Raised Vegetable Bed – Third Time Lucky!

There is a popular phrase: Third time lucky. And as this is my third attempt to grow vegetables in my ill-fated raised vegetable bed due, to problems with hedge roots, let’s hope it’s true and I am lucky!

Just to backtrack to my previous post, Gardening IS a Labour of Love!, there were various options.

– Do I dig out all the soil (again), concrete the base and then add another couple of tiers of bricks and replenish the soil?
– Cover with black plastic membrane to suppress the weeds and then move all my containers on to the raised bed? The latter would be the easier option but it would restrict the type of fruit and vegetables I would be able to grow?
– Knock the thing down and forget it existed and persuade Mr. Piglet to get some chickens?

Seriously, what would you do?

After Mr. Piglet read on my blog, and realised just how much my ‘patch of paradise’ meant to me, he suggested the first option but without the extra layers of bricks.

Here is a picture diary of progress.

The Rebirth of Piglet’s Plot

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After the price was agreed the ‘muscle’ arrived the following week to start work. Normally, this is the type of project we’d undertake ourselves but we ain’t getting any younger. Besides, we’d already filled the raised bed once with earth, then dug it out, then refilled it AGAIN, so we decided to take the easy route and hire some muscle. And boy did those guys have muscles! Last time we removed all the earth it took us over a week – one man emptied it in one morning!

Once the earth had been cleared and the root encrusted liner removed the land was leveled to include a slope to aid drainage. A layer of brita (small stones) was added to the base of the bed followed by a healthy layer of concrete to block the roots. If that doesn’t work – I’ll give up and grow chickens instead!

I must confess, the workers, who no doubt are only earning the minimum age and living barely above the bread line, must have wondered at my obsessive extravagance as Mr. Piglet joked about my home-grown vegetables probably being the most expensive in the Algarve, if not in Portugal!

After a few days the concrete and the fully hardened off we added some water to double-check the fall and where the drainage holes would be best placed.

Then we waited… and waited… and waited. The topsoil which was due to be delivered failed to materialize and I sighed with relief at the thought: at least the person chasing broken promises was Portuguese and could shout encouraging words of abuse in their own lingo!

A few days later there was a flurry of phone calls and the lorry arrived with the soil and another with more brita. My garden became a hive of activity as muscle ‘one’ knocked out the drainage holes and inserted pipes. Muscle ‘two’ started adding the brita for drainage and the third helped me clean up the old membrane so it could act as a barrier between earth and brita – well that’s the theory.

The soil added and hey presto! Piglet’s Plot is reborn!

Piglet's Plot is reborn and root free

Piglet’s Plot is reborn and root free

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22 responses to “Raised Vegetable Bed – Third Time Lucky!

  1. If at first you don’t succeed try,try again!!!!!!!
    Looking forward to seeing the results of this third garden 😀🌻🌹🍀🌿🌳

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  2. Wow this is going to be an incredible raised bed – well it has to be this time!! Fingers crossed and looking forward to seeing your amazing veg.

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  3. Thank goodness for my tenacious spirit, Marmy 🙂

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  4. Wow, it looks great, it’s nice to have a raised bed, hope you succeed this time!

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  5. Good luck with your new and improved garden patch, PiP!

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  6. Hope it works,watching with great anticipation ,moving over at the end of the month and so want to grow veg &. Stuff

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  7. You know what they say…”if you don’t succeed….” etc., and you are certainly a trier. It looks quite impressive after all that hard work that has been put into it. Fingers crossed it works this time!

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  8. That looks just fantastic!! Says a pea-green-faced Eha 🙂 !! And the first ‘occupants’ already seem to be in place! Methinks you can’t fail [and perchance in Portugal you did not have to ask for a bank loan as you would have Down Under!!] . . . . can’t quite tell the size: perhaps a ‘track’ down the middle would have made the planting/weeding easier?

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    • Size? Good point – I’ll have to measure it. The track would have been a good idea. I was going to try and purchase a wooden plank which stretched from one side to the other. At the moment I’m using paint lids.

      Ho hum…

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  9. A few rough-topped bricks settled into the soil might do the trick and would not be slippery in wet weather 🙂 !

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  10. Full marks for persistence Piglet! But it might not be a good idea to take up farming as a career 🙂

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  11. WOW! I’m impressed. I have to keep my gardening down to containers (no land) but I found my first four grape sized tomatoes yesterday. I look forward to seeing your bountiful harvest!

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  12. You know you almost made a wicking bed… I’ve been having serious tree root problems so just built six wicking beds to get round the problem. Problem is no worms will be able to enter the bed so you’ll need to introduce them. Good luck!

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