WoodBlocX

  • Raised bed Q&A spring 2020

    We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions from the last three months, with everything from pest control to watering. If you have a specific question feel free to get in touch via email - [email protected] or phone 0800 389 1420.

    How do I create an accessible garden?

    Raising the height of your garden beds and borders makes gardening instantly more accessible, but you also need to consider the layout of the rest of the garden. Paths and steps can prove troublesome, opt for wider paths if possible, especially between raised beds if you have more than one. Our wooden raised beds can be built at heights between 0.25m - 1.05m and each structure is strong and sturdy enough to sit or lean on.

    Read our accessible gardening blog here.

    Can I build raised beds on a slope?

    Yes! Raised beds can be used to landscape a sloping garden by stepping the structures to follow the incline, this is where our free design service is priceless, we will do all the calculations and design specifications for you, simply tell us a little bit about the space you have, the size of the structures you would like and send a couple of photos so we can build a picture up of the space and we will work out exactly what is needed to landscape your hilly garden.

    Click here to find out more about our Free Design Service.

    How do I keep pests out of my raised bed?

    If you have problems with rabbits we recommend building your raised bed at 0.35m and above to prevent them getting to your prized plants and veggies. Crop protectors can provide some cover, especially from cats, insects can be a little more difficult to control but there are friendly ways to keep them out; adding a bug hotel nearby will help encourage beneficial insects into the garden who can feast on pests such as greenfly and black fly and if you add a bird feeder they will repay you by picking out insects too, bit make sure you add a deterrent to keep them away from seedlings and strawberries!

    Use our raised bed calculator to input your own sizes and get an instant price.

    How much soil do I need to add to my raised bed?

    If you are filling your raised bed completely then a simple way to work out how many litres is length(m) x width(m) x height(cm), but if you are adding a drainage layer to the bottom, subtract the height of the layer from the equation so you don’t over order. We advise customers to use a good topsoil mix and add a soil improver or compost mix to the top layers.

    For 10 reasons why WoodBlocX raised beds are great for your garden click here.

    How often should I water my raised bed?

    This totally depends on there time of year but during warmer weather water twice a day, early morning and in the evening to prevent the sun scorching the plants. Solar or electric watering systems are a really good option if you struggle to lug watering cans around the garden. Raised beds also warm up quicker in the spring and cool down slower when the weather turns cold, which is brilliant for growing in general.

    How do I improve the health of the soil in my raised bed?

    Raised beds are a great solution for gardens with poor soil as you can select the type you use. We advise customers to use a good topsoil mix and add a soil improver or compost mix to the top layers. Sandy soil is the best all-rounder. Using a bought-in topsoil rather than using up any surplus from the garden gives you much more control over weeds. Soils can be made richer through using your own homemade compost or manure, adding mycorrhizal fungi when planting is also a great way to boost soil and plant health in the long-term.

    How do I improve the drainage of my raised bed?

    Raised beds can be accessed without having to walk on them, this prevents soil compaction, which also improves drainage, helping plant roots to grow more freely and take on more nutrients. WoodBlocX raised beds of all sizes allow for drainage through the air gaps between each block, customers building our raised beds directly on patios, tarmac and concrete could benefit from a drainage layer at the bottom if the bed - stones or gravel can be used for this. 

    Can I build a raised bed on a roof or balcony?

    Yes! WoodBlocX is perfectly suited to balconies and roof gardens thanks to the small light weight blocks which can be easily moved around, whereas lengths of timber and heavy railway sleepers can be difficult to get up stairways and into lifts. Our raised beds and planters can be made to fit tight or narrow spaces and will instantly add character to your outdoor space.

    Find out about our free design service here.

    What weedkillers or fertilisers can I use when growing plants in a raised bed?

    This is entirely up to the individual, we recommend using products that are kinder on the soil and environment, check for products that are clearly labelled natural, biological or have the stamp of approval from organic growing organisations such as the Soil Association or Organic Farmers & Growers Association. For weeds you can remove by hand or, if you're keen to use the no dig method, and have a space that you're starting from scratch with you can cover it with a sheet to stop the light getting in and then remove the weeds once they have perished.

    To find out more about our wide range of raised beds and the different shapes and sizes available click here.

  • Planning a raised bed garden

    There are so many benefits to adding raised beds to your garden and our modular system makes it really simple to install them, cutting out labour costs and providing you with a planting solution that is practical, durable and attractive.

    Our timber raised beds are made up of series of wooden blocks that are pressure treated which makes them super strong, the blocks are held together by strong dowels and this combination ensures your structure will not crack or warp.

