24/7 Support  01727 226666

Why Create A Raised Sleeper Bed

Why Create A Raised Sleeper Bed

Using railway sleepers to build raised sleeper beds are an excellent way of growing your own fruit and vegetables and even a wide range of plants. Here at Lawsons, we love garden sleepers and supply a range of softwood sleepers, hardwood/oak sleepers and reclaimed sleepers for all  landscaping and garden projects. In this blog, we’re exploring the advantages and disadvantages of  building a raised sleeper bed in your garden.


What are raised sleeper beds used for?

There are many ways to make use of your newly built raised sleeper bed, below we list just a few ideas for inspiration:

  • You can grow any kind of vegetable
  • Soft fruits such as any kind of berries can be planted and grown in your sleeper bed
  • Raised beds are a good idea for establishing a cutting garden for cut flowers


What are the advantages of a raised sleeper bed?

There are many benefits of creating a raised sleeper bed including:

  • Raised sleeper beds look attractive and give your garden a structure
  • You will have improved drainage as the soil is raised from the ground
  • Increased mobility – gardeners who may have trouble with mobility will find that having raised sleeper beds are easier to manage and as they save you back strain because you don't have to bend down so far!
  • The soil in raised beds is better drained, so warms up faster in spring, therefore you will have an increase in soil temperature
  • You can use better quality soil – by filling the beds with good topsoil, which is enriched with fertiliser and organic matter gives excellent root zone conditions for your plant and vegetables
  • They require less watering than containers


What are the disadvantages of a raised sleeper bed?

While raised sleeper beds have many advantages, there are a few downfalls:

  • You will need to build your raised sleeper bed! – but don’t worry, here at Lawsons we can help with this, read on below for a step-by-step guide on how to build a raised sleeper bed
  • While it improves drainage, you will find in droughts more watering may be required
  • You will need to consider initial costs of labour and materials required to build the raised sleeper bed

How to build a raised sleeper bed

Building a raised bed with railway sleepers is pretty simple and straightforward and requires minimum tools.

  1. Consider a suitable location in your garden and choose your size
  2. Lay your first level of railway sleepers in the ground in a rectangle shape, with the narrowest sides on the ground and facing upwards with the railway sleepers touching at the 90 degree corners. Ideally, you should lay sleepers on firm grounds.
  3. Place your next layer of sleepers on top of the previous one. Make sure to overlap joints on corners as well as on straight sections.
  4. Use heavy duty wood screws to secure each layer of sleepers in pace, and take extra care at the corners.
  5. Build the walls of your planter up until you’re happy with the height, and finish securing each layer.
  6. Trim any unwanted ends and treat the sleepers with preservative if they have not been pre-treated.
  7. Allow the sleeper bed to completely dry and set.
  8. Use a filler for the bottom of your planter to cut down on costs – this can be any environmentally-friendly material that won’t affect the health of your plants or veg.
  9. Fill your planter with high quality soil, such as top soil to improve the health of your plants
  10. Fill with your chosen plants
  11. Enjoy your brand-new raised sleeper bed!


Related Articles:

How to Lay Railway Sleepers in the garden

What types of Railway Sleepers are there?

How to treat Railway Sleepers