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Filling raised beds for veg growing


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Blowin
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 20 Aug 2008
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Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There you go. If raspberries are your dream, then that's what you should plant there but, contrary to what Good Guy says, I guarantee the damned things will eventually come up yards away - if that matters. By all means drop in if you're ever this end of the County.
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corkgardener
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I made a mistake when filling my raised beds....

I got some manure from a friend (told me it would be well rotted) and when I was putting it in to the beds it didnt seem particularly well rotted (lots of intact straw etc.) I had to use it nevertheless as a big pile of it was sitting in my front garden. Its been in the beds maybe 6 weeks and is (very) slowly disintegrating but the straw is very much still intact.

I'm guessing the best advice would be to let it sit and put in into the beds in the autumn, but given its already in does anyone have any suggestions? two ideas I had were to:
dig down to maybe a foot below the sod under the beds and mix the manure with the topsoil below i.e. double dig the beds and incorporate the manure deeper into the soil - presumably this would have the additional benefit of improving the soil structure below the beds?
The second (lazy) idea, was to strip off a few inches of the manure/topsoil in the beds and set it aside to rot down and then lay a seed bed a few inches thick of topsoil on top.


Note: 2 of 3 beds have had manure applied, 1 (for root veg) is a mix of topsoil and garden compost and looks good.

Any thoughts?
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tagwex
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Location: Co. Wexford

PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go back to page one and read Good Guys comment again. Then dig it all out and store it for future use when it is 'well rotted' and apply in the autumn not spring. If you use it now the worst scenario is that it is too rich and will burn anything that tries to grow. Fresh manure is too strong for plants, as it contains excessive amounts of nitrogen, which can burn the plants. In addition, some manure fertilizer consists of urine as well, which is also high in nitrogen. Too much nitrogen on plants can be detrimental for them. You may bite the bullet if you want to grow veg this year and go buy the proper stuff and tip that in for now.
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corkgardener
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HI Tagwerx, thanks for answer.

The problem is I've mixed the manure fairly thoroughly with the topsoil in the beds so to take it out I'd have to replace all of the topsoil as well, this isn't feasible since I've no where to store a few tons of soil/manure. Would the manure burn plants if buried under a foot or so of topsoil taken from below the beds (i.e. remove the soil/manure mix, remove a foot of topsoil from below, replace the manure and then cover with pure topsoil? I realise this won't be optimal but the only other realistic option is to grow nothing in those beds.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cannot answer that as we don't know how raw your manure is. Why take a chance? Take it all out and maybe you will have more beds to add next year and use that soil /manure for them. Cover it in black plastic to build up the heat and it should rot quicker for you. Import good stuff now so as you can get going for this year.
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corkgardener
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After contemplating the work involved in shifting the manure and soil out the beds Shocked - i've decided to do it. Buying more topsoil is not an option really, can't justify the cost of it. So I'm going to empty the beds, move the frames and dig veg beds where the beds currently are. I can put the raised beds back in the autumn.

Thanks again for the advice - valuable lesson learned anyway.
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2016 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I keep saying it on here and I will say it again. Do it once and do it right. Cutting corners doesn't work in the long run. Not that that is what you were doing as you just got caught out with insufficiently rotten manure that I presume you got for nothing. There is a man on another thread who thinks that old scaffold boards will do a long term job for raised beds just because they are cheap. He will be building them again in 3 years or so.
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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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Arthur12
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I attended a talk by him last season in Dublin where behind the National Collage of art and Design they have a garden, if your ever in dublin have a look as the gardener there is very enthuastic and friendly.



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corkgardener
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2016 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



I have onions, parsnips and lettuce sown, next in will be peas I think. I'm sowing "Douce Provence" peas. This bed will have peas and beans in it, its 8' * 4' and I'll be devoting half to peas and half to beans. To maximise yield, what would the best way to plant be - I've read conflicting advice, some place say to scatter the seeds along a wide row, other places suggest a single row and various spacing in the row is advised.

Thanks in advance
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whatever it says on the seed packet is a good start. Well done. You got there in the end. I've nothing done yet.
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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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Blowin
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CG, there's a world of difference between Year 1 and subsequent years and a quick browse through http://www.gardenplansireland.com/forum/about7228.html might help you along.

Once you've had one row, it will have loads of inedible pods on it at the end of the season, i.e. they're too tough for eating. Leave them on the vines until brown and dry (if not dry, put them in a hot press or similar to dry out), shell them and store over the winter in a paper or cloth bag in a dry area. Don't use plastic bags as the seed will inevitably 'sweat' and go mouldy. I'm allowed to put mine on the floor of the hot press where they're not in Management's way.

Now, for Year 2 and subsequent ones, I recommend buying one packet of your favourite seed (Hurst Greenshaft for me) which you spread evenly along the drill. This ensures you have at least some premier quality seed throughout. I then spread what I've saved from the previous year along the drill and let them all come up together. If some of my saved seed are faulty in some way it doesn't matter - see Page 3 pic in the above link. If, by any chance, you know any existing gardeners, they may have a load they can give you from their own stock, but unfortunately I gave all mine to the postman a couple of weeks ago so can't offer them to you. This is pretty much standard procedure for most bean varieties if you grow them.

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corkgardener
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blowin
thanks for that link. That seems like a good approach to maximise yield. So I understand what you do:
- draw a broad row with hoe (how broad?)
- scatter seeds in the row densely (roughly how densely?)
- net/supprt down the middle of the row?

sorry for all the questions!
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Blowin
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most hoes are around 4-5 inches wide but it's not hugely important. I had my 22ft length of plastic covered wire fencing left over from another job so, as we're prone to high winds, I use it now to form a support down the middle of the row. So, at the start of the season, I put stakes at either end of a section of garden, with another in the centre to support the fence which I then tie to the stakes. Because my spare length of fence is 22ft long, that's how long I make my row - maybe a bit backassards, but I tend to use what I've got.

Because I've usually got so much saved seed from the year before, I draw out a drill either side of my fence with my hoe, i.e. I make two rows side by side in fact. At this point, if I want to see how a new variety does, I can sprinkle that seed along one section on its own, but I tend to sprinkle my bought seed as evenly as I can along the full length of the row. As it says in the other post, I then apply my saved seed in the same way (but much thicker) in amongst what I've already sown and let the whole lot come up together.

To support the peas when they come up, I go out during winter and cut hazel twigs about 5ft long which are then pushed into the soil all along the outsides of both rows once I've sown my seed. If you think it necessary for wind reasons, you can then pass a rope round the outside of the whole set up and secure the sticks to the fence and its stakes. Nature makes flowers (which become pods of peas) grow on the outside so that bees can pollinate them so, even with my double width row, nature can still work.

So, CG, that's what I do but all you need to do is plant seed in the ground and provide something for the peas to grow up. Some buy plastic netting for this but I go for sticks which are free. Beyond that, do what you like?

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corkgardener
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Blowin - very interesting
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corkgardener
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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 8:50 pm    Post subject: very leggy broccoli and beetroot Reply with quote

have searched on the net but can't find consistent answers. I have very leggy broccoli and beetroot seedlings which i intend planting out in the next while. Not enough good window space unfortunately.





will they be ok? and should I plant them deeper in the bed?

thanks[/img]
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