Raised beds

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by BassFisher, Feb 11, 2021.

  1. BassFisher

    BassFisher Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi all, A quickie, I’ve made three raised beds, I’ve turned over the turf to kill off the grass and dug a spades depth below that, now what do you good people advise that I fill them with, soil, compost, sand or all three? Thanks
     
  2. Black Dog

    Black Dog Gardener

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    Yes yes yes....
    I filled one last autumn myself
    IMG-20201019-WA0003~2.jpeg

    Basically it is a concrete tub with drain holes at the bottom. About 3 meters long, 1 meter broad and 80cm height.

    First thing I did was to put some old rotting natural wooden boards (no paint or anything) in the bottom because it seemed to be the most logical way to get rid of them.

    Second layer was old berry bush cuttings (because I was too lazy to shredder them), old pumpkin and bean vines, and whatever other small branchy stuff I found laying around

    Third layer was shredded EVERYTHING. Branches, roses, bushes. As long as it was finely shredded. I also mixed lawn cuttings into it to make it more substantial. But a lot of I just fell into the second layer (filled the holes though).

    Fourth layer was two whole composter bins. I started the compost only that year so it was far from ready, but it made for a nice filler material

    Fifth layer was about 20 bags of flower soil I bought really cheap at the local retailer. I mixed it up with a wheelbarrow full of really really (about 80%) sandy soil.

    Last layer was another ten bags of flower soil because everything was sinking downwards after a week of rain. Didn't mix them with anything though. If you have a lot of fallen leaves, put them here or in layer 5.

    Conclusion:
    The basic idea is to go from big chunks to smaller chunks with every layer. And if you find some worms, don't hesitate to put them into the mix. Over the years they will work through everything.

    Oh and don't hesitate to fill it up good. It will decompose and sink a lot
     
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    • ricky101

      ricky101 Total Gardener

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      Wow @Black Dog , think thats taking things to the ultimate !!

      @BassFisher no idea how many and how big your raised beds are but if you do not want to go that far would suggest a decent sandy top soil with a bag or so of GrowSure Manure per bed.

      Usually searching around locally you will find a topsoil supplier who can do either 1ton bagged deliveries or you can collect handi bags, both often a lot cheaper than most diy shops.
      Importantly do view the product before buying or just buy one small bag to see what its like.
       
    • BassFisher

      BassFisher Apprentice Gardener

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      9CC48373-AA2E-437D-80BB-B88341A24DE1.jpeg Thanks for your replies, here’s a picture to give you more idea
      Image
       
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      • Black Dog

        Black Dog Gardener

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        Just shovel the soil in there. Mix it up with a little bit of compost and fallen leaves and everything should be fine
         
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        • ricky101

          ricky101 Total Gardener

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          You have done the right thing in keeping the beds clear of those conifers as they will be sucking the life out of the surrounding ground .

          If you can find someone local to deliver a ton bag of decent top soil for a fair price it might be easier and cheaper than loads of smaller bags. You might have a bit over but the beds will soon settle down and need a top up
           
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          • BassFisher

            BassFisher Apprentice Gardener

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            Ok guys thanks, yes those conifers are a subject of another post, they’re also killing the lawn, I’ve got plans to dig in a membrane barrier in all around the garden
             
          • DianneW

            DianneW Head Gardener

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            We put leaves in the compost area,s but also in the veggie bed, so sure as others have said adding green will be good long term. Our ones get very dry, so I am thinking what best to add, likely just improve the texture by adding soil from the composteur which is breaking down very well with all this wet stuff we have had...Looking very good BassFisher...
             
          • rustyroots

            rustyroots Total Gardener

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            If you have any stables local ask them for manure. If they have a big pile dig right into it to get to the well rotted stuff. I normal get mine off a local chap, who has 3 or 4 piles at differing ages. The oldest pile is like compost and is great stuff. Unfortunately due to the current situation, I have not been able to get any this year.
            Rusty
             
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