    The versatility of our system means the design possibilities are almost limitless, our team of skilled designers work closely with customers on a daily basis to ensure they get the best solution for their gardens, whether it’s a singular raised bed, multiple raised beds or a completely bespoke garden design.

    We asked our designers Lachlan, Calum and Harry to provide some helpful tips to consider when planning a raised bed garden.

    What is the best position for a raised bed?

    Lachlan says: Look for an area of your garden that gets the most sun. Ideally, the location for your raised-bed garden receives at least eight hours of sun (you can provide shade if it needs it, but you can’t add sun). Other considerations are level ground, good drainage, and access to water.

    If you want to maximise growing space for edibles, plants or flowers, think about the paths that are existing or that you're planning to use. Could you create a different path layout and add additional raised beds?

    For 10 reasons why raised beds are great for the garden click here.

    What is the best size for a raised bed?

    Calum says: The length of a raised bed doesn’t matter just keep in mind you will need to walk around it to get to the other side.

    Ideally, the depth of the bed is from 350-650mm deep. Almost all crops can be grown in this depth of raised bed. We wouldn't advise making any single height bed more than 2.5m across otherwise you'll have issues tending to the centre of it. Consider creating a higher section within which will allow you to lean over and gain better access.

    Use our raised bed calculator tool and add your preferred to sizes and you can see what benefits the height offers.

    How to maximise space in the garden using raised beds

    Harry says: If you're limited for space, consider how you might blend the use of a single area. For instance, if you'd like to include seating consider integrating it into the wall of the raised bed instead. If you've got a sloping area and need to retain or landscape it, use one of our raised beds as a retaining wall.

    You can browse our popular pre-designed raised bed kits by heading here or use our free design service. 

    If you need advice, guidance or have any questions about using raised beds in your garden contact us directly via phone: 0800 389 1420, email [email protected] or click on the live chat box over on the left of the page. We offer all customers a free design service to ensure everyone gets exactly what they need for their garden.

  • Christmas competition | WIN WoodBlocX and more

    Christmas is coming and to make it extra special for three lucky people we some excellent prizes up for grabs1

    First prize is £750 to spend on WoodBlocX

    Choose from raised beds of all shapes and sizes, seating, ponds, retaining walls or speak to one of our designers who will create something totally bespoke.

    Second prize £200 M&S voucher and third prize £100 M&S voucher

    …Because who doesn’t love an M&S voucher? Fill up on festive food or pick up some last-minute gifts for friends and family.

    There’s plenty of chances to win, make sure you share with your friends and family!

  • Edinburgh's Saughton Park

    Saughton Park is one of Edinburgh’s top ten parks, close the river Leith it has facilities for sports, recreation and has a rich history of growing plants for medicinal purposes. The park’s walled and physic garden is where the term ‘occupational therapy’ was coined thanks to the pioneering horticultural work of Dr William Lowe more than 100 years ago.

    The Physic and Kitchen Garden, as it is now known, recently underwent a huge transformation, plans to replace the 1950’s sensory garden for the blind, which had fallen into disrepair, began at the start of 2019 and resulted in 17 large WoodBlocX raised were installed with several structures featuring integrated seating to create a functional space for both visitors and volunteers to enjoy.

    The garden is looked after by Friends of Saughton Park, which is split into different groups and look after various parts of the park, the Physic Garden team, who were keen for the garden to appeal to all ages and abilities, designed and planted it. The group is also known as the 'lotions and potions' group, each of the WoodBlocX wooden raised beds that make up the garden each relate to different parts of the body, the plants within a particular bed each have medicinal properties relating to a particular part of the body. The central raised beds have been designed around parts of the body and the plants chosen are beneficial for that area, or ailments or diseases affecting it e.g. the heart bed contains foxgloves which have been used in the treatment of heart conditions since the 1700s; the oncology bed contains snowdrops whose active component is galanthamine, which used in anti-cancer treatments.

    Our top three raised beds for growing edibles

    Raised Bed Best Seller
    Size: 2.25 x 1.125 x 0.45m
    Price: £344.00

    A perfect size for a small vegetable, fruit or herb patch, or for adding some ornamental planting to any area, this raised bed is proportioned to be half as wide as it is long. It is narrow enough to reach all the plants without having to step on to the bed itself. The extra height also makes maintaining the plants that little bit easier on the back and knees, or for tending from a (wheel)chair.

    L-Shaped Raised Garden Bed
    Size: 2.625 x 1.125 x 0.75 x 0.35m
    Price: £340.20

    A big upright and a small sticky-outy-bit, this L-shaped kit is perfect for awkward corners that have just a small bit of cornering to do, for instance coming into a gate or the end of a wall by a door.

