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Natural topsoil or imported bags?


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tagwex
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:50 am    Post subject: Natural topsoil or imported bags? Reply with quote

Just about ready to position my greenhouse on its base. Have spent days putting it together, straightening it out and cleaning the decades of moss/algae and mastic 'welded' to the grooves by the previous owner. I'm getting mixed answers from the bit of research I have done. Should I reuse the stripped topsoil back into the beds or totally import bags of garden center soil (), and a question within a question, I had that patch of ground covered with a plastic sheet since last summer so are all the seeds in that soil dead now or as I think just ready to sprout again?
I know the bags will be weed free but only good for 3 to 4 years and I have read about topsoil sickness if not exposed to the elements. What to do, what to do.
At the moment I am thinking of putting in the topsoil in first as the beds will need to be quite deep and topping it off with imported bags and hoping the weeds don't come through from that depth. I have stripped down to subsoil but want the greenhouse floor higher than the surrounding ground so I am thinking maybe 400 to 500mm of ground to make up.

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Greengage
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

how big is the greenhouse
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tippben
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't waste the topsoil you've got! You won't have killed all of the weeds, but made a good start, at least on the nastiest ones. If you need more growing medium than you have, add 50% organic matter (manure/compost) as well as bought topsoil. If you don't fill your beds all the way up immediately, you can feed them each season by incorporating more organic matter, which is even better.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greenhouse is 12 * 8'. Beds on 3 sides in a 'U' shape.
I don't waste anything! The dug out topsoil is right beside the foundation base. Today a trailer load of 4 year old cattle dung arrived. So I am thinking of mixing the topsoil and dung together and topping off with some John Innes or suchlike. Right or wrong?

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Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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My Potatoes
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Natural topsoil or imported bags? Reply with quote

tagwex wrote:
Should I reuse the stripped topsoil back into the beds or totally import bags of garden center soil ()

I would recommend reusing the original topsoil. Mix it thoroughly with other growing media such as manure, compost and whatever else gives it the texture and structure you require. Mix it all together like you'd mix cement (but without the water).

tagwex wrote:
I had that patch of ground covered with a plastic sheet since last summer so are all the seeds in that soil dead now or as I think just ready to sprout again?

The seeds won't be dead but the weeds will be. The former will be ready to germinate as soon as they get a spark of light.

tagwex wrote:
I know the bags will be weed free but only good for 3 to 4 years and I have read about topsoil sickness if not exposed to the elements.

3 or 4 months, more like. There will be plenty of foreign weeds seeds blowing in over the coming months.

tagwex wrote:
At the moment I am thinking of putting in the topsoil in first as the beds will need to be quite deep and topping it off with imported bags and hoping the weeds don't come through from that depth.

I'd recommend putting the "lower quality/lower cost" growing media in first, then top of up with the "higher quality/higher cost" growing media.
Ideally the growing media will be within a few millimetres of the top of the bed's frame.
The major downside I find with raised beds is the cost. It costs a fair bit to fill one up.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the input lads. I was thinking of mixing the original topsoil and the dung together and then getting a few bags for the top 150mm. That dam couch grass will be back again so, quare hard get rid of that sh1t. I have been told/read that the bagged soil is good for up to 4 years before it is exhausted, no? Will keep the door closed so and keep those weed seeds out! Have no choice but to fill it up as I stripped the ground down to sub soil, but the quantity is not that great, I reckon .5m depth should do it. Plus I want to raise the aluminium part up by maybe 300mm to give me more height inside, the vertical edge is less than 1.5m to where the rain gutter is.
_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Good guy
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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 10:33 am    Post subject: Linking water butts Reply with quote

I installed a 200lt water butt (from Aldi) last year and it has proven very useful - a handy source of water in my shed and great for filling watering cans. I don't do a lot of watering, just for newly planted stuff and sometimes veg; I've always been conscious of water as a precious resource and never liked using 'drinking quality' water in the garden.
It hardly rained at all for most of April, so the barrel was empty until a few days ago and I thought I'd buy another and link them together. My problem is, I'm not sure how best to go about this. The only gear that came with the butt is like in the photo - just intended for connecting to a downpipe from the roof. I don't mind buying new stuff but don't know what to ask for.
Any ideas, anyone?
Ponddigger?



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tagwex
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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apart from using a pump which I presume you do not want to do then you will have to rely on gravity. Make up a frame and put one on top of the other, link with another of those flexible pipes and leave enough room to lift the lids. Draw water via a tap from the upper one. no, correction, the water in the lower one will come up through the lid, dohhhhhhh. OK, build a frame as before, one butt on top of the other, seal the lid on the lower one with silicone and presuming there is a tap on the lower one then raise the lower butt off the ground to suit your watering can, disadvantage is that you will occasionally have to go up a stepladder to the upper one. Or simply have the second one on another downpipe, one to the front and one to the rear of the property if possible.

PS. What does this have to do with natural soil/imported bags?

_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Good guy
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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nothing at all, it went onto the wrong section. Thanks for the suggestion, not sure it suits my situation.
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ponddigger
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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi .try this website . http://www.reuk.co.uk/Connecting-Water-Butts.htm
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That website diagram will work, you will just have slightly less than 200l in the second tank. I was going for full capacity!
_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Good guy
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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the web address, Ponddigger, it's v useful. This would be easier if I had thought of connecting two butts at the start. I'm going to have to find a way of positioning the diverter higher up the downpipe so as to get enough head for water to flow from one butt to another. It will be simple enough to raise butt 1 by a couple of centimetres, (once I empty it!). And I guess its time I went to the plumbers supplies shop - the fittings I have won't do the job.
Thanks, again.
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pieszkkaaa
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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This website is great ! http://www.dogrescuearmy.com/
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We may have a troll people.
_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey good guy! I know you may have solved this problem by now. But I was looking up websites to buy a wormery and came across this one. There may be something there to help you out.
http://www.originalorganics.ie/

_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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