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Last week we were contacted for some advice about starting a school garden using raised beds.  We thought the advice might be useful to others so here is the original question along with our response. 

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If you have any questions of your own, please get in touch with us at Ask The Expert and we will do our best to help.

We were asked….

….I work in a school that has no garden area but we are keen that the pupils should be involved in growing their own vegetables.  We are thinking along the lines of raised veg. beds but would these be suitable to place on tarmaced areas?  Would we need to put in a liner under the soil? Finally, what mix of soil/compost should we use?  Thank you….

 Charlotte’s response…..

 Raised beds are excellent in a school garden.  The Recycle Works Ltd Raised  beds are very easy to assemble and can be put together in a matter of minutes, with no screws, no nails and no holes to dig.  They all just slot together. 

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 Made from FSC wood they can be located on any level surface.  Tarmac would be perfectly fine.  They do not have to be used with a liner.  You may see a bit of drainage coming out of the base in very we weather, however this prevents water logging which is good for the crops.  If you do choose to use a liner, make sure it is perforated to allow adequate drainage. 

If you are growing root crops take a look at the Deep Raised Beds as they allow more room for roots to develop. 

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For the best growing results we recommend you use a good vegetable compost.

Raised beds are perfect for gardening with children as they allow easy access to the growing area without trampling, and are very easy to dig over and maintain.  And don’t forget they are suitable for bulbs, wild flowers and of course vegetable crops.

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