep the whole area covered for now.

I space out the beds and decide to use some old redundant paving slabs to line them up. This works a treat. It means they won’t shift later, or move when I add the gravel. And it’s going to look rather good too. Very satisfying to find a good use for the slabs ūüôā

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You can see here the bags I bought for the potatoes. They have Velcro flaps for removing the crop later on, and handles, which will make it easy to move them around as I develop the area. It will be interesting to see what sort of yield I get from these, and how the plants fare through the season ahead.
I’ve planted 5 potatoes in each bag, in 10 cm of soil… As the growth starts to push through I’ll keep adding more soil until it eventually reaches the top. I’ve labelled each bag so that I know which potato variety is in each.

I bought the raised beds for this first stage of the garden from Greenfingers.com
They often have very good deals on these pressure treated, FSC wooden beds…¬†Click here to be taken directly to their¬†selection of Raised Beds. The ones I bought were 120x120cm (4’x4′). They come unpainted, flat packed, with all the screws, and¬†are easy to put together (although I recommend you use an electric screwdriver to make it quicker).

I painted the beds with two coats of Black eco woodstain from Auro.co.uk

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