Vegetable beds

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Vegetable beds

Postby Lawrence » Fri Jun 24, 2005 11:02 pm

I want to start making some vegetable beds. Looking in the hardware stores they only have the treated wood and I think it would not be a good idea to use these for food beds.

Anyone know where you can get the OLD hardwood railway sleepers?

Also my garden has a gentle slope, do I need to make level terraces?
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Postby Shotgun Paul. » Sat Jun 25, 2005 8:02 am

Morning Lawrence,

Railway sleepers :!: :!: :!:
All I can think of is termites :shock: :shock:

I would think of something like bricks or blocks of some sort for
the edgeing of the garden.

Regards,
Paul.
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Garden beeds

Postby Guest » Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:19 pm

Paul Spence wrote:Morning Lawrence,

Railway sleepers :!: :!: :!:
All I can think of is termites :shock: :shock:

I would think of something like bricks or blocks of some sort for
the edgeing of the garden.

Regards,
Paul.


Railway sleepers are made of very hard wood and resist termites, that's why they used to use them apart from spreading the load. :D

Bricks are fine, I was thinking of getting a few thousand for other jobs I am going to do. Sleepers would save a lot of time, bricks mite be cheeper at about $400 - $500 per 1000.

I am looking at about six beds 4m x 2m that would be 36 sleepers. On their edge they are deep enough to cope with the genteel slope of the garden. If I dig (there's that word again) the top 2 sleepers in, to the depth of their edge and cut a small trench to slot the sides and sit the other 2 sleepers on the ground, I can step them down the slope.

At the moment I am digging out the driveway as it has, over the years filled with dirt to the depth of 4 cm. and grass has grown over it. I am going to have to dig it back to the old road base for about 200m. then lay bricks as pavers. I'm 60 and not in the best shape, I should be better by the time I get this garden back to what it once was.

If the garden wasn't as fabulous as it is, (have a look at some of my posts) I would just leave it.
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Postby Adam » Sun Jun 26, 2005 8:16 am

I think :?: that I have seen old railway sleepers at those places where they have old and used timber and lots of other cool stuff that could be used in the garden. :lol: :lol:
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Postby Sam » Sun Jun 26, 2005 9:38 am

I saw a nice idea in a Gardening Australia magazine (I think) where bessa blocks were used, then they planted herbs into the holes as a border - it looked lovely. If I remember correctly, some of the herbs were those that allegedly (!) deter pests and dogs etc. When we need to make a new garden that is what we'll be doing.
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Postby Ann » Sun Jun 26, 2005 1:37 pm

And one person used that new reconstiuted limestone as it is so light. :D It's often a case of weighing up cost with ability. I got Jarrah mill ends with my soil but I am not sure now if I'd have the energy to fill another bed with soil even if I could afford it :cry:
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Postby Pam » Mon Jun 27, 2005 7:13 am

Lawrence, the railways do occasionally sell them, although I would expect in your neck of the woods they'd be like hen's teeth. Give them a call - you have nothing to lose!
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Postby Marrion » Mon Jun 27, 2005 9:17 am

Our local sawmill will cut hardwood sleepers, not cheap but they can use the poorer quality timber for them, worth trying a small mill if you are desperate :roll:
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Postby Shotgun Paul. » Thu Jun 30, 2005 12:32 pm

Morning all,

Around the Sydney area the sleepers are made of cement.
How far around the state (NSW) I dont know :?: :?:

I would be interested to know where they keep the used ones ready
for disposal :?: :?:
The condition would be a governing thought though :!: :!: :!:

Any info would put some light on the matter.

Regards,
Paul.

P.S. Love the rain but,dont want to be at the Gold Coast at this time.
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Postby Linda » Tue Jul 12, 2005 4:15 pm

I saw a nice idea in a Gardening Australia magazine (I think) where bessa blocks were used, then they planted herbs into the holes as a border - it looked lovely. If I remember correctly, some of the herbs were those that allegedly (!) deter pests and dogs etc. When we need to make a new garden that is what we'll be doing.