    Octagonal Raised Bed
    Size: 1.65 x 0.45m
    Price: £344.20

    This planter would make a striking centrepiece to a front or back garden or patio, and could be used for planting almost anything. It is deep enough to accommodate a small specimen tree or shrub that could be underplanted with bulbs or shade-loving plants.

    To find how easy it is to build with WoodBlocX and to find out why our structures are so popular click here

  • Bestselling raised bed kits 2019

    Our wooden raised bed kits are available in every size and shape from standard rectangles through to circles, our customers love using WoodBlocX because our modular system makes building them so simple, plus each structure is long-lasting and looks beautiful, here's is a look at our bestselling designs of 2019 so far...

    Octagonal raised beds

    Providing different levels and sections of planting this design is right at the top of our bestsellers list, placed against a wall or as a centre piece it provide a large and accessible growing space the interesting angular shape is completely different to standard raised beds and is ideal for anyone looking to make a statement in the garden.

    BestsellerOctagonal Dual Level Raised Bed / 2.548 x 1.524 x 0.55m

    Rectangular raised beds

    Rectangular wood raised beds are always a firm favourite, the simple shape is timeless and will work perfectly in all garden and property types from modern to traditional, place up against a wall or fence or in the open to make it accessible from all sides. WoodBlocX raised beds are a great alternative to railway sleepers, the unique design of WoodBlocX makes your structure extra-strong so it won't easily distort, unlike other wooden products, so you can be confident your raised bed will not give away.

    Bestsellers
    Raised Bed Best Seller / 2.25 x 1.125 x 0.45
    High Raised Bed / 1.875 x 1.125 x 0.65m
    Raised Bed / 1.5 x 0.75 x 0.45 m

    Low-level raised beds

    Not everyone has a raised bed for accessibility, many of our customers simply want to create a beautiful frame for their beds and borders for growing their own fruit and vegetables or for plants and shrubs. Low level planters are ideal growing tall edibles such as broadens and raspberries and for gardening with children as they keep everything contained.

    Bestsellers
    Low Level Raised Bed / 1.875 x 1.125 x 0.25m
    Herb Garden / 1,5 x 0,75 x 0.35m

    Short and slim raised beds

    UK gardens are getting smaller, but having a small garden doesn’t mean it can’t look stylish, by utilising the space correctly you can create something unique and beautiful, whether its a multifunctional kitchen garden our an outdoor space to relax. Our slim raised beds and planters can be used as window boxes, or use an L-shaped design to make a feature of a tired corner.

    Bestsellers
    Slim Raised Bed / 1.875 x 0.75 x 0.45m
    Short Rectangular Raised Bed / 1.5m x 1.125m x 0.35m

    Our website features hundreds of kits or all shapes and sizes for building raised beds, planters, ponds, garden furniture, walls and steps. If you can't find exactly what you're looking for get in touch with our design team who can create a something bespoke for your garden free of charge.

  • The ageing process

    All of the best things get better with age, wine, whisky, cheese, gardens and WoodBlocX! A key characteristic of our timber raised beds, planters, retaining walls, steps, ponds and garden furniture is that the wood fades to a beautiful silver/grey colour over time.

    The fading doesn’t affect the quality of the wood, your WoodBlocX timber raised bed will last up to 15 years without any annual maintenance. To ensure our customers get the best lifetime out of their WoodBlocX garden structure we only use slow-grown sustainable Scots pine, not from the heart of the tree which tends to be weaker, all of our wood is locally sourced and rough-sawn to give it a beautiful natural texture. We then pressure treat it using a water based preservative which penetrates almost 100% of the wood and means our products are ideal for organic gardeners or anyone who prefers to steer clear of chemical-based products.

    Colour changes

    Your WoodBlocX kit will go through several different colour stages, on delivery it may be slightly damp (not so much so during the warmer weather) with a slight green tinge (left), this is because all of the wood has been treated before leaving our sawmill, this will fade in a couple of weeks after exposure to sunlight (right).

    Here are some examples of the ageing process of our raised beds. One of our customers installed their original L-shaped planter more than eight years ago and ordered a brand new large raised bed and multi-tiered corner raised bed to border the garden.

    There is no annual treatment needed but if you would like to add a splash of colour to the garden all of our structures can be painted with a quality outdoor paint.

    Our timber raised beds and planters make a fantastic chemical-free, strong, long-lasting and attractive alternative to railway sleepers and wooden boards for raised planting in the garden, our unique modular system can also be used for ponds, steps, retaining walls and seating.

