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Raised bed/compost question

 
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otatop



Joined: 01 Jun 2005
Posts: 1425
Location: North London
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 10 4:01 pm    Post subject: Raised bed/compost question Reply with quote
    

I'm stepping up the vegetable production in my small, and largely concreted London garden. I've just got rid of loads of planters - old Belfast sinks, chimney pots etc. via freecycle, to make way for raised beds - which are now constructed and ready for filling with a growing medium. A couple of tonnes of which will all have to be carried through the house.
The raised beds are quite big, and I thought that I could fill the bottoms with the contents of last year's grow-bags and flower pots.
Question is - if you're not bored already - the half composted contents of the bins ... can I chuck this stuff in at the bottom, or is there some science that says that partially unrotted vegetable matter uses too much oxygen or something?

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 10 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

I would go for it if it is half-rotted. It will take any plants you put in a while to get their roots down there in any case. (And I remember what it is like trying to find enough stuff to fill up a raised bed!!)

T.G



Joined: 13 Sep 2009
Posts: 7280
Location: Somewhere you're not
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 10 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

on a different point to the question, i put smashed up (in lumps like croc's) polystyrene - it acts to insulate against, its light (so good for tubs or planters on roof gardens) and fills up large planters reducing the cost of fillng them, and so far its never bothered the planting

Mary-Jane



Joined: 13 Jan 2005
Posts: 18397
Location: The Fishing Strumpet is from Ceredigion in West Wales
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 10 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Definitely chuck all the half rotted stuff in the bottom of the beds, plus any other stuff you can find. It'll all rot down quickly enough.

chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35931
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 10 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Have you read 'Square Foot Gardening' by Mel someone? He has some kind of magic recipe for raised-bed medium.

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8407
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 10 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Half rotted compost will be fine under legumes & potatoes/tomatoes.
I wouldn't put it where you want to grow long roots like carrots.
I've used Granges Idea with bits of polystyrene in containers of ornamentals before never tried it with veg.
I would say it would be fine for salads & the like but again not for root veg.

chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35931
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 10 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

If you laid it in right, though, you might get comedy-shaped turnips.

otatop



Joined: 01 Jun 2005
Posts: 1425
Location: North London
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 10 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Thanks everybody - what a relief not to have to carry the whole lot through the house!

AnneandMike



Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 890
Location: Over the hill and soon to be far away
PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 10 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

The half rotted stuff will need nitrogen as it rots down. If you don't add any, the beds will become deficient and anything you try and grow will be weakened (except for peas and beans which make their own).

I would advise you to mix in a good balanced organic fertilizer as you make the beds (eg fish, blood and bone).

otatop



Joined: 01 Jun 2005
Posts: 1425
Location: North London
PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 10 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

AnneandMike wrote:
The half rotted stuff will need nitrogen as it rots down. If you don't add any, the beds will become deficient and anything you try and grow will be weakened (except for peas and beans which make their own).

I would advise you to mix in a good balanced organic fertilizer as you make the beds (eg fish, blood and bone).


I sort of thought that might be the case. Thanks.

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