Soil for raised bed

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Idris, Aug 11, 2021.

  1. Idris

    Idris Apprentice Gardener

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    (Novice gardener.)
    I have a raised bed approx 25'L x 1'D x 2'W.
    It is over heavy clay soil.
    I'm not set on what to grow in it: probably a mix of veg and flowers, (but nothing tall).

    What would be a good, general soil / manure / compost / etc mixture to fill it?
     
  2. Black Dog

    Black Dog Gardener of useful things

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    Go from rough to fine.

    First put a layer of raw materials (whatever you find in plant based leftovers), then chipped prunings, rough topsoil, not-yet-perfect compost and finally some good planting soil with real compost.
     
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    • JWK

      JWK Gardener Staff Member

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      If you are wanting to buy bagged products then go for a soil based compost, such as John Innes 2.
       
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      • Idris

        Idris Apprentice Gardener

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        I was thinking of something like 1 ton bags of manure and topsoil. Will JI2 need mixing with anything else?
         
      • JWK

        JWK Gardener Staff Member

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        I've never bought soil in those big builders bags, but need to do so for my front garden. I've been talking to my neighbours who have had very mixed experiences with buying them. I intend to go and see what they look like before ordering, some so called topsoil bags are poor, consisting of stones and weeds. It seems a minefield to me. If you can find a supplier that will deliver JI 2 that would be a good start as it is mixed to a formula, even so it can vary. You shouldn't need to mix in manure as JI has nutrients already incorporated.

        Think you will require 2 bags to fill your new raised bed. Even though it weighs a tonne the filled volume of a builders bag is approximately 750 litres.
         
      • JWK

        JWK Gardener Staff Member

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        Just been looking on the websites of a couple of local topsoil suppliers, I would go for a product that has been sterilized which should have killed off any weed seeds. I feel this isn't something you should buy on price as the very cheapest is likely to give you poor results.
         
      • Loofah

        Loofah Well used member Staff Member

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        You can buy different types of soil. There's basic topsoil which I've found to tend toward the clay side, but also a mix for veg etc which is basically topsoil mixed with compost of some sort. Definitely the one to go for.
         
      • JAS

        JAS Gardener

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        I got a couple of builders bags of compost/soil mix from compost direct for raised beds and general use earlier this year. One called black gold and the other veggie pro. The veggie pro had topsoil in it from what I could see and some weeds. The black gold, hmm I wasn't that impressed with the structure of it, if it dries out it doesn't seem to absorb water that well. My tomatoes are growing in it as is sweetcorn but I used Jacks Magic last year for toms and sweetcorn and felt I had better results with it than the stuff from compost direct. I can't remember what I paid for it - was at least £250 delivered up here.
         
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        • pete

          pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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          First time ever, earlier in the year I bought a bulk bag of garden compost to add to my vegetable plot.
          I was quite impressed with the quality and it appears to have been totally weed free.
          I got it from here.
          Gold Blend Peat Free Soil Bulk Bag
           
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          • Loofah

            Loofah Well used member Staff Member

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            Looks ideal Pete :)
             
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            • gks

              gks Gardener

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              You shouldn't have any problems there, virgin soil that has been through an 8mm screen blended with spent mushroom compost.

              The problems are when you buy from greenfield sites, where the problems start, but who is to blame?

              I watched a programme called "Inside the factory" there was a part on how whiskey is bottled in fully recycled bottles. What people put in glass bottle banks is unbelievable, the different types of processing from magnets, light, hand picking etc etc to get out all the foreign objects. It's not just tin cans and plastic bottles but people are even putting in knifes & forks and other types of metal. The same goes for green compost, what some people put in the green bins is unacceptable, yet the manufacturer tends to get all the blame. Green compost is exactly that, it is supposed to have minimum processing, so making it sterile, objects free and weed free is highly unlikely. To do that, it would involve more processing, then it can't be classed as being green.
               
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