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What to put in my raised bed

Hello, a few months ago i was offered some old broken sandstone window sills so a made a raised bed with them. As there was a field close by that had horses I decided it would be a good idea to put in some manure at the base, i added 3 carry bags full of fresh and a barrow full of rotted down manure. I also added 4 bags of general compost, plus some compost i had made myself. The bed is about 2ft deep ,2ft wide by 2 meteres long sat ontop of soil which i turned over and over before building the bed ontop and filling it in. Im in no rush to plant anything and wanted to allow good decomposition to take place so was preping it for spring. We bought so lupins and digitalis for pots in our garden and really enjoyed them, we have harvested the seed for next year and was planning to put these in but have just learned that lupins produce there own nitrogen and will get crown rot if planted in manure compost, this has made me realise that some plants are going to do alot better that others and therefore I need advice. I personally would fill it full of veg but the boss wants flowers. The plot gets sun from 3pm onwards till 8pm in the summer, east facing,  i have built this up agaist a wooden fence. I plan to mix in some sand for drainage too. Much help or advice appreciated,  shaun. 


  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 3,977
    It depends on how many inches of manure is in there. I would have said start with bulbs, but not sure if the "hot" bed you made might cook them. Your mix is more veg bed than flowers so maybe just bedding plants next year until it has time to settle. Maybe some winter veg would "use" some of the goodness and prepare it for next year.
  • Im not sure if there even is a layer anymore as iv been regularly turning it over,  its rammed with worms 😁,,  what do you suggest i grow over the winter? 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 39,073
    I think the fresh manure is a problem until end of the year @s1980amber. It will be too acrid for anything to do well in it. If it had just been on the bottom, you could probably have got away with some bulbs and perennials etc, but I'd be inclined to wait a while.

    You could try a few cheap 'disposable' plants like winter pansies and see how they get on though, before spending money on permanent planting. Even some winter flowering heathers or similar for now. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Thanks fairygirl! Will discuss options with the wife and see what we come up with, will try getting some pics up when it looks nice.  Thanks again for advice .
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 39,073
    I think it sounds lovely. Look forward to seeing what you come up with  :)
    I had another thought though  [always dangerous! ] and if you have any lettuce seeds, you could sow some in it and see how they do. They will germinate quite quickly, so you would be able to tell if the mix is too potent or is ok. If you don't have any, they're not expensive and you can use them next year anyway.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Plan on! Will grab some from the hardware store in town today and report back,  diolch!
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 4,336
    I agree with @Fairygirl - try some quick-growing cheap salad seeds like lettuce, radishes etc as a test.  If they thrive you'll know it's OK for autumn planting of perennials.  Otherwise the winter rain will settle it down and you can plant in spring.  Another idea would be to sow a green manure to overwinter.
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 3,950
    That mix is too rich IMO, I'd swap out for about half of garden topsoil - use the manure mix as a mulch elsewhere in the garden.
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