raised beds?Yesterday we woke up to snow, this morning it was freezing but this afternoon, guess what – bright sunshine and warmth!

No more excuses, I had to start on the garden.

This year I had an idea that raised beds would be the answer for the vegetable patch ( as I can’t work on my knees, or even crouch down) and I spent hours on the internet trying to track down an affordable means of achieving this.

They don’t seem to go in for such a thing in a big way here although I did find one example in a gardening catalogue at 155 euros a square.

Eventually we found the answer locally – squares in willow at 11 euros 80 each. They weren’t as high as I’d hoped but it looked like being the best on offer.

So I’ve just had a go at putting them on the potager. Now, I admit I’m a crap gardener but I did scratch my head over how to do it at first and then there was this eureka moment.

If I dug trenches all round the squares then that would produce the earth to fill them up as well as making them higher for me to work with. The soil was damp and heavy so I only managed to do two and a half.

But perhaps you gardeners out there will see something I didn’t. If I’m heading for disaster please tell me before I do any more. 

If anyone is interested in the Fourniret trial I’ve written about it on my other blog, here.



10 Responses to “Gardening”

  1. Zuleme Says:

    looks good to me, Sandy. If you were here I’d give you some tomato plants!

    So far I’ve not had much luck with tomatoes. The get diseased because it’s too wet here. I really need a little greenhouse.
    Love the pictures on your site. They remind me of our twins – especially the ‘licky’ pic.

  2. guyana gyal Says:

    I’m now learning about gardening, scratching here and there, learning bits from various people in my life. So I guess you can say I’m a crap gardener too 🙂 My neighbour has a bad back so she sits on a really, very, really low wooden bench to weed, plant, etc.

    People have suggested I get a low stool type thing but it still involves getting down – and worse – getting up again. It’s unfortunate that planting and weeding are usually done at ground level so I’m looking forward to trying my raised beds.

  3. Little old me Says:

    long handle tools

    I know this company is in the UK, but there must be something like this where you live, long handle tools are very handy.

    Thanks LOM. However, I do find that although people say you can uproot the weeds and leave them to wither my garden is plagued by something that regrows from a small bit of root so I have to pick them up. Bending with knees straight would be OK if I were 20 years younger!

  4. Little old me Says:

    this one looks a bit cheaper

    and another

    I’am on a roll, haha

  5. Little old me Says:

    sorry that didn’t work,



  6. Keith Says:

    My neighbour had the same problem as you, so she created a lot of raised beds for growing veggie etc., three years ago. She used logs and branches to make the sides.

    Well actually a landscape gardener did it for her. This year they have got to come down for two reasons. The wood has rotted and collapsing, and last year she had and infestation of wireworm in the potatoes, club-root in the brassicas and bloody carrot-fly in the carrots!

    Apparently growing veggies in raised beds provides the ideal breeding ground for pests and fungus! I don’t know whether it would affect flowers or not , because she didn’t grow them in the raised beds.

    Oh dear. Is there a scientific reason for the infestation of raised beds? Presumably if it didn’t happen the first year it may be because it was difficult to dig over properly.

  7. canisfamiliaris Says:

    This year I had an idea that raised beds would be the answer for the vegetable patch ( as I can’t work on my knees, or even crouch down) and I spent hours on the internet trying to track down an affordable means of achieving this.

    Why don’t you just have a ‘virtual’ garden, Sandy?

    Because we have about 1000 m2 of very real garden that needs looking after, otherwise it will quickly turn into a waist high mass of weeds (as it was when we moved in). Some friends cut it all down for us and discovered a large vegetable patch and I thought it would be a good idea to have a go at growing our own. Hah!
    We paid another couple of chaps to plant fruit trees in the ‘bottom half’ of the garden but so far, in four years we’ve had nothing but a handful of cherries.
    I was seriously considering sheep or goats – or chickens – to keep the grass down but can’t really afford to take on any more animals.

  8. bretonne Says:

    Re. animals: DON’T even think about it! My friend has sheep and they are incredibly complicated, and disgustingly filthy, she is having to turn them upsidedown at the moment to “dag” them as they have diarrhoea and she’s worrying the lambs will get sick as a result. Goats don’t eat all weeds, and are very picky except about your choice flowers. Chickens are nice but they will wreck your garden as they leave demolition sites behind them. All animals need fencing and shelters, jabs, and yes- paperwork! I’ve just had to translate some forms for someone about the numbers of stock……

    At present, my neighbour cuts the grass in my field with his tractor when he’s doing his own fields. We did experiment with his cows for a year, he put up the fencing (I think the electricity was an extension of one of his other fields as I didn’t notice any higher electricity bills) but they weren’t good lawnmowers and left huge clumps of weeds. there were more flies and Solo couldn’t run in the field, he eats “crottes”.

    You might get someone on a cheque-emploi-service?

    Never fear, I’m not seriously thinking of taking on any more animals.

  9. Richard Says:

    Ah yes, raised beds. We will have to go for the same thing as the patch that we had identified as a perfect spot for our veggies turned out to be a thin layer of soil on top of a big bunch of rocks. We were looking for something just like you have got – the wicker squares – so it will be good to see how you get on with it.
    Our plans are on hold for the moment as Monsieur Boulanger next door has dumped all the rocks from his renovation on our potential veg plot. I must have words about that….

  10. Gardening « Says:

    […] carrot tops and lettuces and the beetroot and parsnips tasted rather odd – perhaps because my ‘raised beds’ were made from treated […]

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