On Saturday morning, while we were waiting for the aggregates delivery to arrive, we cut the decking for the mushroom bed. The mushroom bed is a bit unusual in that it lies outside the picket fencing of the garden. The end of the garden has a communal path just beyond the picket fence. It's there to allow the other residents in our terrace access to their gardens from the roadway. Just beyond that is a 2ft stripe of earth. It's in between the path and post and rail fence that marks the formal edge of our property. Each of the houses has a stripe like this at the back. Until now no one has done anything with this stripe, they just sit there with grass and weeds on them and the occasional bin. But having checked the deeds it's definitely our property so we thought we put a raised bed on it. Two foot doesn't sound like a lot, but when you realise it runs across the entire width of the garden you realise that it's 28 sq ft of growing space just begging to be used. We're putting a raised bed on it, partly because it'll make it easier to contain whatever were growing and separate it from the hedge/wild area behind the post and rail fencing. And partly, because it'll make it clear to anyone walking along the path that it's a cultivated area and hopefully keep feet off it.
The decking we're using for the long raised beds is only 6" high so it won't inconvenience anyone using the path.
We cut four 7' foot lengths for the front and the back and a three 16" lengths for the ends and for a cross-brace in the middle. You need to cross-brace these long beds every so often otherwise they bow out in the middle :-).
Once cut we painted the inside surface with bitumen paint to protect it from the earth. We're hoping that this will help extend the life of the timber and mean we don't have to replace these beds anytime soon. This is one of the nice things about working on your own land rather than working on a allotment, you can take a much longer view on these things and it makes it worth investing the money now to extend the life of your beds as much as possible.
The outsides of the bed will be painted with Creocote. Partly this adds another layer of protection, but probably not much as the timber is pressure treated anyway. But mostly it tones down the colour very nicely and makes the bed blend in with the surroundings very nicely :-)
Of course these things are never simple and halfway through the painting it started to rain which meant it was all hands on deck to move the painted and unpainted boards to the garage. Fortunately there was no harm down and we were able to complete the painting in peace in the garage.
Should have got some pictures of that.
Image copyright: tspider / 123RF Stock Photo