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Building Raised Beds With Landscape Sleepers

Spring is finally here! Being a traditional growing season for many gardeners, they will already be putting plans in place to cultivate their plants in gardens and allotments, creating contraptions to help them as they go. Including using landscape sleepers to build raised beds.

If you've been thinking about the prospect of creating a raised bed to give your plants the best opportunity to grow, we're going to explain why you should go with your idea – and why you should use sleepers to build them with.

Why Raised Beds (And Why Use Landscape Sleepers To Create Them)?

Raised bed gardening is a great way to grow a wide array of plants, especially vegetables. They will be insulated from the possible chilly ground conditions, with the soil inside of the beds retaining warmth for longer – constantly maintaining ideal conditions for growth.

As plants are usually grown closer together in a raised bed, the tight leafy canopy that's created will help to ward off infiltration from weeds. Then there's the soil itself to consider; in a raised bed, the condition and type of earth can be tailored to suit the needs of the plant – those that thrive in alkaline soil can be placed in an alkaline bed, separated from those plants that thrive in acidic soil, who will also have their own bed.

One of the best ways to experience a rewarding garden project is to build your own beds. With a multitude of different materials out there, and the process being somewhat straightforward, it is a popular method for dedicated gardeners. Using landscape sleepers offers a rustic look, as well as a heightened functional benefit – its strength and sturdiness will ensure that your plants experience good growth for many years.

Tips on Building Your Raised Bed With Sleepers

Before you go ahead and buy landscaping sleepers for your garden beds, there a few points to consider when it comes to selecting the materials:

  • Reclaimed railway sleepers have been used for many years to create planting beds, but many will have been treated with creosote that will seep into your soil. It's always best therefore, to go with softwood or hardwood sleepers that have been treated with preservatives that are eco-friendly. Also, these types of sleepers will be easier to move around the garden too.

  • Always ensure that you have a level surface to work on, by smoothing out the ground on which you intend to build. Any uneven ground will make the process of building the bed more difficult, as well as compromise the growth of the plants.

  • Fixing together the landscape sleepers to create the bed is relatively easy; all you'll need to do is overlap them as if you were laying bricks. With sleepers being heavy and somewhat awkward to get in the right position, having another person to help fix them in place will be a big help – and save a lot of work. Have a read of our dedicated blog for some in-depth tips on creating raised flower beds.

  • A great way to prevent your garden sleepers from moving around as you construct the bed is by hammering metal rods into the ground, either side of the sleeper walls to keep them in position.

Filling Up Your Raised Beds

You may now have a raised bed constructed, but it isn't truly 'built' until you place in the soil and other trappings that will allow your plants to flourish. To aid drainage, you should first lay a substantial layer (around 8cm) of gravel or stones – this will give water 'somewhere to go', rather than it pooling heavily in particular areas of the soil. The addition of a weed-inhibiting membrane on top of the gravel or stones will prevent intrusion.

When it comes to soil, use topsoil – if you can, avoid filling the bed up with soil that has been sourced from elsewhere in your garden/allotment to further prevent any weed contamination from spoiling your new bed. Additionally, remember to include a generous amount of compost and dig the bed over thoroughly before preparing to plant.

Bring Your Landscaping Projects To Life, With Pennyhill Timber

So, if you're in need of high-quality, eco-friendly landscape sleepers to create your ideal planting beds, you've found the right place here at Pennyhill Timber.

As a leading builders merchant in Surrey, we have helped numerous individuals to bring their building project ideas to life – whether they're building flower beds, fences, decking, summerhouses or any other type of outhouse.

Our selection of wooden sleepers has been created from the finest materials around – from treated softwood for a cost-effective and easy-to-do job, to the sturdiest of hardwoods for added protection and longevity. The only constant element between our products, is that we are able to balance that fine line between great quality and great value.

Please feel free to take a look around our product pages for more information on our timber products. If you would like to learn more about our services, our friendly customer support team are on hand to help. Give them a call on 01483 486 739 or send an e-mail to and they'll be in touch as soon as possible.