Hi - We tried one bed surrounded with besser blocks as an experiment. The holes are pretty shallow so anything planted there shouldn't need depth of soil; don't try chives which was my first effort :oops: This year I planted marigolds and nasturtiums as insect repellents - both manageable plants. They looked lovely and marked the boundaries of the bed nicely - not too high or straggly. Nasturtiums spill onto the path - pretty, and easy to pull out.

The only concern I have with the blocks is that they will tend to harbour the progeny my arch-enemies Atilla the Slug and Adolph Snail so I will be putting copper foils along the edge of them this spring.

Other beds have old roof trusses timber retrieved from a 100 year old house, not as many S & S problems with that, the rest just a cut edge with grass paths - soon to also go to grass heaven when I can source some alternative. These are the high maintenance beds. All in all I think the besser blocks have worked well, except when you stand on one and it tends to dislodge.

Cheers
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Postby Herby » Tue Aug 02, 2005 9:17 pm

Hi,

I used redgum sleepers to build my raised beds.
was a quick & simple way rather then fiddling with small bits
like bricks ect.
bunnings/mitre 10 sell 2.4m lenghths for $20 each.
the end result looked fantastic with shiny new redgum :)

They aren't as thick as a rail sleeper but easier to cut.
keep in mind that hardwood generally has a garden life of
20 good years sitting in soil,
old railway sleepers about these days are aready like 40 years old.
so the decaying stage is already well underway.

4m x 2m :?:

In my opinion it's a little too wide.

a couple major benefits from a raised bed is:

The soil remains loose and not compacted like a normal bed.
all parts of the bed are reachable from the outside edges,
which avoids standing in the bed and compacting the soil.

a 2 metre wide bed makes the centre unreachable without
stepping in it or falling face first in it 'cos you were trying to reach for that tomato in the middle :lol:

I'd go 1.5m wide at most.

after a year or so the sleepers fade to a bluey grey.
they sorta get better as they wear on.
I made a small herb garden, bordered it with bluestone blocks.
really goes well with the ageing timber, the bluestone does.

Ben.
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hi

Postby jack » Wed Aug 03, 2005 11:24 pm

some great responses, will just go back to the railway bit, being a train driver i cant resist.
in nsw not sure but is their still a depot at lithgow? also with timber sleepers try country towns, more the point look near gravel pits, sidings and railway crossing in the country areas. in the city they will sell the sleepers off but in the country the freight is to much.
in perth we store them at leighton yard, bring bolt cutters as their is no way the railways will let the public near them. but in the country i know on the bindi bindi line they are every 2km's baking in the sun for 3 years now. reason for cities to go to concrete sleepers is to reduce movement especially on hot days, in perth we have concrete on the northern line but the other lines are timber, so we reduce speed on hot days to stop derailment on the timber but yet we still do max speed on the concrete.
other spot is scrap yards around the western suburbs of sydney, i used to live near penrith and their was a few yards out that way worth checking out.
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Railway sleepers

Postby kitkat » Sun Aug 07, 2005 2:55 pm

Hi Folks I am new here but I think I might have a suggestion for the railway sleepers. Try a sand and soil yard..The ones that supply garden compost and such usually sell sleepers too.I know the ones in my area do..as well as treated pine and many other garden edging options.Hope this helps.Good luck.
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Postby Ace » Sun Jun 04, 2006 9:15 pm

I know this thread has been dead for a while but i thought i would revive it given i had some ideas.

1) I have been told treated pine is no longer treated with Arsenic so isnt toxic, just make sure when you buy them that the supplier you choose is selling the new ones

2) another option is to talk to a metal fabrication place or a tank manufacturer (metal not plastic) and make garden bed/planters out of corrugated zinc plated iron, you can make the walls as high as you like and make the bed what ever dimensions you want just ask the tank place to bend it into a square or rectangle with no bottom in it so water drains out. Josh Byrne used this as a planter on an older episode of Gardening Australia i was watching on pay the other week. Matt
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Postby Ann » Mon Jun 05, 2006 12:55 pm

There is a corrugated metal garden edging, but it's prob not deep enough but it was only $25 a roll. All you need otherwise is pegs.
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Postby Ace » Wed Jun 07, 2006 7:40 pm

Ann wrote:There is a corrugated metal garden edging, but it's prob not deep enough but it was only $25 a roll. All you need otherwise is pegs.


How high is it ann? Matt
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