Newbie needing soil advice

  • 10 Replies
  • 2911 Views
*

darthpaul

  • New Member
  • *
  • Location: Bristol
  • 37
    • Host Fantastic
Newbie needing soil advice
« on: April 15, 2009, 17:15 »
Hello all! I am in the process of constructing a raised bed in my back garden to grow veg in. It will be 2.1m x 1.2m and 0.56m deep. I have dug the ground where I am going to build it but will need to fill the bed with soil. I am trying to keep costs down and looking at the cost of some top soil its 77 a ton and I think I need 2!

Can anyone recommend a cheaper way of filling the beds? I might have access to some horse manure.
My Growing Blog

I also run a Web Hosting Company and a popular Fish Keeping Website

*

Yorkie

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: North Yorkshire
  • 24285
Re: Newbie needing soil advice
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2009, 19:13 »
Welcome to the site, darthpaul  :D

I don't use raised beds so can't advise personally, but a quick search on the forum reveals loads of previous posts on this sort of query, here's a few for starters:

http://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=31321.0

http://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=34187.0

http://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=33593.0

http://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=31951.0

http://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=33889.0

http://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=26829.0

Before you use manure, ask a couple of questions: is it fresh (needs to be well-rotted so it doesn't burn your plants' roots), and did the horse either eat grass which had been treated with the herbicide aminopyralid / or is there any silage in it which uses grass similarly treated (this herbicide persists in manure for a few years and can affect certain crops).

Good luck, and why don't you pop over to the welcome forums where everyone can say hi properly?  :)
I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days all attack me at once...

*

earthing83

  • Experienced Member
  • ***
  • Location: Fife, Scotland
  • 128
Re: Newbie needing soil advice
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2009, 19:25 »
(Have just seen that someone else has posted but I haven't read it yet so apologies if I repeat what's already been said!
Hi there,

i am by no means an expert as I am new to veg growing this year too. I have just finished building my raised beds though so I have a few tips that I gathered from folk on here and books etc.

 The cost of top soil was a suprise to me but in the end I did find somewhere who sold me a ton for 35 quid. The company name was Beatsons, I don't know if they are in you area too but worth a try. If not keep shopping around. Try freecycle and gumtree because there are often people trying to get rid of topsoil. Also landscape gardeners, builders etc, they often sell it for less money.

I dug soil up from my paths that run through my beds and forked it in to what was already there. This along with digging over the original soil really added height.

If you can get well rotted manure than you can add that in too, apparantly it does wonders. Don't add it to an area where you plan to grow carrots or parsnips though.They're not keen on the poo!

If you have lifted turf to make way for your beds then some people suggest turning it over and putting it in the bottom of the beds with newspaper over the top, then your soil etc. I didn't choose to do this in the end as it turned out I had enough to fill but it's something you could look into.

Finally, you may already know all of this so forgive me if you do, everyone I have asked says that the level of the soil will rise over time and therefore we shouldn't fill our beds right to the top.

Finally finally! ended up with a mix of topsoil (original), bought screened top soil and bought compost. Focus had a good deal on New Horizon compost that saved me alot of cash!

Hope I've been of some help!
Good luck :)

*

SG6

  • Guest
Re: Newbie needing soil advice
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2009, 19:31 »
Why not do it slowly.
Wicks are selling 4 bags of compost at 10.
Buy say 8 bags and dig it into the soil that you have already dug.
It may not raise it to the top but does it need to be immediatly.

Then you can see what becomes available as the year progresses.

*

peapod

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: East Lancs
  • 6730
  • Pea Goddess
Re: Newbie needing soil advice
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2009, 20:46 »
We havea builders merchants here called Thomas Ainsworths that sell loose for 23 odd pence for a ton, and 29 bagged if that helps anyone, Im not sure if they are countrywide.

