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How to build raised garden bed with seating using timber sleepers?

CathyEBS
New Contributor

How to build raised garden bed with seating using timber sleepers?

I am looking to build raised garden beds with the sienna timber sleepers and have seating like in this picture.

 

I want to use the 2.4 metre lengths each side and have the beds 1.2 metres wide. The seating area I want to be in the middle at 1.2 metres.

 

I have no idea where to start. I started trying to draw on sketchup but gave up.

 

Does anyone know if there are instructions somewhere on how I could go about something like this please.

 

Really looking at the internal setup of the build. Thinking timber corner posts say 90 x 90 mm (not sure what type would be best) to secure the sleepers to. Not sure on how to create the seat etc. Or what screws etc to use. Whether sleepers would be better at 75mm thick rather than 50mm thick.

 

I purchased a Ryobi drop saw from Bunnings which I am yet to use. I wanted to keep with the dimensions mentioned above so at least I won't have to cut the 2.4 metres lengths for front and back.

 

This is what I am using as inspirationThis is what I am using as inspiration

 

To the left of the raised garden beds will be a vegepod 2 metres long by 1 metre wide just to give you an idea. This will be on the dirt next to the Medium Vegepod on the deck.

 

Will put pebbles around this and the raised garden beds.

 

Need to replace the grass. So looking at Sir Water Buffalo or similar as this is Kikuyu and it grows fast and tends to get lots of weeds in it. Would like to lay it myself and purchase from Bunnings. Would I just cut out the grass and then lay new grass on top or would I need to remove some depth and then lay top soil and then grass. 

 

This is the area I need to transformThis is the area I need to transform

 

Thank you for reading this far and I would appreciate any ideas or feedback to help me transform this area.

MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Raised Garden Bed with seating using timber sleepers

Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @CathyEBS. It's sensational to have you join us and many thanks for your question about garden beds.

 

I've taken a stab at putting together a rendering which hopefully should give you a reasonable idea of how something like this could go together. I believe the simplest approach would be to construct two separate beds and then box in the seated section. It all becomes a bit clearer when you think of it as two separate beds with a third in the middle. You'll note I've bolted a support on either of the two outside beds for the seat to sit on. You can use Zenith M10 x 120mm Hot Dipped Galvanised Hex Head Bolt And Nuts to join these supports. All other connections of the sleepers to the posts and sleepers to sleepers will use Zenith 14G x 150mm Galvanised Type 17 Batten Bugle Head Timber Screws

 

Of course, you could construct this all out of 75mm thick sleepers if you wished and would add to a more robust final garden bed. 50mm should be adequate, though.

 

When laying the new turf, I'd suggest you at least aerate the existing soil. It appears a little compacted, which could have lead to this issue immediately. It's not unusual for the grass immediately off a deck to receive the most foot traffic. You could add some Scotts Lawn Builder 25L Organic Lawn Soil Topdress & Underlay, but you don't want to raise the area too much as you'll then have an uneven lawn. Some lawn starter would be a good option, though, to give you new turf a boost.

 

Please let me know if you have any questions.

 

Mitchell

 

 

 

 

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CathyEBS
New Contributor

Re: Raised Garden Bed with seating using timber sleepers

This is fantastic. Exactly what I was looking for. Thank you. What program did you create that in as want to work out the quantities and sizes of sleepers.

 

With the picture you have the posts lower than the sleepers so would you bury them in the ground and concrete them in place. If so how deep do you think I should go.

 

With the grass I had to put dirt next to the fence as the level dropped at least 200mm due to retaining wall. Seems to have settled now. The deck was only recently installed and I think with all the work I have done in the yard it ruined the grass. What would you use to cut the grass off. I would need to level that area a bit more. Want to complete the garden beds first and with put pebbles around them and have a border of something to meet the grass so pebbles don't end up in grass area and then I will complete grass.

 

In the picture you can see my double gates which have been broken due to bad weather this week. Have stuffed bricks against post and pavers to keep in place for now. I have someone coming to put a concrete strip along from fence to house about 300 to 400 mm and then the post (fence side) can be secured to that rather than at the moment the post was concreted into the ground and we had 130 km winds and heavy rain so the gate stood no chance as is heavy and the post fell over. 

 

Another question.

 

Behind the gate I was thinking of putting a concrete pad to where house juts out before start of deck, but not sure I want the look of that there.

 

It is about 7 metres from gate to start of deck.

 

What would you suggest I could do there to tie into the rest of the garden. 

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MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: Raised Garden Bed with seating using timber sleepers

@CathyEBS,

 

It's a free to use program called TinkerCad. It takes about an hour to start getting the hang of it, but it's great for putting simple designs together. SketchUp is wonderful, and my colleague @EricL is an absolute whizz at it, but it has a steeper learning curve.

 

Those are some quite large garden beds, and it wouldn't hurt to concrete in the posts. This is not essential as it is not a retaining wall, and the whole box could sit on the ground. You should find this step-by-step guide useful: How to build a raised garden bed by @Adam_W. We also have the Retain-It range of sleeper fixing corners. These might make your life just that little bit easier.

 

A sharp shovel would likely be the best tool to use for cutting the grass off.

 

Any reason why you were thinking of a concrete pad? Unless you had some use for it, like a car parking there, I don't personally feel it would tie in well with the garden you are currently creating. It does look like some space that could be utilised well. I think its use will start becoming more obvious once you start building the rest of the garden. It's tough to envisage its use and tie it in when the rest of the area is incomplete. You might find some inspiration with our Top 10 most popular outdoor projects.

 

Check out the Gardenia Garden Planner; I find it quite useful when laying out designs.

 

Mitchell

 

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CathyEBS
New Contributor

Re: Raised Garden Bed with seating using timber sleepers

Yes sketch up is frustrating. I will try the other one you mentioned.

 

Was thinking of concrete to put a trailer there in the future. Will have a go at the garden planner.

 

I am sure it will become clearer once I finished the garden beds.

 

Thank you for all your help. It has really given me some good ideas.

Cathy

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