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Am I heading for trouble?

Hi All,

I have a raised bed next to my patio, which is about 3ft high and of brick construction. To prepare it for planting, I mixed in about 40l of organic matter (well rotted manure) into clay soil.  I've then planted it with a mixture of bulbs (alliums, crocus, fritillary, various others), and added a few other plug plants - Japanese Anemone, Classic Geraniums, Lavender Minstead, and a creeping rosemary.

However having just planted out the plugs, its decidedly wet.  I'm now worried I'm heading for problems.  The bulbs seem to have taken (accidentally dug one up planting one of the other plants, whoops!), but how wet is waterlogged?  Is there anything else I should do to help ensure things don't rot off?

Thanks for any tips!


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,785

    Hi Pheo image

    Does the bed have any drainage at the bottom ?  i.e. holes of some sort at the base of the brickwork to let surplus water out. 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • its very difficult to have a waterlogged raised bed, the only way it could happen is if its sealed around the bottom (like the bricks are cemented straight onto a solid concrete base)

    if that's the case you need drainage holes in the base (or sides if you don't want to dig it out) a big bore masonry drill bit should work and the best bet is to drill the cement between the bricks

  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,817

    My raised bed - clay soil - the mix was 50/50 soil and something else eg compost, mushroom compost and manure. But they do drain.

    It is unusual to have a raised bed that 'floods' I can only think as others have said that you have not suitable drainage holes

  • PheoPheo Posts: 14
    Ah - drilling, now that I can do! I'll be back in a minute
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 28,299

    I'd be a little concerned about the Lavender and Rosemary if the soil's heavy - they like good drainage. You could mix some grit in with the soil as well if it's very heavy. If the plants are all small plugs it might also be safer to pot them on just now and wait till spring to put them in when they'll be a bit bigger and stronger and can grow away more readily. Excess winter wet might not be the best conditions for them at this stage. image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • PheoPheo Posts: 14
    Humm cordless ain't having IT - will try the corded hammer drill in the morning!!
  • PheoPheo Posts: 14
    Humm re overwintering, I thought this too, but the seller (J Parker) were quite insistent not to do that. I have fleeced them for frost protection. I don't have. A greenhouse and my conservatory gets warm which may well confuse them...
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,785

    If you have nowhere sheltered to put them you could make them some little individual cloches by cutting the bottom off large plastic water or lemonade bottles (the sort that supermarkets sell in packs of six covered with shrink-wrap film).

    Cut the bottom 4 - 6" off the base of the bottles and remove the screw tops.  Place the bottles over the plug plants, cut edge down, and press it into the soil.  You now have a little cloche with it's own ventilation.  This will keep the worst of the rain and snow off at least.



    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • WillDBWillDB Posts: 1,985

    Yep, drill holes near the base of the wall (as big as possible). Preferably dig a trench along the back side of the wall and backfill with grit / sharp sand. Ideally, line the trench with permeable landscape fabric to keep the trench, and the drilled holes, from getting clogged with soil.

    If adding and incorporating sand/grit to the surface the soil across the whole bed would be a bit of a drag, you could add the sharp sand in the planting holes for the lavenders, mixing it in with the soil, and replacing the soil on top. The lavenders will therefore sit on slight bumps, with free draining material under them, which will improve drainage.

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