I have 3 compost bins (no contents of which were rotted down) so put the lot of them in, which gave me a good 6 inches, then a layer of cardboard, then topsoil and Ill get three bags of compost and two bags of sharp sand

Total will be about 50, and my bed is deep (20 inches)
"I think the carrot infinitely more fascinating than the geranium. The carrot has mystery. Flowers are essentially tarts. Prostitutes for the bees. There is, you'll agree, a certain je ne sais quoi oh so very special about a firm young carrot" Withnail and I

*

andyandyjohnson

  • New Member
  • *
  • Location: Sheffield
  • 20
Re: Newbie needing soil advice
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2009, 21:36 »
Hello all! I am in the process of constructing a raised bed in my back garden to grow veg in. It will be 2.1m x 1.2m and 0.56m deep. I have dug the ground where I am going to build it but will need to fill the bed with soil. I am trying to keep costs down and looking at the cost of some top soil its 77 a ton and I think I need 2!

Can anyone recommend a cheaper way of filling the beds? I might have access to some horse manure.

You don't need to fill the whole thing with topsoil. Try putting some other organic material in first and then covering it with soil. I've just built two beds, smaller than yours. I filled them with a thick layer of spent hops with soil and compost on top. I get the hops for free from the local micro-brewery and the compost was my own. Start simple and use the rest of this year to establish a decent compost heap. That will allow you to top up the bed for free next year.
Thanks

Andy

*

kermit

  • Experienced Member
  • ***
  • Location: Perthshire, Scotland
  • 454
  • Small garden, large raised beds
Re: Newbie needing soil advice
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2009, 22:57 »
Also check your local authority for free / v cheap home compost - loads of Councils in Scotland do it.  Not the best quality by itself, but mixed with manure, existing topsoil and some purchased compost should be good.  Was something on Gardners World last week on this.

Thats what Im doing this weekend anyway for my 3 beds - about same dimensions as yours.  And they're my first real venture into all of this too :D

*

darthpaul

  • New Member
  • *
  • Location: Bristol
  • 37
    • Host Fantastic
Re: Newbie needing soil advice
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2009, 16:45 »
Thanks for all the tips!

Contacted our council and all the recycled compost material is currently sent out of our Local Authority to be processed then used by local farmers to that area on their land! So I have no access to any from the council which sucks!

Any idea how long I have to leave horse manure to rot before its useable in the ground?

*

peapod

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: East Lancs
  • 6730
  • Pea Goddess
Re: Newbie needing soil advice
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2009, 16:50 »
about a year is usually the thinking, but as soon as its crumbly and doesnt smell of what it smells when you get it ( :tongue2:) then its ready to use.

*

darthpaul

  • New Member
  • *
  • Location: Bristol
  • 37
    • Host Fantastic
Re: Newbie needing soil advice
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2009, 16:58 »
So if I can only aquire fresh stuff, make a pile and use it on the beds next winter then :)

*

peapod

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: East Lancs
  • 6730
  • Pea Goddess
Re: Newbie needing soil advice
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2009, 17:05 »
Yep, thats what I do, when you finished harvesting the beds, dig it in and let it finish rottting in the soil, my manured beds are lovely soil this year

But remember not to manure your parsnips and carrot beds



xx
Newby needing advice please

Started by Outofdepth on Grow Your Own

3 Replies
1629 Views
Last post May 09, 2011, 22:19
by Outofdepth
xx
Novice needing advice re pruning raspberries

Started by LucasAndRichard on Grow Your Own

13 Replies
2542 Views
Last post November 10, 2008, 19:00
by rhian13
moved
MOVED: Crop Rotations - Needing Advice

Started by Aunt Sally on Grow Your Own

0 Replies
733 Views
Last post April 20, 2018, 16:39
by Aunt Sally
xx
Soil help for newbie

Started by treecol on Grow Your Own

2 Replies
828 Views
Last post July 16, 2014, 22:18
by treecol
 

Page created in 0.394 seconds with 36 queries.

Powered by SMFPacks Social Login Mod
Powered by SMFPacks SEO Pro Mod |