“Ferrocement” Raised Garden Beds

After much researching and planning we decided to experiment with “ferrocement” as the chosen building material for our raised garden beds.

Ferrocement Raised Gardenbeds 011

We built the frame using two 6.0mx2400mm reinforcing mesh sheets and bolted them to the existing brick wall with a simple bent aluminium plate. Using cable ties we strapped a double layer of chicken wire to the mesh frame, a task which required lots of patience and some nimble fingers!

Ferrocement consists of 1 part general purpose cement mixed to 3 part washed sand. Water is then added until an easy spreadable consistency is reached. Simply pat and press this mixture over the mesh frame working your way from the bottom up.

Be careful not make the mix too soggy as the cement might sag before drying completely (as we found out on our first attempt)

It took us a short while to get used to the process but once we got the hang of it the rest went really fast!
While the frame was semi dry we stained the surface with a red oxide powder obtainable at your local hardware store.

We filled the beds with some “lasagna” layers of hay, horse manure, brown leaves, used coffee grounds, compost and a few layers of soil in between. Slowly but surely this mixture is turning into a very fertile soil full of life. Keep working at it wormies!

So there you go, two big raised garden beds ready to produce.

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~ by Jake on April 20, 2013.

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