need some advice on old compost in raised beds??

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mollie15

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need some advice on old compost in raised beds??
« on: January 27, 2011, 14:43 »
Hi I am fairly new to growing veg so forgive my ignorance.  I have a raised bed which is soil topped up with bagged compost, this was done the year before last and successfully grown in.  Now my question is, what do I need to do to the compost to keep it fertile?  I have not added anything to it, should I be adding new compost, manure or blood fish and bone?  I really havent a clue so any help would be very appreciated.

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savbo

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Re: need some advice on old compost in raised beds??
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2011, 14:48 »
to a large extent it depends what you're growing in it, but apart from carrots it's probably getting a bit low in food for most plants, and the organic matter will probably be starting to decompose and disappear. Garden compost (ie from a compost bin) would be good esp with some well rotted manure, but your suggestion of blood fish bone is good cos it's slow release.

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stompy

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Re: need some advice on old compost in raised beds??
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2011, 14:50 »
Hi Mollie,

Generally you add well rotted manure on an anual or bianual basis.
You can also give the soil a dose of BFB at the recomended amounts too, you usually do this at the begining of the growing season and then again in july/August.
There are other options too like green manures and general purpose fertilisers, but the best way in my opinion is to add plenty of organic matter every year to keep the soil balanced and in good condition.

Andy

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bigben

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Re: need some advice on old compost in raised beds??
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2011, 14:55 »
Any of the stuff you have mentioned will help. The problem with shop bought compost is as someone has mentioned, it rots down. Soil does not do so in the same way. The level will drop in the bed as your compost disappears so as well as replacing nutrients you will eventually need to top up the level as well.

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mollie15

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Re: need some advice on old compost in raised beds??
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2011, 17:23 »
Thank you for your replies.  I do not have a compost heap (thats somthing I intend to remedy this year)  so thats a no no and I beleive manure must be well rotted, how long does it take for it to be well rotted?  So far it looks like the BF & B option until I am better prepared.

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Kristen

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Re: need some advice on old compost in raised beds??
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2011, 17:44 »
Worth checking if your local authority is doing offers on compost bins - there were deals around over the last few years for Dalek-type bins, and some others.

Manure needs to be allowed to rot down for about a year.  You may well find local suppliers.  Horse stables often have it for the taking. It will be pot luck whether they keep it long enough (before people help themselves) for it to become "well rotted" or not.

If there is no poo-smell then its probably OK to use; if it is dark and crumbly and the structure is nothing like straw, then take all you can transport!

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mumofstig

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Re: need some advice on old compost in raised beds??
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2011, 19:08 »
you could always add chicken manure pellets this year, while you sort out your own compost, they are easy to get hold of at Wilkinsons/garden centres  etc  :)
Lesley x
I'm not good, I'm not bad - I'm just me, and sometimes I have to apologise for that ;)

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mollie15

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Re: need some advice on old compost in raised beds??
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2011, 10:05 »
I will check with our local council re the composting bins.

Many thanks for all your help!



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