Constructing a raised vegetable bed

I was hoping to be able to show you the finished product by now. But the construction of our tall raised bed has been slowed down by consecutive bouts of bad weather. First there was the rain of Winter, now there are Spring showers. But never weather dry enough for an amateur brickie to feel confident about.

It’s quite a mighty construction. We want to make the final product about as high as a kitchen counter, so that we can lose quite a lot of soil in there. Soil that will come from digging out the beds up against the house where we want external wall insulation and a clear gravel path.

To keep all that soil from pushing out the walls of the raised bed, they need to be quite sturdy. The foundations are made of concrete, with a double course of breeze blocks on top. The next layer is a single course of breeze block on the inside and bricks on the outside where the wall shows above ground.

Alex constructing the second course of breeze blocks for the raised vegetable bed.

Alex constructing the second course of breeze blocks for the raised vegetable bed.

They are reclaimed bricks that we’ve inherited with the house. They were stacked in the back of the garden for many years, until Alex moved them into the garage to dry out. Because sodden bricks do not make strong walls.

The superstructure will be made out of sturdy 4×6 planks, 6 layers tall at the highest point, and 3 layers tall at the lower level. They will be fixed to the bricks and to each other with steel rods cemented into place. And for extra strength, a few of the old floor joists from indoors will help to hold the longest, tallest wall in place.

Hopefully, with all that, we’ll be able to contain all that soil and have a smart, sturdy raised vegetable bed by the sunny wall of the house.

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