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First time grower, help please !

I've got some pallet collars which I am going to use as raised veg/salad beds.
I have a few questions that I'd like answering please.
   Each bed will take about 3 bags of compost, is multi purpose ok and is it worth mixing some grit or hydroleca in with the compost for a bit of drainage ?

   I am going to build a "hoop house" as a cover, what is the best material to cover it with, a fine material mesh or plastic ?
I'm in the Midlands so not overly cold, also, they will be situated on a South facing border which is fairly sheltered. 

I'll hopefully be growing the basics this year,  lettuce, spring onions,  carrots and potatoes. Any information will be greatly appreciated as I've confused myself with Google and YouTube !


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,008
    In my experience multi-purpose compost can be very claggy in texture so I only ever use it now as a soil conditioner and so buy it only when it's on offer.   To fill your raised beds, a mix of loam based compost (John Innes formula) and MPC will be better as it will aid drainage and aeration, both of which are important for good root development.

    Either way, there will only be nutrients for about 90 days so  you'll need to add some fertiliser such as pelleted chicken manure or blood, fish and bone to help things along.  To help any brassicas grow well you can add calcium to the mix.   

    You'll need to consider crop rotation too as this helps with fertility levels and preventing diseases and pests form overwhelming your crops so have a read of this - 
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • purplerallimpurplerallim Posts: 5,256
    My raised beds last year were filled with two of soil to one of MPC, plus one of manure if planting potatoes ( doesn't matter what size of measure as long as it's the same for all) but no manure if its root crops going in. The beds will be very heavy so make sure they are well supported and lined. Plus the potatoes need a good depth of soil and room to be dug out at the end, it always surprises me how big they get.🙂
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