We are now progressing well with the development of our self build property in Sheffield including the construction of 42 large raised beds to grow our fruit and veg in the future. We have developed a successful method of constructing the beds and securing the railway sleepers.
As we were building the raised beds three railway sleepers high, and almost 4 metres long, I was concerned about the stability of the raised beds which are made using the 3.6m new railway sleepers. I wanted something rigid to pin the railway sleepers together and had some shuttering pins left on site from our ground workers, so I tried using those every 1200mm (approx) along the length. To give extra strength I bought some 200mm galvanised roofing nails from an agricultural supplier to pin the ends together. Each 20mm steel bar is 500mm long and connects all three sleepers together, but it is quite time consuming to drill the holes as I could only find a 400mm long auger bit. The 200mm nails also require a lump hammer to drive them in, so are quite an effort - but the raised beds are rock solid and don’t move once finished.
With levelling the ground, cutting the sleepers with the chainsaw, building the bed, drilling the holes, fixing the steel bars in place, driving the nails home and filling the bed I estimate that each bed takes 8hrs of work to finish… but we worked out they are cheaper in cost and time than making the beds out of concrete which was our other option.
I hope this information is useful and we will certainly send more information as we get it
I have attached some photos which we are happy to have published on your website. Please feel free to contact me if you require any further details
RAILWAY SLEEPERS USED
New Brirish Pine Eco friendly railway sleepers
What a magnificent project and unique opportunity to build 42 raised beds for growing all your vegetable and fruit needs. Many would dream of such a creation, and you have been able to put that into reality. Reminiscent of those wonderful 18th century walled gardens providing all the fruit and veg for the nearby stately home! I'm full of admiration and jealousy in equal measures!