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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Irish Gardeners Forum Home -> Vegetable growing, fruit and allotments in Ireland

How much topsoil do vegetables need?


 
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Sive
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Joined: 18 Apr 2008
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Location: Co.Wexford

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:55 pm    Post subject: How much topsoil do vegetables need? Reply with quote

I would appreciate some help for a friend of mine who is hoping to start growing vegetables, probably just potatoes to start off with. The problem is the part of the garden she wants to use was unfortunately used previously as a practice green by her golf-mad son, so that it had the topsoil removed and crushed stone was put in, topped with sand and a layer of artificial "grass"
The question is: could she put raised beds in this area, and how deep should the topsoil be to allow vegetables to grow? She will obviously remove the plastic grass. I presume the sand and stone would give good drainage??
She would love some guidance on this problem. Thanks!
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walltoall
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:09 pm    Post subject: depth of topsoil Reply with quote

After removing the plastic grass dig a trial hole down (unless you are on London clay like I am) Depending on how lucky your friend is she may find perfectly good soil under the golf course! For spuds I allow a minimum of 6 to 12 inches on the flat as the spuds get furrowed up as they grow. Carrots and parsnips need to be able to go down at least 12 inches into soft soil. Turnips (swedes) and turnips (white) and beetroots need about 3 inches minimum as long as they can tap into a source of moisture. Essex advice which I got was "stuff either grows on the ground, over the ground or under the ground! Forget 'under the ground on London clay"
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MuddyWitch
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I grew crops six floors up on a concrete balcony...so you can grow stuff anywhere!

If your friend is thinking of raised beds a depth of 6inches would do for salad crops, but if she can manage more all the better.

Spuds could be grown in an old bin or a potatoe tower of old tyres, earthing up as you add an other tyre. The spent soil could then be added to the other beds at the end of the season.

One word of caution though, potatoes are in the same family as tomatoes so don't add the soil to the bed if you plan to grow toms there in the near future.

I think your friend will have a fab veg plot...ready made paths!

MW
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Michael196
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Overall I guess up to 2 foot would be generously sufficient, for potatoes.

If you could remove some of the sand and stone to alow the potatoes get down to the ground below, that would add to the two foot target for potatoes.

otherwise I think Walltoal is pretty accurate.
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Sive
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all for your advice, you all sound very positive about using this problem area. I will pass on what you've said to my friend, and I'd say she'll be delighted, not to mention relieved, to get rid of the plastic grass and grow potatoes instead!
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