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Fruit, Vegetables and Old Bonfires

Hello and sorry if this is in the wrong section of the forum (I couldn't decide which was the best place for it)...

I'm completely redesigning my garden which includes adding a large area for fruit and vegetables.  This area of the garden is where there have been years of large bonfires as the previous owner had them frequently and, since buying the place, I've had to have loads just to clear all the mess left behind around the garden.

Now I'm wondering how much damage this will have done to the soil and whether it will be possible to grow things here now?  I'm sure it's curable but what would I need to do to make it suitable?

P.S.  I was thinking of growing raspberries and (thornless) blackberries here, although this may be subject to change


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,709

    Ideal for growing fruit. Wood ash is good for promoting flowers and hence fruit. The bonfire will have sterilized the top couple of inches and killed off a lot of weed seeds. If you can rotate bonfires around the plot it can be useful. Biochar is expensive charcoal sold as a soil improving additive and you will have your own.

  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    Yep. Lots of potash - great for soft fruit, although much of it will have washed away.  Turn over the soil to break it up and spread as much well-rotted manure as you can lay your shovel on. (Your local riding stables will be more than happy to get rid of it; if it's not well-rotted, stack it in a corner till it is; straw-based is better than wood-shavings-based, if you can get it).  Plant.  Eat fruit image

  • SantySanty Posts: 24
    Excellent! Thanks for the replies. I'm glad to hear it's going make my life easier and hopefully I get lots of tasty food...
  • BLTBLT Posts: 525

    My buddies big veg patch is on a old bonfire site and its flourishing big time     Potash in abundance theases were spread out and dug in and plenty of compost too. Hes had good crops of potatoes, brassicas and onions and carrots too.

  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    More than one thesis?

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,267
    Good advice from above.

    Just to add, rake the ashes to sped over more ground. I used one area on the allotment to burn stuff, it did kill surface weeds and all the life in the top soil ie worms but a thick layer of well rotted muck soon brought back worms..

    That was last year, re located raspberry's are doing really well, so to are autumn planted fruit tree's in the area. Happy growingimage
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,158

    The ashes?   Fingers faster than spellcheck?

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,267


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