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Starting a new raised bed, on grass


Carl Fimble

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Carl Fimble

I've just finished making the frame to go round my first raised bed, and was wondering if anyone knew of it would be ok to just pile a load of compost and (well rotted) horse manure on top of the grass? 

I'm not sure if that would be ok, or if I should first dig up the grass, or put cardboard down on top of the grass, then chuck the compost/manure mix on top?

 

 

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sarahbell

Cardboard the compost/muck 

 

Charles Dowding does an introductory video of how to make a no dig bed.

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Carl Fimble
50 minutes ago, sarahbell said:

Cardboard the compost/muck 

 

Charles Dowding does an introductory video of how to make a no dig bed.

So just put cardboard on top of the grass, and then put the compost and horse manure on top of the cardboard?

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Kurt Barlow
1 hour ago, Carl Fimble said:

So just put cardboard on top of the grass, and then put the compost and horse manure on top of the cardboard?

Yes - a couple of layers of cardboard and then your horse muck will kill off the grass. 

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sarahbell
1 hour ago, Carl Fimble said:

So just put cardboard on top of the grass, and then put the compost and horse manure on top of the cardboard?

Yeah. You may need to tuck extra layers of cardboard around to stop weeds encroaching.

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Kurt Barlow
1 minute ago, sarahbell said:

Yeah. You may need to tuck extra layers of cardboard around to stop weeds encroaching.

Yes - and seeds often survive passage through the horse compared to the cow (1 stomach vs 4) so may sprout from the manure itself. 

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sarahbell
10 minutes ago, Kurt Barlow said:

Yes - and seeds often survive passage through the horse compared to the cow (1 stomach vs 4) so may sprout from the manure itself. 

It's no dig not no hoe. 

 

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Kurt Barlow
2 minutes ago, sarahbell said:

It's no dig not no hoe. 

 

I cut lengths of carboard or get freebie old laminate flooring that I lay between rows as duck boards / keep weed growth to a minimum. 

 

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Battenberg

Bogged. I didn’t do that as I thought the cardboard wouldn’t break down fast enough and may stop the roots. My raised beds aren’t very deep. I put a layer of bark that we chipped ourselves. I had bloody loads of cardboard too.

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sarahbell
1 hour ago, Battenberg said:

Bogged. I didn’t do that as I thought the cardboard wouldn’t break down fast enough and may stop the roots. My raised beds aren’t very deep. I put a layer of bark that we chipped ourselves. I had bloody loads of cardboard too.

Slide under the edge

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Caravan Monster

Added bonus of horse muck is that if lucky it sometimes comes ready inoculated with field mushrooms. 

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nirvana
On 22/05/2022 at 21:34, sarahbell said:

Cardboard the compost/muck 

 

Charles Dowding does an introductory video of how to make a no dig bed.

what's the idea behind the cardboard? kills the weeds but let's the earth breathe? so could I lay a load of cardboard and just cut holes for various plants?

I need to sort out my 'compost pile' asap...I could feed a few Ethiopian families the amount of food I'm chucking at the moment

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spunko

To be fair @Carl Fimble didn't even mention no dig :D

It's all the rage now, but it's a bit misleading IMO, because there is some digging required. "Not much dig" isn't as catchy.

 

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spunko

What I tend to do is just use Roundup on the grass areas where I'm planting new beds/borders/hedges. After 2 days it will have soaked in and will slowly start killing the weeds/grass; it won't affect the new plants going in. Also has the benefit of the old grass dying and becoming a mulch to keep moisture in.

Not very eco friendly no doubt, but as I'm not eating the plants I don't care. You could do this for new raised beds as I can't see the roundup leeching upwards.

End of the day I am surrounded by fields where the farmers lace it with Roundup 2-3 times a year so if it's as cancerous as they say we're all going to die of it.

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Carl Fimble
35 minutes ago, spunko said:

What I tend to do is just use Roundup on the grass areas where I'm planting new beds/borders/hedges. After 2 days it will have soaked in and will slowly start killing the weeds/grass; it won't affect the new plants going in. Also has the benefit of the old grass dying and becoming a mulch to keep moisture in.

