Bottles to build raised beds – Diary of a Rocket Gardener

I thought this would be a good post to share in case others are in need of revamping or building raised beds this autumn. I built some raised beds in my vegetable garden four, or perhaps five, years ago. Half were built using bits of timber, and half were built using old wine bottles that I gathered from friends and neighbours over several months. Over this year, I’ve noticed that the wooden beds have become fairly rotten and wobbly as a result. This means that some of the soil washes out when there’s a heavy rain, and as my plot is on a slope, it’s pushing the lower edges of the beds out altogether.

I’m quite pleased to have got as many seasons from the timber that I’d reclaimed from an old broken shed, but far more impressive is that all the wine bottles are still in one piece. Aside from getting a little wobbly sometimes and needing to be wedged back into the soil, they have really stood the test of time. So, now that I’ve pulled up some summer plants and have empty beds ready to be planted up for autumn, I thought I’d take the opportunity to convert some of the old rotten wooden beds to bottle beds.

It’s so easy to do – you just need to loosen up the soil around the edges a little, and then use your bodyweight to push the bottles into place, neck first. They usually go into the ground quite well to their shoulder, and their bottom end stands above the soil and provides about 20cm height above ground. Throw in a few bags of compost and you’ve got a more or less instant raised bed and lovely soil to plant in!