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Help Please

Hi all I have in the last year got a 1/4 acre of land and have really been struggling of late.The ground initially was overgrown with brambles, weeds etc but after mowing it continuously it has improved greatly.Due to however the very poor soil as it was the dumping ground for concrete etc when the houses in my area were built I have decided to cover part of it with raised beds.I purchased 2 tonnes of top soil but with the very wet weather it has become waterlogged also I have 2 large bags of shamrock Irish peat moss.The question I want to know is would (although wet) the top soil mixed with the peat be ok to fill the said beds.Please help as a very anxious gardener at the best of times.Thank you in advance for any help and advice you can give.



  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 14,349

    It is likely to make it a bit on the acidic side. You would need to do a pH test and probably add lime to make it neutral.

     It is going to cost a fortune to fill a quarter acre with raised beds and topsoil. I would concentrate on improving what you have. Remove stones / bricks etc as you dig. Some bulk purchase of something like farm yard manure delivered by the lorry load will help improve the soil. I pay around £40 for a lorry load delivered and tipped. Try local farmers or stables.  Dig an area over as best you can. Plant potatoes in rows, a foot apart and 2 ft between row. That should smother weeds and give a decent bed for other veg for next year. Have compost heaps  to fill up this year, so you can add the compost next year.

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 3,844

    If you're in the UK, the weather forecast is dry and cold for the next couple of weeks for most of the country, so hopefully the top soil will dry out a bit. That'll be your chance to use it fill the beds, mix in the peat and hopefully the frost at the same time will stop it getting too compacted as you do it. So that's fine for a start.

    I'd agree with fidgetbones though that it's an expensive way to deal with the whole plot, so keep mowing most of it and improving a bit at a time with manure and other organic material. Taking it all on at once would be daunting even for an experienced gardener. Do manageable chunks at a time instead and your confidence will grow with your plants.

    “This isn't life in the fast lane, it's life in the oncoming traffic.”
    ― Terry Pratchett
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  • NewgardeninggirlNewgardeninggirl Tamar Valley, CornwallPosts: 48

    I have roughly the same sized garden, it is daunting! last year I started by making four large raised beds by my back door to give me a start! 2 x 12x4 ft and 2x 8x4 ft. I think I bought 3 tonnes of topsoil from a local gardener, then I topped up with the very large bags of compost from Morrison’s , they do 3 for £9. I also added in coconut coir and bags of vermiculite (not sure why though)!! I’m a complete novice too, this worked well and I had very good crops of veg and a cutting flower bed. Carrots were fantastic and I’m still pulling now. Just start with a smallish area and see what you can do! 




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