Maximising edge – My garden raised beds

In my posts of last week I talked about edges and got slightly pre-occupied with photographing beautiful edges where one material met another. In the woods I noticed this tree stump with fungi all around the edge, 360 degree edge action! IMG_6944

I decided to run with this obsession and this week I have been working hard in the garden adding another level of boarding to my raised beds to maximise the edges and allow me to add a layer of mulch to these beds over the winter.

We made these beds early this year in the centre of our garden after taking down our dilapidated poly tunnel. The beds get lots of sunshine and were very productive this summer. However, due to a lack of funds, they were not really very ‘raised’ They were one decking board high and now they are two! I am pleased to have done all the work myself and i loved a little uninterrupted garden time creating something, it is so satisfying.

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I used decking boards for the edges, pieces of old timber we had knocking around for the stakes, screws, a lump hammer, a drill, a saw, a tape measure and a ruler.

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Before I started, the edges looked like this. I have added a paved path between each bed since they were made, so the level in between the beds has risen, leaving just a small lip between bed and edge. This was fine for year 1 but now I wanted to add material to the beds to increase fertility so more space was required. The decking boards were on sale in my local hardware shop so it seemed like a good time to tackle this little project.

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The beds now look like this, much more like raised beds should!

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I have gone on to do the same to the other five beds, so now all six beds are looking pretty smart. I have added various materials as a mulch. I used materials that I had available, I would be interested to hear what other people use to mulch their beds and what works best for increasing yields, reducing weeds and retaining water.  I have used old compost from pots of summer crops, fallen leaves, straw from the chicken housing, newspaper and the contents of the compost bins.

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