How to build raised beds

If you want to do something new with your garden, building raised beds is a great idea. They are great for growing a wide range of plants, fruits such as strawberries, currants, raspberries and blackberries and almost any vegetable.

Raised beds allow you to:

  • Increase soil temperature
  • Improve drainage
  • Match soil type to the plant
  • Improve ease of access

Winter is a good time to build raised beds in preparation for spring.

How to build raised beds

How to build raised beds

Building your raised beds

Step 1: Choose the correct site

Choose an area clear of plants and remove any perennial weeds. You could also choose an area of lawn. For the framework you will need to use wood that has been treated against rot.

Step 2: Lay out your frame

When decided on the size of your raised beds, the length can be whatever you choose but it is advised that you keep the width to around 1.2m, so that you can easily reach around.

Lay out your wood and mark the corners with canes.

Step 3: Cut the bed

Remove your wooden boards and join the canes with string to mark out the position of your raised bed. If you are building your raised beds on grass, you will need to cut out the grass using a spade, with about 10cm on each side of the string. Slide the spade underneath the grass to cut pieces about 5cm thick. Take these cut out pieces and lay them evenly across the bed.

Step 4: Build the frame

Lay your wooden plants side-on along the bare earth outline you just created and join at each corner with one of two galvanised metal brackets.

Step 5: Fill with compost

Fill your bed with compost and compact it inside by treating it down. The middle of the bed should be slightly higher than the frame to allow for setting.

Step 6: Secure your frame

Hammer small sharpened pegs around our frame to help hold the boards in place.

Now you’re ready to plant!


How much does is cost when you are the victim of garden crime?

Each time there is a crime in your garden it costs over £600

The average home insurance claim for items stolen from the garden has now reached £620, as one in 12 over-50s say they have been affected by the crime.

According to analysis of claims submitted to Saga Home Insurance, the worth of garden items lost through theft or damage is going up.

It is estimated that two-thirds of the UK population keep things ranging from barbeques and garden furniture to gnomes and water features outside of their homes.

In the over-50s this figure rises to eight in ten people and the study found that many of them feel their garden is a place to relax and escape from the world.

Roger Ramsden, Chief Executive of Saga Services, said: “With the average garden insurance claim costing around £620 I would encourage keen gardeners to ensure they have the peace of mind of insurance cover for their precious garden possessions.”

Gardens are particularly important to the over-50s with 13 per cent of them stating their outside space as a reason for not moving house.

beat garden crime.

Summer gardening tips

Follow these tips to help keep your plants in full health during a hot summer spell.

Don’t over fertilise

The stronger your plant, the better it can withstand the stress of hot temperatures. Make sure you fertilise the soil before planting.

Choose plants that are heat resistant of have an extensive root system

By choosing plants with a hardier root system, your summer garden will get off on the right foot. These type of plants will also need watering less often.

Use shade cloth

This can be used to protect young fragile seedlings, or can be used to give larger plants a break from the heat.


Mulch is important for retaining fertility, moisture and nutrients in the soil. Mulch also helps to protect the soil from UV light. Grass, hay and newspaper can all be used as mulch.

Water Butts

I know in the UK some areas haven’t seen rain for a number of weeks, but a water butt is still a good investment. Water butts capture rain water, which you can then use to water your garden. This gives you a cost effective and environmentally friendly way to water your garden.

Alan Titchmarsh warns gardening is undervalued

It’s safe to say that the majority of young people aren’t interested in gardening, it can be seen as a chore or something that just ‘old’ people do.  Alan Titchmarsh has spoken out, warning that gardening is undervalued. Alan has said that young people must be taught that gardening jobs are not for the “thick dull and unadventurous”.

Alan stated that gardeners work is “undervalued by Government, by the population and by young people in particular – in every instance because they just do not understand the breadth of what we do and its importance in terms of the well-being of the planet and its population”.

How to plant your tree

A study conducted by some of Britain’s leading horticultural organisations has shown that more than 70% of companies are struggling to find skilled workers and more than 80% of those businesses surveyed believed it is the poor reputation of horticultural jobs. Due to the perception of horticultural jobs, 19% of companies have been forced to recruit from abroad and 10% of vacancies took over a year to fill.

The Horticultural Trade Association director Carol Paris said “With such a serious skills shortage in the sector we need to change perceptions to show the diversity of exciting opportunities that exist within horticulture and how this can offer a serious and rewarding career for talented people.”

