Filling Raised Bed

30 May 2010
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United Kingdom
Looking for some advise.

I have 2 Raised beds 1 @ 1m 1m x 700m high so & the other 4m long x 500mm x 700mm high, both have false bottoms, made from deck boards/sarking and both have an available soil depth of around 400mm

My wife is looking to put a couple of small bushes into the smaller bed as well as primroses and a load of bulbs, and plants like Fushie, busy lizzie and Begonias in the larger one but I have no idea what is best when it comes to soil.

I have bags of top soil, Gp Compost and a some bags of ericaceous, I know this is no where near enough but would this be a good mix for the smaller bed.

Also should I add in rotten logs in th base, seen some videos where this is recommended.
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Just get a bulk bag of top soil delivered and dig in some well rotted manure.
Find out what plants she wants in each bed and then look up/google what type of compost each one likes best.
Most will grow in GP but some will fare better in the ericaceous compost.
If she ever wants to plant herbs/mint/basil/sage/oregano etc then put any old poor, sandy, well draining soil, in there - they hate nutrient rich, heavy stuff. Same with nasturtium , they will grow like anything but not flower much in rich soil
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You might need a big ladder for your 700m high bed!
It's worth having a look on the RHS website to see if any of the plants have unusual needs (blueberries for example), but generally it's a good idea to use a good mix of whatever you can get hold of. I put part rotted conifer chippings in the bottom of mine, layers of leaf, leaf mold, garden compost, top soil, rotted manure, some leftover bagged compost...
Given the choice - go for top soil rather than bagged compost. You can usually collect it for free via random social media facebanana or myhamlet or whatever (watch out for weeds), or pay to have it delivered in bulk bags. Bagged compost isn't so good for the long term.
It could be a good idea to also get a bulk bag (or blag it from tree surgeons) of wood chippings for a surface mulch to suppress weeds and keep moisture in.

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