I made my wife a raised bed at the far end of the garden to hide a fence a few years ago using your new pine railway sleepers. She has pestered me ever since to make another one in the middle of the garden in what we called the circle of bare soil with just a few shrubs in it. The circle was a bit of an eyesore so this year I agreed to do it. We came up to Cotgrave to look at what we were buying and ordered 6 X 3.6 metre pine railway sleepers. They duly arrived and we unloaded them but boy were they heavy. It took me just over a week to clear the site and level it. I have put a hard core foundation under each sleeper and a path down the middle. Now to fill them . We had been planning this for some time first we put farm yard manure from our allotment, then 2 year old rotted leaves again we had been saving these at the allotment. Finally we put our own compost again from the allotment. I lost count of how many trips I made and how many bags that we filled as the allotment is about a mile away. Then I ordered turf to turf the bare soil up to the raised beds.
I must admit the final beds look much better than the bare soil. My advice do not under estimate the weight of the railway sleepers and plan how you are going to fill them as without the allotment manure, compost etc. it would have cost a fortune. The final cost of everything was around £450 which my wife thinks was well worth while.
Thanks for all your help and excellent service
Stewart and Paula Jones
RAILWAY SLEEPERS USED
New British Pine Eco Friendly Railway Sleepers
3.6m x 250mm x 125mm
Many thanks for your photos and excellent description of the creation of your railway sleeper raised beds. An amazing transformation from the 'circle of bare soil'! Both your observations seem really important. Firstly, don't underestimate the weight of railway sleepers, and enlist as much physically help as possible. Secondly, be prepared for the large task of filling your raised beds. The enormous quantity of material required, and the huge effort needed to fill them, is sometimes forgotten in the planning and design of beautiful railway sleeper raised beds.