Interested in working in horticulture? Take a look at the Horticulture jobs website to find vacancies in your area and to learn more about career prospects in the horticultural sector.

Statistics provided by the Telegraph.

Spring gardening guide

With the May bank holiday just around the corner, it’s safe to say that spring has finally sprung and after many months of bad weather, people are deciding now is the time to get out in the garden. You may be overwhelmed by the state that winter has left your garden in, but here are a few simple tips to help you start the big clear up and allow you to enjoy your garden.

Clear up

To get your garden back on track, start with the big clear up.  Cut back trees and shrubs that have grown too big and cut back any dead plant material. Remove all the weeds you can find, to save you a lot of work later on. Now is a good time to pull out weeds as their roots are still shallow.

Prepare your soil

Get your flower beds ready by digging and preparing the soil. Use a fork to dig the soil, this will allow you to loosen the soil and remove any hidden weeds.  Add some good quality compost or well-rotted manure and your flower beds will be ready for planting.


Start your spring gardening now


Decide on the type of plants you want, choose plants that complement one another and grow well together. Get summer flowering bulbs which can be planted in early spring, as these will provide you with a bright summer display.

Bring your lawn back to life

Mow your lawn regularly and apply lawn feed to bring your lawn back to life.

Fix fences and trellis

You may find that the wet and windy weather has had a disastrous effect on your fences and trellis, leaving them looking worse for wear. Repair any damage and in dry weather treat the wood with a preservative.

Before you start any of your spring gardening tasks, check all of your gardening equipment and give them a clean if necessary. Make sure your garden shed is in tip top condition too. If you have a wooden garden shed, these can be prone to leaks and damage during the winter. You may find that after the harsh weather we have had, your shed will need replacing. Don’t risk getting another wooden shed, try a metal garden shed instead. This will save your pocket in the long term as they do not require the same maintenance as a wooden shed and last a lot longer. A full range of metal garden sheds are available from Asgard.

Top Gardening Apps

With smartphones and tablets taking over, there is an app out there for everything! When I did some research into apps for gardening, I didn’t expect to come up with anything. Gardeners don’t need apps is what I thought, but I was wrong. Take a look at these handy apps to help you out in the garden.

Dig My Garden

This app can be used on the iphone and ipod touch, giving a bird’s eye view of your garden, allowing you to see your garden bloom over the seasons. With this app you can create and ‘plant’ your actual garden with hundreds of plants, vegetables, herbs, trees and shrubs to choose from.

Garden Tracker

With this app you can plan your garden plots, plant vegetables and track your gardens progress. Detail is provided on days to harvest, days since watered and days since last fertilised. Garden Tracker comes up pre-loaded with over 50 vegetables, with detailed information such as ideal soil temperature, recommended planting season and more!

Landscaper’s companion

Landscaper’s companion is an interactive plant database, with over 26,000 plants from around the world. This app is more useful for the more experienced gardener. The app provides a short description, size, cultivation advice and pictures.


Vegetable garden guides

This app is a great reference tool, with guides for successful growing of over 90 vegetables. Each vegetable has a section on the growing process, how to grow and disease information.

Garden Pro

Garden Pro provides users with all the necessary information about particular flowers and plants, with a directory of over 7,000 species. Details provided by this app include growing requirements, how to care for the plant and common pests.

With the help of these apps, there’s nothing to stop you from going outside and giving gardening a go!

How your garden can add value to your home

When trying to sell your home, the appeal of your garden can often be overlooked. But a new study has shown just how important a garden can be to potential buyer.

Research has shown that when it comes to moving house, two fifths of people living in the UK would refuse to even consider a home unless it had a decent garden and one in seven home owners claim that simple garden improvements have added value to their property.

Prune your garden to sell your house

Prune your garden to sell your house

If you are trying and struggling to sell your property, here are a few ways that you can add more value through your garden:

  • Reduce clutter and simplify the space, which will make your garden look larger
  • Conceal unsightly items such as wheelie bins
  • Remove all weeds
  • Mow your lawn and trim the edges. Neat grass always looks appealing and the smell of fresh cut grass is delightful
  • Address any long term problems before you put your house on the market
  • Check that your garden furniture is all in good condition. Even if you aren’t planning on leaving this behind, potential buyers will be able to think about where their own items will go.

Information provided by