Help choosing soil

Hi everyone, I am in the process of putting 3 raised beds in the back garden. They will be around 1.5-2 feet deep. I have calculated that I will need around 800 litres or so of soil.

However, I don't know what to get! I will be growing vegetables in these beds - i.e. potatoes, brassicas, some carrots, onions and some herbs.

Unfortunately, buying it by the bag seems like it will be super expensive. But I am unsure what to get in terms of a bulk bag.

All ideas appreciated. 

Posts

  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 3,196
    I approached a local farmer and asked him if I could help him by removing an old muck heap. I added a load of dig-your-own soil improver from the local nursery at £1 a bag and then got making some serious amounts of compost from garden waste. Start shallower and you can build up to the 2ft depth over a few years of adding new stuff.
  • edhelkaedhelka GwyneddPosts: 334
    I would buy a bulk bag of topsoil (or topsoil for vegetable which is often more expensive) and some bags of MPC or manure to mix in (not for carrots bed).
    But 800l sounds like not enough for three beds if they are 2 feet high and not tiny.
  • SmudgeriiSmudgerii Posts: 24
    Why not do them as ‘lasagne’ beds.

    straw is cheap
    cardboard is usually free
    garden/kitchen waste is free
    manure is free
    metro newspaper is free ( shred plenty )
    used coffee grounds free from starbucks

    just buy the MPC
  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,185
    Sorry to ask but what would you consider expensive or too much?
    Buying soil in can seem expensive, but in the long term not so much.
    If you use the term graded soii in a search and use local terms, it might give you an idea of what to look for.
    Try looking up local (your area) bulk soil supplier.
    Some building type suppliers sell soil by tonne loads not top grade tlawn topsoil, but a cheaper filler type.

    Lawn / turf suppliers also.
    And they usually can tell you how much you need . I also thought your calculations sound low. Though you have not given enough more exact dimensions.

    Using manure or compost type materials usually drop in level as they rot down? You do need a more permanent soil component as well. Unless you have a cheap long term filler to top it up again when the organic stuff rots down.
  • I have managed to get 1200L of J Arthur Bowers Multi-Purpose Compost for £50. I will use this and enrich with chicken manure pellets. If I need more soil I can always get more.

    I think this soil (while not perfect) should serve my purpose well. 
  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,185
    Good Luck and happy veggie growing neonplanet.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 55,018
    edhelka said:
    I would buy a bulk bag of topsoil (or topsoil for vegetable which is often more expensive) and some bags of MPC or manure to mix in (not for carrots bed).

    I agree ... MPC on its own is too ‘soft’ for brassicas. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • SmudgeriiSmudgerii Posts: 24
    I have managed to get 1200L of J Arthur Bowers Multi-Purpose Compost for £50. I will use this and enrich with chicken manure pellets. If I need more soil I can always get more.

    I think this soil (while not perfect) should serve my purpose well. 
    What a bargain
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