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Whack It With a Hammer

Adventures in DIY and Decor

B&Q, country, DIY, garden, raised bed, Uncategorized, vegetables

How to Build a Raised Bed

I didn’t mean to build a raised bed, I meant to buy a handbag but… It was my birthday last week and despite the fact that I’m very much an adult in human years and have children of my own, my mum keeps the tradition started when I was a teenager, she takes me out shopping. This time the search was on for a new handbag as mine is very much past its best.

battered black handbag with green and white flowers.
I think is gives off a cheerful yet battered air.

I have to admit that I am quite difficult to shop with. My sister rolls her eyes as I pick out another black top and my mum has a fixation with trying to get me to wear a suit (everyone has dreams) but a bag? That shouldn’t be too tricky.

As you can probably tell from the photo I’m not a designer handbag girl. I agree with Caitlin Moran in her book ‘How To Be A Woman’ (No, I’m not going to tell you what she says as reading it will make you a better person). I also had a bad experience when I was a student and spent too much money on a second hand Gucci handbag from the much missed vintage shop, Steinberg & Tolkien on the Kings Road. I loved it and felt enormously sophisticated but everyone assumed it was fake which was infuriating and wrong and not at all funny. My mum said I was over thinking things, stop talking and look at the bags.

For better or worse her best efforts were thwarted as my dad and I managed a detour via B&Q (which wasn’t exactly on the way) and bought some rough exterior wood!

You see spring is peeping out its head and I plan to reduce waste and chemicals in my life so I’m really eager to grow my own vegetables. I’ve been looking for a new raised bed but can’t understand why they’re either really expensive or have terrible reviews – its just four planks of wood joined together. So, time for a little daddy daughter birthday project – to build our own raised bed!

B&Q have a brilliant diagram in the store of a house and garden where you can look at what you want to do and it will tell you the type of wood you need for the job. This was massively helpful. The fact that my dad works in inches where I’m a decimal girl was slightly less helpful (note to self always take a tape measure) For this project I’m going old school in imperial.

planks of wood ready to make a raised bed
Total cost with Dad’s trade card £27.99

We bought a pack of five planks of exterior treated wood 6ft x 8″ for the sides. For the corners a piece 2″x 2″ and some screws.

my dad checking that the timber id straight
Dad showing me how to check that the wood is straight.
short length of timber with one side cut at an angle
We cut the corner posts at an angle on one side so the bed can be anchored in the ground.
short timber and long timber screwed together.
Then screwed the post to the planks.
corner of the raised bed
Finally screwed the corners together and painted the newly cut edges in preservative.

I have to admit my dad did the sawing and drilling and I just helped hold the corners in place. I spent my time clearing the area of weeds whilst dreaming of self sufficiency and happily humming the theme tune to ‘The Good Life‘.

part of the garden where the raised bed will go
Look I can grow weeds!
particularly stubborn root
But where can these stubborn roots be coming from?
large tree
Oh.
raised bed finished!
And success!

I received The Family Kitchen Garden Book for my birthday which has a very simple guide on which vegetables grow best alongside each other and a month by month to do list. I have decided to plant broccoli, spinach, cabbages and tomatoes in this bed and I’m busy planning out other beds too – not bad for a city girl! By Autumn I’ll either be self sufficient or have enough produce for a medium sized soup.

Mum said that it made her happy just to see me and dad having a lovely time working together but I didn’t want her to be disappointed so I did go back to bag shopping.

potato growing bag from Wilkos
After all, I need somewhere to put the potatoes.

If you have any advice on veg growing pass it this way as I am a total novice. If you like my blog please follow and share.

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