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top soil


 
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carlow1
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 01 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 7:57 pm    Post subject: top soil Reply with quote

I'm just trying to establish a vegetable patch in my back garden.
how much topsoil would I need to cover an area 10feet x 10 feet dept 6 inches approx?

Any idea of cost and reliable suppliers? Carlow area

Thanks in advance
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michael brenock
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Joined: 12 Aug 2008
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Location: cork

PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For that size of garden you need 50 cubic feet of soil but that settles down to about three quarters of that volume over a few months. Good top soil is hard to come by. It should be black in colour break from lumps easily. Weeds are a good sign, too much stones are bad and avoid it if it is wet and sticky or a pale brown or yellow colour.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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sirpsycho
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Location: Stamullen, Co Meath

PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most garden centres sell topsoil by the 1 ton bag (1 cubic metre).

10ft * 10ft * 0.5ft (6 inches) is 50 cublic feet as Michael stated. Converting that to metres is almost 1.5 cubic metres (1.4158 to be exact!).

So you want 2 ton bags. But when the soil settles down about three quarters of the volume you will need about 1/3 cubic metres of it to top it back up to 6 inches but the leftovers from the two bags should be plenty for that.

Some garden centres near me are selling for around €85/ton delivered.
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carlow1
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice
Very much appreciated
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Lius
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

carlow 1,

If you are starting a small kitchen garden from scratch I wouls strongly recommend raised beds with a soiless mix. Two 8ft x 4ft raised beds will grow more veg than a 10ft x 10ft standard garden and is so much easier to look after, you can even pave around the bed so you can tend the garden in you slippers. If you make the beds 12" tall you can grow spuds, carrots, etc.

The soiless mix is simply 1/3 compost, 1/3 blended compost (manure, kitchen compost, etc, as many different types as you can get.) and 1/3 coarse vermiculite (from builders providers). The soiless mix will work out about the same price as topsoil even if you have to buy all the ingredients (about €85 per cubic meter) and an 8ft x 4ft x 12" high bed will need 1 cubic meter of mix, its so much nicer and better than topsoil. The most you will pay for 12" x 6" timber to make the beds is €12 each for a 16ft length at B&Q and a 12" high bed will use 3 boards (€36). So a 12" high 8ft x 4ft bed will cost €120 all-in and a 6" high will cost €60 all-in, you could do one 6" for leafy stuff and a 12" high one for roots.

Check out this site:-
http://www.squarefootgardening.org/
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Ollie McG
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could get some scaffolding planks for around €5 each....you only need 3 to make one bed...thats only €15 euro..might be a little cheaper for you?
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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

there is great advice given there on how to construct raised beds and how to fill them and the cost. best contribution on subject and good calculations as well.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)

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carlow1
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is all very helpful information. I really appreciate it. Thanks a million
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