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Raised vegetable beds

Hi, could anyone give me some advice on the type of soil to fill my new raised vegetable beds. Do I just use multipurpose compost or soil based compost or a mixture of different things. Any advice would be appreciated.
Thank you


  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 3,697
    I use Top soil and material from the compost bin.  A sprinkle of BFB in Autumn. All layered with shredded paper, cardboard and prunings and some grass cuttings.  Depending on the depth of your beds, you can also put thin layers of raw veg waste straight from your kitchen.  That will gradually rot down over the 1st year.
    Just bear in mind that the beds will need to be topped up each year as the level will gradually drop.
    The makeup and any additional feed will also depend on what you intend to grow.
    Other posters will have more suggestions which should help you.
  • Lorna95Lorna95 Posts: 436
    Thank you so much @philippasmith2 this has helped and gave me a few ideas. I didn't even think of using BFB so thank you so much for all the advice.
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy Posts: 6,753
    Yes soil based is best,  multipurpose compost is really for pots an smaller containers.  Manure, or soil conditioner mixed into the soil will reduce the risk of compaction.  As @philippasmith2 says it will still need topping up each year. 
    AB Still learning

  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,481
    As one who's never had a RB, and doesn't intend to, I desperately hope your decision to have it/them was a conscious one and not as a gesture to a modern fad?
  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 3,697
    Raised beds are hardly a modern fad @nick615.  Dictated by space as much as convenience and useful for those who are limited by disability too.
  • purplerallimpurplerallim Posts: 5,265
    I have mine as its difficult for me to get low down, kneeling is impossible. So my beds are 18" tall. They had a straw layer in the bottom, and top soil/compost onto that. 2 to 1 ratio. 
    Does depend on what you plan to plant, as things like root crops need a poorer soil, so no feeding for them. @Lorna95
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,882
    Raised beds are hardly a modern fad @nick615.  Dictated by space as much as convenience and useful for those who are limited by disability too.
    ...and if you garden on solid, sticky clay, and have major rainfall and cold conditions, it helps enormously. We don't all have perfect conditions to grow plants in - edible or otherwise  :)

    Good advice from Philippa, and @purplerallim says.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • depending the version of square foot gardening there are several bed medium
    mixes. i will post them to marrow.
  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,481
    I fully agree, as one who had contact with disabled folk some decades ago in my job, the value of high RBs is immense in allowing access to gardening space.  That was when they more or less came on the scene.  Nevertheless, titans of the past like Percy Thrower managed to garden without them and, as with the perceived necessity of wearing highly coloured suits just to go for a bike ride, one only has to watch TV programmes like 'Escape to the Country' to see how many people seem to feel they've GOT to have raised beds, often in tandem with polytunnels.  They're far too many to represent actual need, hence my soft challenge to our enquirer - not a dictat.
  • war  garden 572war garden 572 Posts: 662
    edited March 2022

    nick615 but raised beds  have been around for over hundred years
    in USA. as for table top salad beds have been around in form
    amish salad table just as long. I think your knowledge base it bit sheltered. 
    window box and roof garden have been a thing before world war 2.
    dig for victory leaflet 24 dealt with subject.
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