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The cost of a finished raised bed can be between 100 and 700 euros, depending on the material and design. Not everyone wants or can spend so much money on it. No problem, there are a few ways to build a raised bed cheap even for yourself. You have to know from which parts a raised bed exists and how it works. Many old or leftover building materials can be easily installed in a raised bed and thus reduce the purchase costs enormously.
Construction of a raised bed
A raised bed differs from a flat bed in the garden not only by its height, which is about one meter, but also by the internal structure. In a raised bed, it looks almost like a compost pile in various stages of maturity.
- Base: close-meshed wire mesh, slightly bent at the sides (protects against vole)
- About: about a quarter of chopped branches or small cut branches of bushes (ensures good ventilation and thus better rotting)
- Turf or green garden waste, grass clippings and straw (prevent the fine earth from trickling through)
- about a quarter of normal garden soil or potting soil (does not have to be very high quality)
- ripe, fine-crumbled compost (about 20 cm filling height)
- fill with fine, high-quality flower or vegetable soil
Once you know what components a raised bed is made of, you will easily find alternatives that it can possibly purchase cheaply or even free of charge. With a bit of luck, the raised bed will cost you almost nothing, because it's built from recycled parts that you would otherwise have thrown away.
- A raised bed is usually embedded in the soil about 30 cm deep
- if the side panels are about one meter high, 130 cm high side panels must be used
- Alternatively, it can be placed on the floor with good attachment
- as side parts only very stable materials may be used (high pressure from the inside)
- the thinner the side parts, the better they have to be stabilized
- with a length of two meters wooden slats must be at least two centimeters thick
- Stabilization at the corners by square timbers or corner pieces
- Height: about 120 centimeters (of which 30 cm in the ground)
- Width: about 80 centimeters
- Length: about 150 centimeters
- 6 wooden posts 1200 mm in length, 4 for the corners and 2 for the stabilization of the long sides, (Square 90 x 90 x 2400 mm): 3 pieces, each 15 euros
- Wooden planks for side paneling (21 x 190 x 2400 mm) 12 pieces: about 100 euros
- Wood screws and nails: about 15 euros
- Rabbit wire (with PVC sheath) min. 2 running meters: 5 Euro
- Foil for lining the side panels inside (foundation wall protection nubbed foil 0.5 x 20 m): 15 Euro
Tip: Corner pieces and sides can of course also be made of plastic or metal. Wood is usually cheaper, but does not last as long weather conditions.
Considerations before DIY
If you want to build a raised bed yourself, you should bring a little craftsmanship. In addition, a few tools are necessary, which can be present in the household or borrowed for free (from friends or relatives). If the tool needs to be loaned for money or even bought, it can be quite expensive.
- Made of wood: cordless screwdriver (or screwdriver), saw for the wooden boards, side cutter (pliers), spirit level, hammer
- Construction of stones: bucket and mortar trowel, spirit level, side cutter for the grid, spirit level
A raised bed can be really cheap if old building materials are used that can be used for the construction. These can come from a renovation, demolition, renovation or possibly also from the recycling center. In principle, all materials are suitable, which are weather-resistant and withstand the high loads that are generated by the earth inside.
- paving slabs
- Brick or sand-lime bricks
- old boards
Pallets (disposable pallets) are a waste in many businesses. With a little skill and patience, they can be picked up for free at companies in industrial areas or in grocery stores. So the companies do not have to dispose of the pallets. Pallets should be completely lined with foil inside so that the filling material does not fall out. One way pallets can be bought for example in the wood specialist market.
- Rabbit fence (wire mesh with PVC jacket) approx.2-3 running meters: about 6 euros
- One-way pallets (80 x 120 cm), 6 pieces: maximum 60 euros
- Single wire (for fixing the pallets inside): 2 Euro
- Screws and small parts: about 5 euros
- Foil (big garbage bags are cheaper than film): 2 Euro
Alternatively, the pallets can be placed on the long side. In this case, the raised bed has a size of 120 x 120 cm at a height of 80 cm. The price is reduced to about 55 euros.
Tip: Euro pallets are a bit more expensive, but also much more stable and longer lasting.
Deteriorated wooden composter
In DIY stores are often very cheap kits for Holzkomposter available. A composter with the dimensions 100 x 100 x 70 made of wood is available from just 15 euros. He is thus slightly lower than a normal raised bed and is also not embedded in the earth. Overall, the total costs are as follows:
- Rabbit wire, about 2 running meters: 5 euros
- Kit composter: 15 Euro
- Foil (garbage bags): 2 euros
From bricks or paving slabs, a very stable, almost indefinable raised bed can be built. This alternative is especially beneficial if the stones do not have to be bought separately and also no foundation is necessary. Foundations must always be poured when building a raised bed if the raised bed is to be erected on a slope or the substrate is very unsustainable (sandy or softened in the wet). Otherwise, the investment is limited to the mortar and sand, with which the stones are attached to each other.
Calculation of the necessary materials:
- Stone dimensions (example): 11.3 x 11.5 x 24.0 cm
- per square meter: about 19 stones necessary
- per square meter: about 19 l of mortar
With a stick and a guideline the area should be staked in advance. Thus, the height can be oriented to the line and it is not necessary for each stone alignment with the spirit level. If the area is uneven, it must first be leveled and possibly solidified. Also grass or lawn is to be removed before the walls. For the wall is needed:
- 33 stones per square meter x 4.6 = 151 pieces
- 19 l of mortar per square meter x 4.6 = 87 l of finished mortar
- (for example, sand-lime bricks, 151 pieces)
- 25 kg lime mortar: 3 euros
- 70 kg of sand: about 8 euros
- close-meshed wire: approx. 5 Euro
Tip: Even if the stones have to be bought, this alternative is still much cheaper than the wood variant. The stones are available for about 80 euros in the building materials trade or hardware store.
If you have a little craftsmanship, you can build a raised bed cheaply yourself. This project can easily be used old building materials, such as paving slabs, bricks or leftover boards. If no building materials are available, a cost-effective variant with four one-way pallets made of wood is possible (maximum 55 euros). Even brick raised beds are not as expensive as perhaps thought: about 150 stones and mortar cost only about 90 euros. The cheapest way to build a raised bed is to buy a simple composter at the hardware store. This can be purchased from 15 euros and converted for less than 10 euros to a raised bed.
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