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Filling raised beds for veg growing


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corkgardener
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:58 pm    Post subject: Filling raised beds for veg growing Reply with quote

I've built 3 raised beds to try my hand at growing some veg.



Now I need to fill them. Volume of each bed is 0.864 cubic metres, so total of 2.6 cubic m.

I was thinking of using 2 cubic metres of topsoil, 0.2 cub m of garden compost and 0.4 of peat moss. Does this soundd reasonable?

Also, should I add some kind of fertiliser to the soil and if so, now or closer to sowing time.

Thanks


Steve
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done, corkgardener, that's a great start.

My first thoughts, for what they are worth:
- I wouldn't use peat moss at all as it is an irreplaceable material the extraction of which releases significant quantities of CO2
- I would use extra compost, composted bark, leafmould or similar to increase the water-retaining capacity of the soil (raised beds can dry out quickly)
- if you are using good topsoil added fertiliser should be unnecessary at this stage and would likely be leached out in the heavy rain
- I would cover the grass in the bottom of the beds with layers of newspaper or cardboard to suppress perennial weeds, before filling
- once filled, I would allow the beds to get a thorough soaking to help settle the soil, then I would cover them with black polythene or similar to reduce leaching, until you are ready to sow/plant.

I'm looking forward to progress reports as the year goes by! Best of luck with it.
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corkgardener
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Good Guy
- I've covered the grass in newspapers this evening
- I have c. 200 litres of garden compost and I'll try and source some more of the materials you suggest

Hopefully I'll be here showing off my results come summer time!
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe you should have a look at this chaps site. 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.
http://www.charlesdowding.co.uk/
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should increase the quantities that you need to source by maybe 25%. Overfill the beds by approx. 200mm as it will sink and compact. Too late to add more soil once you have planted it.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice folks
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corkgardener
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've sourced horsemanure now to mix with soil.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Manure must be well rotted before use. It should no longer smell of dung and should be dark and crumbly. Fresh manure will likely introduce viable weed seeds. It will also rob the soil of nitrogen as it decomposes! You need that nitrogen. So if the manure is still fresh cover it to keep off the rain. Let it mature and use it later on as a mulch.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Good Guy
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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SNAP!

We replaced our old ground-level two beds with three raised beds this year. Considering the late spring and the fact that a lot of stuff was in pots or delayed sowing, we have had a really good year. Much better than the last few years with the old veg plot.

One thing I would say is if there are any pernicious weeds in the ground, I would line the base with landscape fabric. I couldn't understand why I had potatoes coming up in the Broad beans, until I remembered I had taters in that area last year and must have missed a few. They have grown through over 2ft of soil (talk about earthing-up!)

GG mentioned raised beds drying out fast. I found with the topsoil I had (from Envirogrind) that although it contains quite a bit of grit and shell, it does retain moisture very well and has, with all the rain we had, settled quite a bit. Leaf mould and compost dug into the top 4in helped a lot.

I think you will be amazed at how much you can produce from raised beds. All we need now is the weather! Enjoy, and don't forget the photo's! Very Happy

PS photo taken late afternoon - only time garden is shaded. I now have stone on the paths - dry feet, yay!



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corkgardener
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That looks fantastic Sue.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That looks great Sue, the burdock will certainly break up any old ground you have
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My plan is to grow the following veg, based on what we would eat. Any comments or advice would be gratefully received! This is the order I made with seedaholics:

Beetroot 'Bikores'

Carrot 'F1 Laguna'

Broccoli 'Italian Green Sprouting'

Rocket, Arugula 'Cultivated Rocket' Organic

Lettuce 'Catalogna Cerbiatta'

Lettuce 'Red Salad Bowl'

Bean: French Bean Dwarf 'Maxi' Organic

Pea 'Douce Provence'

Squash 'Rolet F1'

Parsnip 'Gladiator F1'

Radish 'Cherry Belle'

Also Onions and garlic
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plant the lettuce in succession that is sow some every few weeks That way you won't have a glut of them.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't be without some Broad Beans, or don't you like them?

Also if you like salads, a patch of land cress doesn't take up much space and gives lettuce a bit of omph!

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