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Thread: New Beds Conundrum

  1. #1
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    Default New Beds Conundrum

    Hello There,

    I have just moved house and want to get cracking with some new beds. Currently the area in question is rough grass. I am in a quandary about what to do.

    So far, I have taken the turf off a small area (top 1 - 1.5") and stacked these upside down ready to cover and dig back in when boken down in a year or so.

    Next I was planning on digging over and breaking up the soil and then digging in few bags of compost (municipal if I can get it, or, some peat free commercial stuff) and some well rotted manure (if I can find some safe stuff).

    I stopped though after reading about no dig and raised beds etc.... I read some of Charles Dowding's site and a fair few threads on here. I can see the logic but it seems that it will take a few years for that to come to fruition? The soil is obviously quite compacted, but it looks as though it will be fairly reasonable once all of the debris is removed from it.

    Dig or not dig? If not dig, what is the best method of preparation so that I can get something growing?

    Thanking you.

  2. #2
    zazen999 is offline Funky Cold Ribena
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    I remember seeing David Devant and his Spirit Wife supporting My Life Story. Happy Days.

    You can just lay cardboard down, with compost or manure [or just weight it down] and plant through. A bulb planter will assist you in this. The cardboard softens in a week or two usually.


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    I was just playing 12 reasons the other day, I remember seeing My life story in a strange aircraft hanger type place - where it was slips my mind.

    So, now I have removed the turf - leave the underneath compacted? Lay cardboard over it, put compost/manure or weight down. No loosening at all? Will stuff really get on alright?

    What sort of depth of compost?

    Thank you for the reply.

  4. #4
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    Carbon Gold is offline Grapevine Expert
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    As long as the manure is well rotted, you can plant straight into it. No-dig would be the least back breaking option if you have easy access to manure, compost and cardboard for raised beds. If your plot is very weedy then it is worth going slow and covering, as recommended by Dowding, for 6-12 months (12 months is for killing off / weakening particularly pernicious weeds). I have lots of couch grass at my allotment so I have some beds I am planting straight away and some that I am going to cover for longer. Perhaps you could do a mix.
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  5. #5
    zazen999 is offline Funky Cold Ribena
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    Depth - anything you can.

    Look at Lasagna Gardening - Two_sheds on here is always posting about it. It's essentially what you are doing. Not the time to say but you didn't need to remove the turf first - but it's too late for that now.


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    Looks like I really need that time machine. Only kidding, it's only an 1.5 hrs lost and to be honest I needed to get out of the house!

    I will look up Lasagna Gardening, sounds great.

    I will admit that I still have reservations though, perhaps once I have looked it up my fears will subside.

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    With lasagne gardening you could put the turf back upside down and cover it with cardboard, then a thick layer of manure (at least 4 inches) then some soil or compost, then some straw or more manure and a final thick layer of soil or compost.

    You would then be able to plant into the pile straight away - I did this on several of my beds last year with great success, but if you want to plant deep rooted crops like carrots or parsnips you might be better off with a double dug area, simply for the additional depth.

    Andy
    Last edited by Samurailord; 09-04-2013 at 03:47 PM.
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    zazen999 is offline Funky Cold Ribena
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    Quote Originally Posted by daviddevantnhisspiritwife View Post
    I was just playing 12 reasons the other day, I remember seeing My life story in a strange aircraft hanger type place - where it was slips my mind.
    the 'Number 9' in that video - we obtained off the band after a gig in London Village - and I had it for about 5 years - used it as a seat in my flat and used to lean all my vinyl up against it. Sigh.


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