Can You Use Scaffold Boards for Raised Beds?

Can You Use Scaffold Boards for Raised Beds?

Posted by Tom Pepper on

First off - what is a raised bed??

A raised bed is a flower or fruit/vegetable bed which is raised off of the ground, usually by building a structure directly on the ground made from timber, resulting in a frame which sits above the ground level.

The benefits of this are several. First, it protects whatever it is you wish to grow from foot traffic, as it is not only raised but also clearly separate from paths etc. In addition to this, the bed can be filled with fresh or higher quality soil or compost, which is particularly useful if the ground itself is compacted or of a poor quality.

It also allows different types of flowers or veg to be grown in different, clearly separated areas, keeping everything neat and tidy. They can be made from all sorts of materials, from reclaimed timber to stones and old blocks. But guess what, making them from scaffold boards keeps them not only neat and tidy, but smart looking too!

Yes, scaffold boards can be used!

Scaffold boards are perfect for this sort of use. They're sturdy enough to take the weight of the soil that they're holding, and the long lengths mean you can easily create raised beds at a really functional size. We advise watching some videos on Youtube for some guides on exactly how to make the structure, but generally it is pretty straightforward for a competent DIYer.

Unlike many railway sleepers, of which reclaimed ones in particular are full of all sorts of nasties such are creosote or tar, scaffold boards are usually completely untreated (ours are always untreated). This means you can then use a more pet/plant friendly coating on them, and you could even leave the inside untreated if you line it with plastic. This is better for the soil and the health of the plants, particularly if they're plants you plan to consume!

We recommend our Reclaimed Unsanded Boards for the most cost effective option, but remember we also offer new boards too if you want a less rustic look!

What if scaffold boards are just a bit too chunky?

Well that's funny you should ask! As many of you will know, we sell Pallet Wood too, which is also perfect for raised beds! It's quite a bit thinner than scaffold boards, so there is a limitation on how big you can go as they boards need to be able to support the weight of the soil. But for smaller or shallower beds, pallet wood can be the perfect option. Just check the photo below from one of our customers!

Our pallet wood is again completely untreated, so there are no worries about nasty chemicals leaching in to the soil. We also sell in lengths up to 480cm (16ft), so don't think pallet size when you think of our pallet wood.

Raised beds made from Pallet Wood by The Scaff Shop


Show us your handiwork!

We love seeing our customer's projects, so please do send a photo when you've completed it. We send an automated feedback request where you can attach a photo, a week or two after your order, so keep an eye out for that. All the photos in this blog are from our customers, so you may even get to feature on our website :).

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