Not very eco friendly no doubt, but as I'm not eating the plants I don't care. You could do this for new raised beds as I can't see the roundup leeching upwards.

End of the day I am surrounded by fields where the farmers lace it with Roundup 2-3 times a year so if it's as cancerous as they say we're all going to die of it.

I got part of the way through that post and though "yes- I've got some Roundup" then got to the bit about you not eating things from the bed. This is just for food plants, I'm not planting any flowers there. 

Back to the cardboard plan, will need to get some though as I binned all the stuff we had. 

I've been working in the garden today, and it's quite fun. 

 

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sarahbell
4 hours ago, spunko said:

To be fair @Carl Fimble didn't even mention no dig :D

It's all the rage now, but it's a bit misleading IMO, because there is some digging required. "Not much dig" isn't as catchy.

 

I think it's as much if not more hard work. It certainly has a cost and a lot of effort involved. 

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Cosmic

I dig out the grass and turn it over. If the ground is very compacted from decades of being a lawn, this probably helps start the bed off well imho :)

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spunko
1 hour ago, Cosmic said:

I dig out the grass and turn it over. If the ground is very compacted from decades of being a lawn, this probably helps start the bed off well imho :)

That No Dig bloke I believe says this isn't necessary but I may be wrong, to be honest I'm not fully sold on the idea anyway. 

Even if it has no bearing on the plants digging its still very good exercise.

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Carl Fimble
35 minutes ago, spunko said:

That No Dig bloke I believe says this isn't necessary but I may be wrong, to be honest I'm not fully sold on the idea anyway. 

Even if it has no bearing on the plants digging its still very good exercise.

Not if you use a digger.

Gardening seems to be quite a workout- gathering compost and moving it about, digging manure in, lifting and carrying stuff, building things...

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8 hours ago, spunko said:

What I tend to do is just use Roundup on the grass areas where I'm planting new beds/borders/hedges. After 2 days it will have soaked in and will slowly start killing the weeds/grass; it won't affect the new plants going in. Also has the benefit of the old grass dying and becoming a mulch to keep moisture in.

Not very eco friendly no doubt, but as I'm not eating the plants I don't care. You could do this for new raised beds as I can't see the roundup leeching upwards.

End of the day I am surrounded by fields where the farmers lace it with Roundup 2-3 times a year so if it's as cancerous as they say we're all going to die of it.

I think it’s the bees that roundup is a disaster for, I sprayed a field next to my garden a couple of years ago and I’ve really struggled with pollination since, not had one apple from my apple trees, strawberries have all been deformed etc. Might be something else of course, dunno, seems a big coincidence. Have brought in a beeman with hives this year, hopefully that’ll help. 

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humdrum
On 29/05/2022 at 18:17, sarahbell said:

I think it's as much if not more hard work. It certainly has a cost and a lot of effort involved. 

Agreed.

Each to his own, but given the choice I would rather dig slowly and spend time leaning on a garden fork than ferry umpteen barrow loads of compost from one end of the allotment to the other. Plus, in a month or so I will be lifting my first early spuds and then planting leeks in their place. Next Spring the beds will have been well worked, so the actual digging won't require that much effort. 

There is a lot to be said for the no dig approach, but it has gotten to be something of a religion.

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onlyme
4 hours ago, humdrum said:

Agreed.

Each to his own, but given the choice I would rather dig slowly and spend time leaning on a garden fork than ferry umpteen barrow loads of compost from one end of the allotment to the other. Plus, in a month or so I will be lifting my first early spuds and then planting leeks in their place. Next Spring the beds will have been well worked, so the actual digging won't require that much effort. 

There is a lot to be said for the no dig approach, but it has gotten to be something of a religion.

Depends a lot on initial ground types/conditions as well, you'll still need to augment the soil digging or no digging either short term by lugging materials or longer term with cover crops maybe and working those in. No dig does keep all that material at a usable depth for most plants in one hit.

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