    Browse our pre-designed kits, add your preferred measurements to our time-saving calculators or get in touch with our team to get a free design for your garden.

  • WoodBlocX - Featured on ITV, BBC 1 and BBC 2

    Our wooden raised beds, planters and benches have featured in a number of garden makeover TV shows and not forgetting Dragon’s Den on BBC 1 of course! We’ve compiled the best of the TV appearances from Mediterranean gardens to accessible spaces.

    Alan Titchmarsh and his team at ITV’s Love Your Garden used WoodBlocX raised beds to create a beautiful Mediterranean themed garden at a mid-terrace house that provided a place for a mother to relax and her children to play. The garden was completely flat and the team used large terracotta pots and paving, brick walls were painted and an array of vibrant and fragrant planting was included to give the garden a feeling of warmer climates. Two large WoodBlocX wooden raised beds were used, one providing extra height and the other at ground level planted out with shrubs and bushes. 

    One of our favourite TV installations has to be Glenn and Zoe’s garden which appeared on BBC 2’s Big Dreams Small Spaces with Monty Don. The couple embarked on a complete redesign of their steep garden. Determined to find an alternative to railway sleepers for building raised beds they searched and found WoodBlocX, using our modular system to create a beautiful terraced garden with raised beds, retaining walls and steps all made of WoodBlocX, whilst maximising the space they had available. The result is a truly beautiful garden.

    In 2017 we provided raised beds for BBC 1’s DIY SOS Children in Need special for a volunteer-led housing-project based in Swansea called the Roots Foundation, which aims to support young people in care, care leavers, children in need and adults who have left care with the transition period of independent living. WoodBlocX raised beds were installed in a kitchen garden area where residents at the centre can learn about growing and tending to their own produce.

    Alan Titchmarsh and his team requested WoodBlocX for another project this year to create an accessible garden in Nottinghamshire for a mother whose son was a wheelchair user with multiple disabilities, the garden included two large WoodBlocX raised beds and a WoodBlocX bench to form part of the sensory garden. Plus the Instant Garden on BBC 2 used a small L-shaped planter to rescue a garden in York affected flooding with Helen Skelton describing WoodBlocX as an ‘ingenious timesaving solution’.

    If Monty Don and Alan Titchmarsh’s WoodBlocX installations and garden makeovers have given you inspiration for your own garden project check out our kits for timber raised beds, ponds, seats, edging and kerbing, garden walls, steps and more or contact our design team with your garden ideas and they will create a design that is bespoke to your garden for free.

  • WoodBlocX - shopping centres, apartments and more

    WoodBlocX timber raised beds, planters, ponds, walls and seats are not only loved by our customers for updating their gardens, patios and driveways, gardens, our strong and long-lasting structures can also be found in a number of other locations across the country.

    Our modular system can be seen in seen at one the UK’s busiest shopping centres; Westfield Stratford City, this huge retail hub attracts more than 50 million visitors a year and thousands on a daily basis. We installed a huge cascading planter at the entrance to the centre, nestled between an escalator and steps, the bespoke container is planted out with a mixture of trees and shrubs to bring a touch of nature to this urban shopping destination. You also find our raised beds around the outside of the centre providing visitors with areas to escape the hustle and bustle of the shops.

    We have also worked on roof gardens for student accommodation complexes from London to Aberdeen, creating relaxing spaces for students to unwind in that are both practical and functional. Using bespoke designs that work perfectly with the space, combining planters with integrated seating across large areas. Our raised bed designs incorporate curves and zig zags to transform the spaces along wth clever planting and lighting.

    Dundee's new Waterfront development includes a number of WoodBlocX raised beds in it's Slessor Garden, which is a multi-functional space for the the public to enjoy and for hosting events. Our raised beds were used to create the sensory and heath gardens, with one set of raised beds including three different sections and multi-level planting to allow for different soil types to be used for growing a variety of plant species.
    Our commercial work doesn’t stop there, we continue to partner with organisations across the country to provide raised beds for street planting and seating solutions for public spaces.

    If these snap-shots have given you ideas for your own garden you can shop our range over on the website or if you have an idea and you’re not quite sure how to execute it, get in touch with our design team who will work with your ideas to create a bespoke design free of charge. Click below to find out more.

  • Protecting crops over winter

    There has certainly been a change in the weather over the past few weeks with most of the UK already experiencing some overnight frost.

    Whilst the heating will be on inside to keep you and your family warm some plants in the garden can benefit from some extra protection too. If you’ve worked hard in the garden this year or if you would like to carry on growing edibles over winter then you need to think about crop protection options.

