Filling in a large hole advice

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GazNicki

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Filling in a large hole advice
« on: November 11, 2012, 23:10 »
Myself and my wife took on our first allotment about 7 weeks ago. At first it was horrendous, but we have got stuck in and it us coming on.

At the top of our allotment there is the remains of a small building that is sunken in the ground.

We would like to fill in this void to level the land and gain some more growing space. There is some wall we can knock down to ground level which would bring the hole to no more than a metre deep.

Our idea is simple, brute force the wall using some sledge hammers and use the demolished wall to back fill the hole (ensuring it is as level as possible). However, this wouldn't be the entire hole. We would looking at having a hole 2m x 2m x 1n (maximum) to fill your level off.

What is the best way to go about filling this in ensuring we have a decent ground? We would be putting 6in raised beds on top of this levelled soil, so the ground should ideally be plantable.

Any help much appreciated.

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Trillium

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Re: Filling in a large hole advice
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2012, 02:57 »
Now is a great time of year to top off the building rubble with leaves. Loads and loads of leaves that will eventually become lovely mold. You can layer the leaves with some sort of soil you might be able to get hold of and which will speed decomposition. Also, check coffee shops for spent grounds (most are happy to get rid of them) and shredded paper, and essentially build a big compost hole. It'll take a bit of sweat but most of it's free.

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mumofstig

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Re: Filling in a large hole advice
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2012, 09:10 »
and make sure the hole hasn't got a solid concrete floor or it will turn into a pond  :ohmy:
Lesley x
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grinling

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Re: Filling in a large hole advice
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2012, 17:23 »
Have you access to free manure?

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angelavdavis

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Re: Filling in a large hole advice
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2012, 17:50 »
If you follow your plan, it could make a well drained herb bed.  Alternatively, use this as your compost bin over winter and top with manure ready to create an asparagus or runner bean bed next year?
Read about my allotment exploits at Ecodolly at plots 37 & 39.  Questions, queries and comments are appreciated at Comment on Ecodolly's exploits on plots 37 & 39

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RichardA

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Re: Filling in a large hole advice
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2012, 23:37 »
can you keep the building as sunk and add a cover and make a cold frame or hot bed or cucumber house
R

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Glaikit Lump

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Re: Filling in a large hole advice
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2012, 17:37 »
When we took out the foundations of an old summer kitchen we were left with a hole of about the same size you mentioned. The lower 300mm, we filled with hardcore then the top 700mm or so with a with a mixture of soil (unfortunately subsoil), straw and lots of donkey poo. Managed to spread a thin layer of topsoil (about 100mm) on the top. Grew decent potatoes afterwards. The area has sunk a little as you would expect, but more straw and poo dug in has helped and hopefully in a couple of years it will be ok. Next year we will try green beans in that area.

Good luck!

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8doubles

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Re: Filling in a large hole advice
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2012, 18:01 »
Smash a clay flowerpot in there......
kick a bit of dirt over it.....
give Tony (grave) Robinson a call and they will dig it all out ! :)

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grendel

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Re: Filling in a large hole advice
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2012, 22:12 »
put a pond liner in and build a deck over the top and you have a nice store of water.
Grendel
we do the impossible daily, miracles take a little longer.

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GazNicki

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Re: Filling in a large hole advice
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2012, 20:47 »
Thanks for all the advice guys.

I have decided to knock down the wall as in the long term it offers more possibilities for the plot.

As now, I have an area 11ft x 30ft which has varying height. If I was to match the highest point on the area of land I would need to get about 2ft depth over the vast majority of the land.

My dilemma is now what to top off with that is going to cost me nothing to very little. Topsoil costs a fortune, and Woodchip in bulk may not be much cheaper. I don't think I will be planting on this land even next spring, so which way should I go about it?

I have excess wood on the plot too which I won't be using, but limited amounts of time daily. So burning what I have would take a few weeks as I couldn't burn the lot in one go on a day (can't leave an unattended fire obviously).

Would I be best trying to level the land to the lower point by spreding the higher soil onto the lower sections, or should I consider something else over the bricks first?

Sorry about all the questions, I just want the land to be right and plantable for years to come. We may eventually put a poly-tunnel on there, but knowing that is a maybe, I don't want to ruin the land for ourselves and any future tennants.

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grinling

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Re: Filling in a large hole advice
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2012, 22:46 »
Is there any flooding issues on the plot? I presume you have a shed, but you could use the area as a patio for somewhere to sit in summer.
Ask on freecycle or preloved or gumtree for manure and topsoil. If building works going on ask the builders.
Offer your wood to other plot holders.
I am currently filling in a hole 4mx4mx2m!!

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Dantheman

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Re: Filling in a large hole advice
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2012, 10:34 »
talk to your local council about waste materials your be surprised what that might be able to get for you for free. is the site your on run by the council in your area? if so explain your situation then they should help you out. we have a couple of tennent's on our site who have connection with tree surgeon company's, who are more then happy to drop of the waste bark off as they have to pay to get rid.

keep us all informed of your progress.

Good luck.
Dear God, Please can you stop the wind and rain and bring on the nice weather. Amen

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smud6ie

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Re: Filling in a large hole advice
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2012, 10:37 »
Its going to take between 6 and  7 tons of soil to fill your hole,  a local builder builder may have some footings spoil to get rid of and in return may have some topsoil to finish it off.
smud6ie



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