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Raised beds and nutrients

We have a raised bed at school, where we are trying to get the children to grow some vegetables.

Not much grew in it last year, I'm sure that is down to lack of sun which has been resolved this year by lifting the tree canopy. 

Do you have to change the soil in raised beds ? How do you keep up nutrient levels ? Should I clear it and put in new compost ? with some manure ?

Any advice gratefully received.  thank you.


  • I've never changed the soil in my raised beds; every autumn they get mulched with garden compost and/or farmyard manure (in theory - sometimes I don't get round to it until early spring).  I use chicken manure pellets, raked in a fortnight before I sow or plant, and later in the growing season round the plants as necessary.  Best not to stand on the soil in the bed or it gets too compacted. 

    Hope this helps!  image

    Since 2019 I've lived in east Clare, in the west of Ireland.
  • TootlesTootles Posts: 1,469

    Also, best not to grow the same thing in the same bed two years in a row. Rotate what you grow. 

    Like Lireo does, I put manure in mine (did it yesterday) along with ash from the fire. Also does no harm to buy some food / fertiliser and sprinkle it on.  A good dog over too works wonders, especially this time of year when the ground can be frozen. A gentle dig, leaving the big chunks on the top, will allow the soil to break down naturally. 

    Perhaps you could grow herbs, or flowers for cutting, where you grew veg last year.

    such a great thing to get the kids involved. image


  • Hi image

    If you plan on growing beans you could still make a bean trench, just dig a trench, throw in compostable waste then back fill, it might be another thing the kids could help with image

    Other than that, i agree with what everyone else has said image
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