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New bed is on a layer of paving about 12-18 inches deep -help!

I had paving removed in order to make a new bed, and on digging down, I've found old paving at a depth of about 12-18 inches. Will anything grow or will I have to remove this as well?


  • Flower birdFlower bird Posts: 284
    You could probably put annual summer bedding plants in there, but very doubtful for shrubs.......see what others say.....ther must be soil under the paving, could you get someone to break up the paving for you?
  • What type of paving is it?  If it's old slabs or crazy paving, I'd dig it out.  Then it's done, not sure if I'd bother if it's solid concrete, that would be awful to try to dig out.  Like Flower Bird says, it all depends what you want to plant there.  I wouldn't try root crops if you're intending to do a veg bed, but stick to things that  grow upwards, not downwards.  You could try raising the level by adding compost, topsoil and manure, it will all help make your soil more productive.

  • Alan4711Alan4711 LincolnshirePosts: 1,657
    Hi TDM if your in the rear garden you could simply build raised beds,at our allotment we have only 12" of soil so we all raise with top soil and manure then mulch as much as we can,if looks arnt important scaffold boards cost about ??4 each and work perfectly,if you want nicer looking ones upmarket the timber

  • mike2limike2li Posts: 29
    Hi tdm

    Not sure what to plant in the depth of soil you have before you hit the slabs .

    But if your not going to lift them and need better drainage you could hire a small breaker gun with a long chisel and break up the slabs through the top soil .

    Would give better drainage if nothing else .

  • LeonetteLeonette Posts: 18
    Hi, a lot depends on what you want to grow in that area and whether the soil in there is light or heavy. If the soil is heavy, clay type then the drainage will be bad unless you want to grow plants that like boggy conditions. If it were mine and I hadn't planted yet I would either try and get at least some of the paving out or break them up. Hope it works out well for you.
  • jo4eyesjo4eyes North East Derbyshire Posts: 2,058

    We've discovered a similar situation at daughter's new, to her, garden.

    Some bright spark has dumped a layer of tarmac, luckily thin & breaking up, underneath what had previously been a bed in front of where we know a greenhouse had stood.

    So the job for this season/yr is to try & remove as much as possible & eventually will need a small skip- joy- as lots of other rubble/rubbish is coming to light as we explore.

    Oh well, planters this yr for her veg/salad crops & hopefully by the Autumn we can have achieved some clearance. With my dodgy knee, back & arm & daughter's back this could take a long time.....

    Good luck. J.

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