|Newly planted blackcurrant in the old chicken yard, Apr 2018|
I think for some climates/situations raised beds probably work just as promised, but here they are just a magnet for slugs and snails. I had different beds made of wood, brick and stone, and those pesky molluscs would climb in, tuck themselves away in the convenient hiding places I had provided, and wreak destruction every night. In the last raised bed I took apart, the wooden walls were covered with happy fat slugs on all the inward facing sides.
Slug pressure is pretty constant here, and I have come to accept that they will eventually find their way anywhere in my garden. I've even found them in pots on top of my cast iron patio table, and in my window boxes. Why (and how) they manage to climb such a height is beyond me, but they do. Rather than provide them with a free B&B in a raised bed, all my vegetables are now grown in deep beds, completely level with the rest of the garden, and with no type of border or wall around them; at least this deprives the slugs of a convenient hiding place.
Of the three brick beds remaining, two are in the old chicken yard, which is still recovering from too much chicken for a bit too long. Pictured above is some newly growing alfalfa, feverfew, a weed or two, and of course one of two new blackcurrants. The slugs aren't much interested in any of this, but no doubt the population hasn't recovered yet after all those chickens! I don't plan on putting any annual vegetables here in any case.