Making Every Bit Of Space Usable. Building A Long Planter Raised Bed

Where Did We Start From?

This side is where the sun sets at night, it takes a while for the sun to reach this area in the day, but when it does, the sun reflects off the white shell wall (which is stunning up close) and gives the plants that extra much needed sun.

There was nothing down this side of the house and opens up into a huge field. We put up fencing and a gate in the further section of this area for our Kitchen Courtyard Garden and the gate to stop Deers coming into it. This section is yet to be fenced and gated but is on the list to do!

How beautiful is this shell render on the house.
It sparkles in the light!

How Did We Build it?

Using the same method as the front fenced section, you can read about it in this blog Building a Mini Food Forest in a Small Area. Ours is On A Fence. Using roof sheets and decking wood for stability. As this was so long it would wobble in the wind, so I added in extra wood supports that were screwed in across the top to stop that.

Wood cut & screwed & bolted in over the overlaps of the sheets and along the top and bottom for stability.
I put metal corners on and a few along, cut them longer and hammered them into the ground then screwed them into the wood for staking into place.
In the process of filling.
Cardboard at the bottom to suppress any weeds

So we did not have to shovel the soil from the tonnes bags from one side of the house and AGAIN into the planter I built it in sections as we went along so we could just tip it straight in from the wheelbarrow.

This went perfectly, the long back side up against the wall went in, then the first end up, half the front side up following the slabs that were already there for extra support.

Then coming to the final end, that was already cut and fixed into the section half of the front side and the last end, I realised the slabs were not put down straight to the wall. I know, I know!! Noob mistake not checking but this was the very first garden building project, the front fence project came after & I learnt from the mistakes.

Anyway, this made it so I had to pull this last section in to join it all together to form the rectangle creating that angle you can see below and a good 2” gap between the planter & the slabs at that end! It hasn’t caused any issues it’s been up now for over 2 1/2yrs. It’s just a visual annoyance for sure! However, you don’t see it now it’s been filled with plants.

Took 2 tonnes of soil to fill this AND all day to construct and fill.
Extra supports added to stop the wobble in the wind

What Did We Plant Here?

The thing about building with permaculture design is observing, seeing what grows best and where. What we planted in the first year 2019-2020 is different to what we are trying in the second year 2020-2021. We need to decide what works the best in this area to carry onto our next year.

The first year we planted

Lettuce – This was a huge success in this area. Decided to try in the Vertical Garden and Planter in the Kitchen Courtyard the following year.

Broad beans – Successful but took up too much space (and nobody liked eating them!) Did not plant them the following year.

Clayton out harvesting the Broad Beans

Radish– These went in and came out, but huge success, grew really well but didn’t plant succession seeds and replaced that space with sweet peas for the rest of the growing season. Grew these up in the Kitchen Courtyard planter the following year.

Dwarf Borlotti Beans– They were planted to grow up the wooden structure. Did not work. Moved them to the Planters in the Food Forest the following year for a huge success. Needed way more sun than this spot gave

Sweet Peas– Grew up the string structure fine, but did not produce a lot. Tried them again in the Kitchen Courtyard the following year, both years without a successful amount to harvest. However the bees love them so may try another location next year.

First set of growing. You can see the Lettuce & Broad Beans in at the other end.
Radish out. Sweet Peas in.

What Happened The Following Year?

Once the broad beans were out we planted leeks. They weathered the winter fine, but come summer shot up and went to seed. Will be collecting those seeds to relocate them for the following year.

Rest of the bed was cleared over winter, chop and drop method. Chopping everything at the soil level and dropping them onto of the soil. Sprinkled the whole bed with Red Clover, which is a perfect nitrogen fixer to get the soil ready to plant again we left it until Spring when the Jerusalem Artichokes were planted .

At the moment (Sept 2021) Jerusalem Artichokes and Leeks
Leeks that have gone to seed

You can see to the left are the trees that were not cut down this year. Picture below is over winter when we should have taken them down to around 5ft tall, but it was a missed job (that is high priority when the trees go back to being dormant for the winter).

Even with these trees so high this year the newly planted Jerusalem Artichoke thrived! Not only have they grown so tall over 10ft (so far) but they have spread throughout the whole bed.

From the other end looking over the gate from the Kitchen Courtyard. Shows these boarding trees height!
Had to add some net earlier in the summer to stop them spreading across the path
Look how small they were!
Ohhh……..we also had our pretty shell render steam cleaned. Made a HUGE difference in the sun! You can see how dark/dirty the wall was in earlier pictures

After observing this area for 2 years now. I think we have found a few successful plants that grow here. Look out for the follow on post to see what we decided on, we may even get round to developing this area next year too. Maybe…..


Yr 1 – April 2019- April 2020

Yr 2 – April 2020- April 2021

Yr 3 – April 2021- April 2022

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This blog is from the ⬜️ Grey -Kitchen Courtyard Area:

Other related blogs from this area are:

Published by buildingafoodforestscotland

Building a Food Forest -Scotland Edwardian 1903 Home & Garden in Scotland Planting With Permaculture Design

8 thoughts on “Making Every Bit Of Space Usable. Building A Long Planter Raised Bed

  1. Wow you have done a great job 👏🌹. So many plants. Well shared with photos 🙂🙂 . Loved to read your blog ☺️☺️🌹❤️


  2. Oh wow, I wonder if this is something I can safely build against our kitchen wall. Seeing the process makes it seem doable.


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