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Thread: Help! Compost/manure confusion

  1. #1
    jenjen23 is offline Germinator
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    Question Help! Compost/manure confusion

    Hi there,

    I got an allotment in November which is in good condition, already dug over! I've decided to divide it up into raised beds, 8 for veg, in a 4 year rotation. I think I now need to add some organic matter to the beds, but am getting into a bit of tangle over what to add to which beds, and where to source from!

    I'm thinking Brassicas - manure, legumes - compost, potatoes - manure, roots - none, or maybe some manure now and it will be ok for planting in a couple of months? Also, manure for raspberries and strawberries. I'm thinking of adding as a thick mulch over the surface, or do I need to dig in as it is getting closer to growing season?

    Any suggestions for sourcing organic matter? I haven't met many of the other plot holders yet as it has been pretty quiet, but I don't think the site gets communal manure or compost unfortunately.

    I think I can get well-rotted horse manure from a friend, just need to find some sort of sacks for transporting in the car! (any suggestions?!)

    Compost - I don't have any homemade yet, what is the best for shop-bought? I'd prefer peat-free. I'm guessing I need a specific seedling compost for planting in pots indoors?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    alldigging is offline Early Fruiter
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenjen23 View Post
    Any suggestions for sourcing organic matter? I haven't met many of the other plot holders yet as it has been pretty quiet, but I don't think the site gets communal manure or compost unfortunately.
    !
    Ask - do you have a site manager/notice board?

  3. #3
    WendyC is offline Early Fruiter
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    I think you are on the right lines with your thinking. I think I wouldn't add any bulky organic matter to my brassicas bed this year as they like a firm ground and this could be difficult to achieve if you add lighter stuff.
    Great that you can get some horse manure but do ask which, if any, weedkillers have been applied to the grazing. Then have a look here:
    https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=477
    Have you any old compost sacks you could reuse, or ask for on somewhere like freecycle. Failing that what about getting some rubble sacks from a DIY shop? I tend to go for lots of smaller bags as I'm a bit of a weakling!
    I use New Horizons peat free compost. It's under the Arthur Bowers label now and I'm finding it harder and harder to source. I use seed compost for small seeds but find bigger seeds, e.g. peas and beans can cope with ordinary multipurpose compost.

  4. #4
    jenjen23 is offline Germinator
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    Thanks WendyC. My friend is on the same gardening course as me and has offered everyone manure, so hopefully it won't have any nasties, but will definitely check with her. I don't have any compost sacks yet, but might do if I get compost first! I'll see about getting some from a DIY shop, or was thinking about asking a local builder.

    I'll see if I can track down some of that compost, thanks!

  5. #5
    jenjen23 is offline Germinator
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    There is an (empty!) noticeboard. I'm going to try and get in touch with the secretary, they aren't very communicative but hopefully she will get back to me!
    alldigging likes this.

  6. #6
    Aberdeenplotter is offline Gardening Guru
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    Aminopyralid is the weedkiller you need to be alarmed about, in fact very very alarmed. it breaks down in the soil only very very slowly over a number of years and only if the soil is being worked regularly.

    Can't stress strongly enough, it is very bad news so do all you can to avoid it.

  7. #7
    vixylix's Avatar
    vixylix is offline Early Fruiter
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    I use gorilla tubs to transport manure - they're easier to carry, sturdier and less likely to tip out in the car! They're pretty cheap to buy (I got mine from B&Q but I assume any DIY / garden place would have them) and then will last you forever!!

    As for seed compost - I never bother and just use normal MPC. I just make sure I remove any clumps so its nice and fine. Then again I am no expert!

  8. #8
    jenjen23 is offline Germinator
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    Good idea vixylix, certainly a more secure way of transporting!

    Ok, I guess it depends on the quality of the MPC, will have to check it out.

    Thanks!
    vixylix likes this.

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