Sleepers: How to use them as part of your landscape project

  • Educational
  • Article

Sleepers are the perfect way to tidy up your garden and make it incredibly well presented. Although they have a wide variety of uses from vertical garden features to outdoor partitions, the main use for sleepers tends to be as a raised timber platform used as a planter for flowers and vegetation.

In this piece, we’ll take you step by step through the process of building your own outdoor planting sleeper, thus perfecting your landscaping project. Let’s take a look.

Get them secured

First thing’s first – make sure your outdoor space is completely clean, clear of all stones, debris or weeds. Once complete, dig a shallow bed about 10cm deep and position your sleepers comfortably in this space. Whilst sleepers can come in many forms, one of the best materials is European hardwood as this is hardwearing, long-lasting and beautifully finished.

And if you can, fix your sleepers to the ground to ensure they remain stable – this can be done by fixing a wooden post behind the sleepers to keep them secure.

Stack them up

Now you’re going to want to stack your sleepers up, overlapping them at the corners and ensuring they’re completely straight (we’d recommend using a spirit level for this).

If you need to cut them you should be able to do so with a handsaw, particularly if you’re using softwood sleepers. An electric saw and chainsaw will also work.

And of course, make sure you’re wearing protective gear and if you’re not sure what you’re doing, consult an expert!

Connect them

There are a multitude of ways to connect your sleepers to ensure they’re completely secure.

  • Landscaping screws: These are counter-sunk into the sleeper to ensure a sturdy connection
  • Steel rod pins: These are great when you’re connecting a higher stack
  • Corner braces: Perfect for squaring off your sleepers and a great method of keeping them tight

European hardwood sleepers work perfectly with all of the above methods, so just choose the one that suits your build and you feel comfortable with.

Finish it off

Once your sleepers are stacked and secured exactly how you want them, it’s important that you spend some time ensuring they’re safe for everyday use.

We’d recommend sanding off any splinters of wood that you notice across the width and breadth of the build – you’ll be tending to your flowers and vegetation on a weekly basis so ensuring a safe space to do so is paramount.

If you’re feeling extra cautious, you can cover the sleepers with a wire mesh to steer away from any splinters and to avoid any accidents (they can be quite slippery when wet!).

And that’s it!

If you’d like to speak to a timber consultant about our product range, or want a bit more information on what we can offer you, get in touch and we’ll be able to help you out!

Oh, and don’t forget to follow us on TwitterLinkedIn and Facebook to keep up to date on all the latest timber news.

Place your order online