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Filling a new raised bed.


I have just built a new raised bed measuring 100cm x 100cm x 31cm

That works out at a soil volume of approx 310 litres.

Now, I have to fill it.  My wife plans to grow a wide selection of veg, salad and flowers. All just for experimenst and for fun. 

I have have been advised to fill it with (bagged) top soil and (bagged) organic farmyard manure at an approx 50/50 mix.  Both from Westland I believe.

Bearing in mind that this is the first time we have used a raised bed, have only one or two garden centres within reach and niether of them are terribly specialised .... is the suggested mix okay or is there a better way of doing it?

Any advise welcome.

Many thanks image



  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,817

    In mine it was about third top soil, third manure and third multi purpose compost. You can get the stuff from DIY stores as well.

    I put it in in layers to leave the worms mix it but I am sure others will say give it a stir - I do not say dig.

    Also have ready some Growmore or other feed to boost the soil before you plant. I sprinkle growmore on, but it is not oragnic and then feed the crops after a couple months with some sort of liquid feed.


  • I was wondering about including some cheap multi purpose compost but was concerned about water retention.  I like the sound of the mis though image

  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,817
    Rosa carriola wrote (see)

     Before picture - veg garden


     Today after I have prepared beds for this year. Where th wheelbarrow is will be another raised bed, probably order it within the week

    As you can see piles of rubbish everywhere - work in progress!

    the middle bed has my garlic growing happily in it - just not shown up

    By the greenhouse I am going to dig out grass fro a cold frame and nursery area. That will help fill new raised bed.

    Here are my rised beds. been in action for 2 years now

  • Both of my beds would just about fit inside one of yours I expect but they are a little higher.  Deciding how to fill them has caused me to hop from place to place ..... picking up loads of different adevice as I went image

    Your advice sounds like a fair average though the use of any general purpose compost (peat?) bothers me in case it dries out and hardens.  Sounds okay though.

    Thanks for the garden pick ... here is one of mine when I moved into this property 10 months ago.  The garden was not a selling point image



  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,817


    You should have seen mine - Fork handles pg 1203 -and that was after work started.

    the only way I could grow veg was using raised beds as not only have I endless tree roots to overcome but am also on clay.

    Still last summer despite weather we rarely had to buy veg. This year I am using grids as I think you can produce more than in rows as can grow things closer together. My beds are 4ft x 8ft.x 1ft the new one will just be for squash/courgette

    I found with all the rain last year that my beds remained workable and productive - a definate benefit as they didn't flood, unlike a lot of the garden!

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 63,784

    I've filled mine with approx half and half topsoil and well-rotted farmyard manure - it's been fine and has had good water retention and cropped well.

    Good luck image

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

  • BrummieBenBrummieBen Posts: 459

    Yeah Bjay (rosa) has the mix about right, be aware no manure for roots though! Instead of growmore, I'm trying out rock dust, (volcanic rock pulvarised) I was having trouble finding it, but then SEER from scotland who produce it actually say B&Q stock it in 10kg bags, under their Verve range. Cheaper than buying a 20kg bag too, so that's the way I went.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 63,784

    1/3 peatmoss??? image  totally unethical ecologically speaking 

    "1/3 5 different type of compost" image means nothing


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

  • figratfigrat Posts: 1,619

    Do you make your own compost and/or leafmould? Adding as much bulky organic matter as you can will be very worthwhile. You might also consider contacting your local council for composted green waste, which is often cheaper than commercial multi pupose compost. 

  • Alan4711Alan4711 LincolnshirePosts: 1,628

    Dove sounds about right,in a brand new allotment we deturfed,built raised beds from scaffold boards £4 each ,,one each side one cut in half for the ends then filled with top soil then covered with local farmyard manure ,full tractor load £20 filled 7 of these beds and left it to the worms,without a shadow of a doubt the raised beds are the way to go almost no work at all to maintain them once done and 5 monthes later the soil is all mixed and ready to go thanks to the critters in the soil,and all the beds are already well drained after all that rain all this advise was from this site and our neighbor allotmenteers and its worked a treat and very cheap to do

    good luck Alan

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