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How to fill raised beds

(11 Posts)
OpheliaMoo Sat 12-Mar-16 17:42:39

I'm in the process of having raised beds built but have realised I don't know what to fill them with - compost, dirt, manure....?

More than likely it'll just be flowers/plants in there although I may deviate to veg in one of them next year.

What are your tips for filling them with decent quality materials that won't cost me the Earth!?

Thank you smile

funnyperson Sat 12-Mar-16 19:55:09

topsoil and compost?

OpheliaMoo Sat 12-Mar-16 23:06:26

I only know about multi-purpose compost..... I'll have to source topsoil.

Are these basically the best things to fill it with?

Shallishanti Sat 12-Mar-16 23:08:30

mushroom compost
do you have any mushroom farms nearby?
they basically give the compost away

wonkylegs Sat 12-Mar-16 23:14:01

We filled ours with a combination of topsoil and compost. We make our own compost and bought a few tonne bags of topsoil (which were delivered) we have very large raised beds though.

OpheliaMoo Sat 12-Mar-16 23:23:28

Ooh I believe there is a mushroom farm nearby - I'll check that out.

Beds haven't been built yet so not sure how much I'll need but just wasn't sure what to fill them with!

Thanks for the help smile

HeadfirstForHalos Sat 12-Mar-16 23:28:07

If you go on your local gumtree and search for topsoil, people are often giving it away for free. You have to be able to pick up though, we did a few journeys with lots of garden sacks and rubble sacks to fill when we did a raised bed last year.

HeadfirstForHalos Sat 12-Mar-16 23:29:20

Also, I found that I needed a lot more than I thought, it's very deceiving 😊

Trollicking Sat 12-Mar-16 23:44:34

I put manure in the very bottom then used high grade 'enriched topsoil that I bought in bulk bags. I think it cost about £90-£100 per bag. I ordered it at my local landscaping/garden suppliers
It's a lot more than normal topsoil but it's been worth every penny.

shovetheholly Mon 14-Mar-16 07:52:54

If you're growing flowers, don't add manure except around the roots of specific plants that like it, like roses. It will make a lot of flowering plants go all leafy rather than flowery. A mixture of topsoil and compost will work well - maybe add a bit of horticultural grit for drainage too. I second the recommendation from headfirst to get the topsoil from a nearby build if cash is tight. It costs £££ to buy.

With veg, it depends a bit what you're growing - you tend to add to and change the soil every crop, which is one of the rationales for rotating your beds (roots-->brassicas-->legumes-->heavy feeders). For roots, you just dig in a bit of compost. For brassicas, some manure and compost, and maybe a bit of lime if you need to change the pH. A lot of beans (legumes) like to get their roots into raw kitchen waste and compost, so you dig a trench and shove that in for a bit - the beans fix nitrogen and make the soil lovely and rich so it's ready for heavy feeders, who like it if you add tons of manure! These plants then deplete the soil so it's less rich and you start again with roots.

OpheliaMoo Sat 19-Mar-16 21:35:41

Thanks so much - such helpful advice smile

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