Making the beds 3: Gravel and graft

Raised beds gravel pathsI’ve ordered gravel online to go around the beds. It’s a bit of an investment, as wood chip would have been much cheaper. And of course I could have just left it grassed. But long term, I know gravel is going to be dry and free from mud in the winter months. Grass won’t grow up through the beds, and slugs and snails will be more deterred. And I quite like the crunch of gravel under-foot. There’s a fleeting memory of warmth and sunny Mediterranean climes that goes with gravel.

So, I get home from work to find 1 huge dumper bag of gravel left by the gate. I spend over 4 hours this evening shifting the gravel with a shovel and wheelbarrow, covering the membrane-covered paths around the beds.

I’m careful not to shove the beds in the process, as I’ve got them lined up and spaced using some old paving slabs. I add some gravel around the inside edge of the beds to help keep them in place when the soil goes in and to stop soil ‘leaking out’ onto the gravel paths through any gaps.

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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