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Preempting a wet season

I'm pretty new at this but last year was very wet and nothing grew so I'm really determined this year! Does straw help with moisture or make it worse? My patch is just a wee square metre container, thought I'd start small.  I live in west coast Scotland so better to start in a green house then transfer to patch?


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,396

    It depends on what you're trying to grow and what soil mix you have in your container and how much drainage there is at the bottom.

    Please tell us more.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • the tub is on top of soil and tub has a liner. Liner has holes in it, that's it!

    thought something easyish like peas and carrots?

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,396

    How deep is the tub, what compost mix have you filled it with, are there crocks over the drainage holes to keep them clear?

    If they're blocked they won't drain.  If they're sat directly on soil with no gap to allow excess water to drain, it will flood.  If you've used multi-purpose compost it will retain water.

    I have grown peas and carrots in containers anything from 30 to 60cms deep using loam based compost  and with good drainage so you should be able to too.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 6,209

    Well taking those two examples, peas are probably better started in the green house because they don't germinate well in cold wet soil. Carrots, on the other hand, are probably better sown straight into your container, because they are fiddly to transplant and moving them releases a very carroty smell which attracts carrot fly (which can ruin your crop). The two don't grow particularly well together because peas and beans all need reasonably rich soil but carrots in particular don't. A better combo might be peas and spinach or chard. Or dwarf runner beans (which like the wet) and, say, beetroot. 

    When you say 'a square meter', is it actually square?

    Straw on the surface can stop things like strawberries rotting where they sit on the soil, and it makes it more difficult for slugs - although they can still pootle about under the surface so you won't be immune from them. Digging straw in would add bulk but not not much food. What have you used to fill the container?

    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
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