Browsing Tag:Pallet Wood Beds


At last! The days are getting longer, and after a very, very wet winter, life is returning to the garden! 

After an extended break (due to illness) I’m also returning to the garden, with lots of projects planned for both at home and down at the allotment.

Garden & Allotment Jobs for April

Project #1:  Making New Raised Beds

Five years ago, I used reclaimed pallet wood to build two raised beds, on either side of my greenhouse.  My goal was to make them as cheaply as possible, and to be honest, I didn’t expect them to last for more than 1-2 seasons.

My original pallet wood beds, when I first built them.

Despite the poor quality of the re-purposed wood (and my even worse craftsmanship!), they’ve held up surprisingly well. But, five years on, after one of the wettest winters on record, they’ve now begun to rot.

So, it’s time to clear them away, and make some new raised beds!

This time, I’ll be making my beds with 2.8cm thick pine decking boards, along with some galvanised steel corner brackets – to hopefully create something a bit sturdier!

The boards are 3.6m long, so I’ll be cutting them down to make a 1.8m x 1.8m raised bed (to replace my 2m x 2m bed) and a smaller 1.8m x 1.1m bed (to replace my existing 2m x 1m bed). 

The boards were £12 each from Wickes and the corner brackets were £1.50 a piece, so although they’re more expensive to make than my previous ones, it’ll still be cheaper than buying them ready-made.

While I’m at it, I’ll also be patching up and treating our wooden garden bench and fence, which have also faired badly this winter.

All I need now is a dry day (or two), to make some progress with these jobs! 

Project #2: Operation Compost!

My second project is to completely re-vamp our composting area at the allotment. 

Over the years, we’ve had quite a few composting disasters. From ending up with smelly slime (due to a lack of aeration) to having to dispose of the entire lot, after Marestail was dumped in our compost bins. 

Until now, we’ve been using open-sided wooden crates, however, that’s all about to change.

To be honest, I’ve had a bit of a composting epiphany, and it’s all thanks to the incredible Julie from Great Green Systems – the online store of all things composting (including the crème de la crème of hot composters, the Green Johanna). 

It all started when I entered a competition on her website, to win a book about composting. The book is called ‘A Gardeners Guide to Composting’ By Rod Weston, and to my amazement, I won! 

The book is a 176-page deep dive into everything you could ever want to know about composting.  It’s extremely informative, offering detailed and practical advice for all kinds of composting systems, and over the past month, I’ve been absorbing its contents like a sponge! 

Composting has always felt quite daunting to me, and I’ve certainly had a huge gap in my knowledge, surrounding it. But that’s now beginning to change, and the more I learn, the more passionate I’m becoming about the topic. 

Julie is the queen of composting, and she’s been such a huge inspiration to me, as I restart my composting journey. As well as the book, Julie’s given me a wealth of advice about mastering the art of composting, and not only that, she also did one of the kindest things that anyone has ever done for me – she gifted me a Green Johanna

I’m beyond grateful and so excited to tell you all about it, but I’ll save that for a separate post! * For now, all I’ll say is that having a Green Johanna is going to be such a massive game-changer!

Bokashi bin with food scraps & bran.

I’ve also dipped my toe into the world of Bokashi  – an anaerobic fermentation process using inoculated bran (containing microorganisms) to break down kitchen waste. Once ready, the Bokashi mixture can be used as a compost accelerator and the drained-off liquid can also be used as a plant feed. 

The benefit of both the Green Johanna (hot composter) and the Bokashi bin, is that you can add cooked food to them, which isn’t the case with cold composting.

With multiple systems to get stuck into, I’m really looking forward to seeing how I get on with creating my own compost this year! 

Project #3: Seed Sowing

With April now upon us, we’re deep into seed sowing season and already, my greenhouse (and house!) are overflowing with a million cell trays, and tiny pots of seedlings! 

At the end of last year, I sowed my broad beans directly in the ground at my allotment, which are now coming through very nicely. At the beginning of March, I also sowed my tomatoes, aubergines and melons. These tender seedlings are still quite small and are currently under grow lights indoors. 

With April here, I’m also excited to soon be sowing some of my favourite vegetables to grow – including courgettes and squash, as well as pole beans and runners. 

Once again, I’ll be growing Greek Gigantes beans, which look and taste like butterbeans, but are actually a type of runner bean! We grew them last year and they became so prolific and heavy, that the arch we grew them up, collapsed!

I’ll also be sowing some new varieties of veg, that I’ve never tried before! These include ‘Dragons Egg’ cucumbers (which look a bit like ostrich eggs!) and the old-fashioned root vegetable, salsify. Salsify is said to taste like oysters, so I’m hoping to use it to create some tasty, vegan ‘seafood’.  

Root veg always does well at our allotment (last year’s parsnips were over 17” long and tasted absolutely incredible!) so I’m excited to see how they’ll do. 

Other seeds to plant in April include spring and summer cabbages. This year I’m hoping to grow ‘Savoy Perfection’ and ‘Kalibos’. The latter is a beautiful, vivid purple (red) variety that has tender leaves, which make it perfect for using in salads. 

Other seeds to plant this month include kale, Brussell sprouts, swede, sweetcorn, spring onions, peas, parsnips, lettuce, spinach, carrots, radishes, beetroot and Swiss chard. It’s also time to get your early potatoes in the ground! (Unless your plot is currently under a foot of water!)

This time of year can be hectic for gardeners, so I’m trying my best to be mindful to really enjoy the process of bringing new plants to life, and getting the spring tasks done. 

Frosts and cold weather are still on the cards (even down here in Somerset) so there’s no rush to sow tender plants too soon. Seeds that are sown later will often catch up with their earlier sown counterparts anyway! 

How is your seed-sowing going so far? I hope the weather hasn’t put too much of a dampener on your spirits! I’d love to hear what jobs you’ve been doing, and what you’ve got planned for this year.

* This post isn’t sponsored. Julie didn’t know I had blog when she sent me the Green Johanna, it was an entirely wholesome gesture! One day, I hope to pay her kindness forwards. 🙂