    Lift

    Protecting plants grown in containers is really simple; if the pots are light enough to pick up and carry they can be moved to a sheltered spot in the garden or placed inside a greenhouse. Plants such as dahlias should be lifted to protect them from the effects of the winter weather and stored in a dormant state in a greenhouse or shed. Other varieties that can benefit from lifting include pelargoniums, geraniums, begonias, gladioli and cannas.

    Mulch

    Spreading a good mulch around sensitive perennials will provide insulation and protect their sensitive root systems, a hardwood mulch is the best option, scatter it in borders and raised beds, building up a good protective layer, you could also use compost or straw. Don't wait until it is too cold to apply your mulch, add it whilst the soil is still moist and slightly warmer.

    Protect

    Larger containers and timber raised beds can be protected from the wind, rain and frost by ‘overwintering’. Simply wrap a protective cover around the structure, different materials can be used from hessian to fleece, your local garden centre will stock a good selection and will be able to advise which is best for the plants you need to protect.

    You can protect your crops all year round with WoodBlocX Crop Protectors. These attractive, rustic and functional rods enable to keep pests such at bay in the spring and summer with a covering of netting or to fix winter fleece or hessian protection too.

    Grow

    There are still crops that can be grown outside now in wooden raised beds, containers or open ground including onions, peas, broad beans and garlic. If you’re keen to get growing this winter check out our range of easy to build and hardwearing raised beds. Choose from all shapes and sizes to suit your garden.

  • Raised bed Q&A

    A garden full raised beds or just one or two can bring so many benefits whether you’re a keen gardener or not. Before installing raised beds there are a few things to consider to ensure you get the best fit for you and your garden.

    Here are some of the top questions our customers ask us:

    Q. What is the best position for a raised bed?

    A. Once you have decided where you would like to build your raised bed, note where the sun rises and sets, the amount of light that falls on that particular spot will help you decide whether it is the best place to build it or not, for example, if your raised bed has shade cast over it for most of the day and you plan to grow certain plants or vegetables you might struggle.

    Q. What surface can a raised bed be built on?

    WoodBlocX raised beds can be built on any surface and there is no need for foundations or cement, build them directly on soil, grass, paving, tarmac, concrete or even sloped gardens, their unique design, which incorporates a series of strong dowels means structures can withstand ground movement when built on a reasonable surface.

    Q. What soil should I fill my raised bed with?

    A. This totally depends on what you plan to grow. Raised beds are a great solution for gardens with poor soil as you can select the type you use. Filling the space with a rich compost mixture would work really well but would also be very expensive. We advise customers to use a good topsoil mix and add a soil improver or compost mix to the top layers. Sandy soil is the best all-rounder. Using a bought-in topsoil rather than using up any surplus from the garden gives you much more control over weeds. Soils can be made richer through using your own homemade compost or manure, but check whether these mixes are suitable for what you plan to grow and remember plants and vegetables can be supported with soil and liquid fertilisers too.

    Q. What can I grow in a raised bed?

    A. You can grow almost anything in a raised bed! Many of our customers favour them for growing edibles because the extra height makes the regular cycle of sowing, maintaining, weeding and harvesting really easy. Depending on the surface that your raised bed is built on you may need to consider planting deeper rooted varieties in taller beds rather than low-level beds.

    Raised beds are ideal for organic growing as you can control exactly what is used in them, also ericaceous plants such as rhododendron and camellia can also be planted using an acidic soil mixture.

    Q. How do I calculate the soil quantity for my raised bed?

    A. If you are filling your raised bed completely then a simple way to work out how many litres is length(m) x width(m) x height(cm), but if you are adding a drainage layer to the bottom subtract the height of the layer from the equation so you don’t over order.

    Q. How do I maintain my raised bed?

    A. Our raised beds are maintenance free, the wood is pre-drilled and then pressure treated, we expect them to last 15 years or more without rotting, cracking or warping. Our structures are joined by a series of dowels that help to create a rigid structure which can withstand tension forces (each dowel joint will withstand up to 0.9 tonnes of shear force in our tests).

    Q. Can I build raised beds on a sloped garden?

    A. Yes! WoodBlocX raised beds are ideal for sloped gardens, the beds can be designed to match the contours of your garden and with the addition of ground spikes, which will help hold the structure down on slopes, helping to prevent the structure from slipping sideways down the hill. Ground spikes are placed on the first layer of all WoodBlocX structures and are also located in every buttress. Many of our customers also use WoodBlocX for retaining walls to landscape their gardens.
    To browse our full range of wooden raised beds, ponds, planters, walls, seats and more or to find out about our FREE design service click below

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