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No Dig Raised Beds


By chuffa


I have turned my lottie over completely to raised beds. I also try and grow my veg on a no dig system. The main reasons for doing this are: 1. they are easier to manage and work. No long digging or clearing up. And 2. They look good. There is of course advantages and disadvantages to raised beds. I could list them both, but i am sure many publications do that for people to read and it may not work for most people, but for me, it does. So i hope to show you my raised beds in yearly order, to give you an idea on what materials, construction, time, tools ect are needed to get you going.

I decided to make the beds in such a way that i could grow enough veg without having too much waste and making them to a size that i could walk around them in a short time and to reach the middle without too much stretching. So the beds ended up being 10ft in length and 4ft in width.

They were constructed from scaffolding boards that i blagged from local merchants. They were held together with 3" coach screws and decking screws, with 18" wooden steaks in each corner to anchor them to the ground.

Once constructed and hammered into the ground they were filled half way up with compost and topsoil.

Ten beds in total were erected which took me two week-ends and were placed in 5 rows of 2 with paths in between and one going up the middle for easy access with a wheelbarrow.

A must on any lottie is shelter, so up goes the shed and while im at it a brazier and compost heap or bin.

Now that the beds were in, what was i going to grow. I love beetroot, but no one else in the family does. I little one likes sweetcorn and me, so that will take up a lot of space. Ah what the hek, i will test the ground and see what likes and dos’nt like raised beds. And then the following year i can grow what grows best.

So these are the veg and hebs that i grew in the first year.

Blauhilde and Cobra climbing French beans

Carrots Autumn King, beetroot Bolthardy and parsnips Tender and true

Garlic Solent Wight and Iberian Wight.


Onions, Sturon

Spring cabbage, Spring hero

More blog posts by chuffa

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An excellent blog Chuffa....and your raised beds are looking attractive as well as functional. I am expecting my lottie any day now!!!! and plan something similar, especially as I suspect the plot I am getting has not been cultivated for some time and several raised beds will certainly save me some time come seed sowing time. The plot I "have my eye on" has two greenhouses, a shed and a "dalek" compost bin.....I might not be so lucky though (sigh!) :)
PS: I see you have laid weed suppressing membrane down too.......I have a supply all ready and

13 Dec, 2009


These look great Chuffa. Your shed looks fantastic....nice to have somewhere out of the elements. I want to put in a raised bed for my tomatoes next summer.

13 Dec, 2009


i would love an allotment but non close by. hopefully one day i will get one.

13 Dec, 2009


Good luck with your raised beds. I hope you will show us what you grow in them next year.

14 Dec, 2009


Looking good - all ready for planting - it is a lot easier!!

14 Dec, 2009


Thanks folks. I will add to this blog as time goes on. I will also add some of the produce that i got from it.

15 Dec, 2009


Hi Chuffa, Just found your blog on allotment growing. I've started just this year helping a friend from church.

I was very interested in your raised beds & no digging method of growing veg! I would like to do something similar here for next year. We are "fortunate" in having very free draining soil which makes digging much easier but I have a very bad back & try to dig as little as possible. I find the only way of turning the soil over is to get down on my knees after pushing the fork in, don't use a spade, from a standing position. This is very tiring & still causes me pain in the lumber region. Trying to turn the soil over from a standing position produces excruciating pain in my back.

"So i hope to show you my raised beds in yearly order, to give you an idea on what materials, construction, time, tools ect are needed to get you going."

Are you still growing veg on your allotment? I've been writing fortnightly blogs on my progress on the allotment. I'd like to see a new blog on the developments on you "lottie".

30 Aug, 2010

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