">Raised beds for vegetables:
The reason that I have raised beds is that my allotment is on a flood plan along side the River Thames.
My plot has had 73 days under 64 cm of water (about 2 feet).
The only beds that were out of the water were those that I had raised up above this level.
The floods wiped out most of my vegetables.
The only one that did not suffer was my leeks, which I continued to harvest even when they were under water.
The water has since gone and I am setting about raising the rest of my beds.
The way that I am doing this is to dig down to the sup-soil. Roughly two feet. I put the topsoil to one side.
This leaves me with a hole two feet deep. I need to fill this hole to ground level.
For this I use any organic material that I can get my hands on.
It in bottom of the hole, where the roots of my vegetables are not going to reach; I put about a foot of old books, or cardboard.
I collect the old books from friends (mostly old paper backs) and the cardboard I collect from local shops who are more then willing to get rid of it.
On top of this, I have put leaf mould, which I got from a local college (I live in Oxford) they were more then willing to have somewhere to get rid of it.
Then I put the topsoil back on top. I will leave this to settle before I plant my winter vegetables. This will be about four months.
I know this works because I used this method two years ago and have grown good vegetables on the beds every since.
It is a sort of Victorian Hot Bed with a 21st century twists i.e. the cardboard.