How to Build a Raised Sleeper Bed

Raised sleeper beds create a focal point full of colour and foliage in any garden and are relatively easy to make. Find out if a raised bed is right for your garden with our lowdown, then follow our step-by-step guide..

1. Work out where you want your sleeper bed or beds to sit in your garden, dependant on what you're planting: does it need to be in the sun or the shade?

2. Next, measure the space of the sleeper bed out. Stepping into the bed to tend your plants is a no-no so ensure you can reach the whole of it from the sides and you can get a wheelbarrow between them.

3. Remove any plants and level the ground (If your ground isn't flat, you may need to use ballast to level it out.)

4. Lay the sleepers on their side to form the wall of the raised bed, building them up in a brick pattern if you're using more than one layer. The sleepers should be fixed at the corners using long landscape screws with an electric drill. It's best to pre-drill with a drill bit to avoid the wood splitting.

5. Line the sleeper bed with the breathable membrane and then fill up with soil or manure. Using a different soil type in your bed to the rest of your garden will allow you to grow something new – whether that's flowers, fruit or vegetables. 

6. Once the bed is filled, leave it to settle for two weeks before you begin planting. However, you can start planning straight away...

Single-level raised beds are best for growing herbs and plants with shorter roots. Try vegetables such as cabbage, onions, lettuce and kale or lower shrubs such as heather.
Double-level raised beds suit vegetables with longer roots such as peppers, tomatoes, carrots as well as fresh flowers and shrubs.

Thinking of building a raised bed from railway sleepers in your garden?
Save money with our new Raised Bed Sleeper Kits – all you need to build a raised bed out of beautiful wooden railway sleepers in your garden. Choose from softwood or oak and a size that suits your garden. Each kit contains sleepers, membrane, landscaping screws and soil. The only other tool you'll need is an electric drill and a drill bit.

Help & advice
If you need to know more about sleepers, please get in touch with your local branch. Our specialists will be happy to offer help and advice and can provide you with a free quote for supply of all relevant materials.

3rd Jul 2019