Sonntag, 28. April 2013

Gardening - building a raised bed using gabions

I had lots to do the last weeks. There was work and a sick cat too. No time for anything, but today I decided to give it my all starting the new planting season.
It was sunny again, but not that warm anymore, mere 15 degrees Celsius - but last week we had up to 25 degrees Celsius: The best weather to do some nasty and heavy jobs.
I wanted to build a raised bed for some salad greens and vegetables which are rather hard to find and buy.
  • Asian mustard leave mix
  • beet root in a funny shape
  • chard with colourful stems
  • summer squash (green and round)
  • edible chrysanthemums, shiso (seeds not in the picture) and spring onions
  • at the sides of the bed I am going to plant some dangling ever-bearing strawberries (my own breeds) and a japanese pumpkin

First I ordered the gabions, some steal wired baskets, most of the time in use to build walls or to secure hills (you quite often see them near the Autobahn - motorways, to keep the slopes in place).
First I had to build the baskets: each basket 100 cm x50 cm x 50 cm

Then I had to prepare the ground: I digged round about 15 cm deep, removed and set aside the sods and made the ground even. Here I placed some basket bottoms for measurement:

Afterwards I placed the baskets and layered the sides of the baskets with a weed and root proof gardening fleece. I kept the fleece in place with pegs.

Now I filled in the bed layers:
1. twigs, wood from of last years pruning and stems and cut down plant material
2. halfway rotten leaves (mostly wisteria)

3. grass sods placed upside down
4. wilted grass from mowing
5. Soil from digging mixed with last years soil taken from the planting pots
6. old aged rotten compost
7. planting soil (bought some huge bags)

Raised bed 1.50 m x 1 m

The ground is a little bit steep. I had to build the bed into a small hill, so the upper side went deeper into the ground. It was a part of the lawn were the grass always was growing in a bad shape (too dry) so "Good bye meadow" and "Hello vegetables". After planting the strawberries into the sides it will look much nicer...
I took me 6 hours and now I am feeling very tired and somwhow old aged and I got a little bit sun burned too. There are several plants I was planning to plant today to as some new lilies, a few cranberry shrubs but this has to wait until first of May.

I will build another raised bed (1m x 1m) in another part of the garden.


Hiroyuki hat gesagt…

You have finally decided to use gabions for vegetable gardening!?
It's interesting to see them in action!
Keep posting about your raised bed!

Fräulein Trude hat gesagt…

I wanted to build a raised bed because the soil is stoney, sandy and poor, good for corniferes but not much else. The question was how to. I did not want to build it with wood. My mother send me a description about gabions for raised beds and that seemed to be an easy way out. And it is, the gabions are built in no time. I found cheap ones, ordered directly from a small wire producing factory and not over a shop (half the price!!!).

Sissi hat gesagt…

The gabions look very original and I can imagine how many gardeners would appreciate to work without torturing their backs.
I also grow edible chrysanthemum (on my balcony). I have never even tasted it, so it will be a big discovery.