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Making Plunge Beds in the Glasshouse


Building Staging. Plunge bed type

The first stage was to construct a wooden framework. I used 3 in. by 3 in. tanalised fence post for the legs and for the cross pieces. This strength was needed to support the 2 feet. by 2 feet pressed concrete slabs which form the base of the staging. Before fitting the slabs all the wood was painted with a preservative paint. To give added stability I added metal cross pieces between each pair of legs. The metal bars are in fact pieces of spare green house staging. Each set of staging has 3 pairs of legs. All of the joints are simple butt joints with brackets to hold them together. I am no carpenter. The slabs were screwed to the framework with stainless steel screws, though their weight makes them unlikely to move.

Next I used tanalised and painted 4 ins. by 2 ins wide planks to make the sides of the plunge bed. This was fastened to the slabs with stainless steel brackets

I then covered both wood and slabs with black PVC. This was to keep moisture away from the wood and so that water would drain away more slowly.

Finally the plunge material was added. This is sharp sand.

Plants added!

Given a few years it could look like this.

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Previous post: My Alpine House.

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Fab OB, I was going to build another raised bed for veg in my side yard (work area) but I think one of these would be more useful to me. It is only a small area & very protected & I could make a cover for it. Would it work outside?

1 Feb, 2012


Hi W. I don't know if you have ever been to Hidcote, but there is a covered alpine growing area there. All that has is a roof, which is covered in Winter, but open for the rest of the year.
There is no reason at all why a plunge bed like this could not be built. In our previous house I had what we called The Table Bed. This was paving slabs stood on brick pillars with a wall on the top, of about 9 inches depth. It was filled with a gritty compost and I grew a lot of really nice plants in it. But, it could have been left with just sand. That had no covering at all. No pictures sadly as it was before we owned a camera.

1 Feb, 2012


Thanks OB I will give it some thought, too cold to get out there yet.

1 Feb, 2012


I would advise against metal legs. I had a blacksmith make me a frame of square section metal tube. Plenty strong enough but when I put the first concrete slab on it began to s-w-a-y! Not what you want in a glass house. I substituted thick marine ply board for the slabs and tied the frame into an existing structure. This has carried an 8inch deep sand plung for the last ten years. Should I ever build another I think that I would go for concrete block pillars as Owdboggy showed in his previous blog

1 Feb, 2012

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