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Raised Bed and Polytunnel ...


By hywel


It’s been a lovely autumn day today so I took advantage of it and continued filling my new raised bed with soil.
I had some bags of topsoil I’d bought in a shop, and I also tipped in the old compost from my tomatoes cucumbers and peppers, and some old compost I found in bags in the shed.

The man that constructed the raised bed put a liner inside it but didn’t put it right up to the top, and I don’t know whether I should put more liner above what’s already there and fill more compost into it, or leave it as it is.

What’s already there will probably settle over the winter and be lower than it is now by the spring, so I think I’ll have to put more soil in there anyway … but I can’t decide whether to fill it to the top or not.

This is my Ginko biloba that I thought had died but I rescued it :-

I can’t remember if I showed you the slabs I put as a path up to my polytunnel …
They are in a bit of a mess at the moment and need brushing, but hopefully if the nice weather lasts a few days I’ll be able to wash them :)

Inside the polytunnel the Fuchsias are starting to shed their leaves ready for winter :-

More to do tomorrow if the weather stays dry :)

More blog posts by hywel

Previous post: Autumn update.

Next post: Can't stop buying !!! :(



Hywel,just wondering if you used any gravel for drainage?...You could always mix it into the existing compost.

21 Oct, 2019


Great job, Hywel! What’s the plan for your raised bed? Vegetables? Your poly tunnel looks very organised!
What do you have in the pretty cage hanging from the poly tunnel roof?

21 Oct, 2019


Other than filling it up a little more in the spring, after the subsidence over the winder, I think I would leave it as it is. There's nothing to be gained by a few more inches depth. The plants will have more than enough with what you have put in already. BTW, how deep/high is the bed? Unless you want to grow exhibition size Carrots or Leeks I would say 2ft 6" is ample depth for most veg!

What are you planning on growing in the bed next year?

21 Oct, 2019


Your raised bed looks plenty deep enough for veg as it is - I'd try leaving the level just up to the lined part and see how you go. Easily topped up if you change your mind.
Don't think you've shown us your polytunnel before - or I must have missed it. Wonder how it will go on in a frost - keep us posted please!

21 Oct, 2019


Looks really good Hywel! I've been trying to stop using artificial fertilisers in my garden so I've done a fair bit of reading recently on no-dig gardening & encouraging beneficial fungi in the soil.
Rather than adding more bags of compost I'd look to gather as much leaf material as possible to rot down over Winter. Also add any well rotted compost you've got with as many worms as poke their heads up & take a couple of spades of soil from your old veg patch, mix with water & pour into the raised bed's compost

21 Oct, 2019


Thanks for your comments :)

Meadowland I haven't put any drainage in it. It is on top of already freely draining soil so I didn't see the need for any further drainage.
However I have put some gritty compost in there from when I repotted my cacti.

Kate I hope to grow some vegetables next year in the raised bed.
I bought the 'cage' in an antiques fair years ago. It's a plant holder and I usually have some annuals in it. Nothing this year though …

Balcony I am going to grow vegetables in it next year. It is just over 2 feet deep, but the point of having it at all is so that I don't have to bend so much, so the depth is not really important. The higher the better really.

SteragramI will see how it goes re depth. I don't need it for the vegetables but the higher it is the less I will have to bend.
I wrote a blog back in the summer showing the polytunnel when I first put it up. Maybe you missed it.
This will be the first winter for the polytunnel but I don't plan to have any plants in it then. The Fuchsias will go into a frost free shed later on, and next spring I may put some seeds in there to germinate.

Darren thanks for the advice. I have some leaf mould and home made compost I can add to it so I will do that.
I can't take soli from the old vegetable patch because the raised bed in on top of it.
When should I add the compost ? now or in the spring ...

22 Oct, 2019


If the compost's ready then spread it when you can. It's a lot down to steady moisture retention & providing an ideal environment for soil fungus to thrive. I've been thinking the ideal would be soil like a forest floor but with sun on it in the growing season

22 Oct, 2019


Wonderful work Hywel,

Our raised beds are 70cm high, we put 10cm gravel in the bottom to help drainage, covered it with black soil mixed with compost. We found out that the top becomes very dry under the sun, so we covered it with sawdust to keep moist.

I'll look for the polytunnel blog.

22 Oct, 2019


Aleyna this is the link for the blog showing the new polytunnel :-

Thanks Daren, the compost has been ready for a long time but is still in the bin. I will spread it when I get a chance.

22 Oct, 2019


Raised bed is quite a deep one so should do well for you, Darren is right about putting the compost on now, the weather and worms will sort it all out for you over the coming months Hywel, I firmly approve of the no dig way, so much easier for us of a certain age, lol.
I only have a few fuschia's but all are still flowering well so I still have mine outside, in actual fact most of them stay outside all winter, saying that if we suddenly had a return of winters past I do have enough room to pop them inside the g'houses, at long last our weather has perked up for us, still very soggy underfoot but I am managing to plant my pansies and wallflowers around, lots still flowering here Hywel so just going into my empty spaces, not that there are many of those yet, no rhyme nor reason to my style but it has worked for a number of years now so I must be doing something right...Take care Hywel and enjoy your garden whilst its nice...

23 Oct, 2019


We've had a few nice days here Sue but it's not drying out at all. I have been trying to do what I can though …
no rhyme nor reason also describes my style Sue lol I said I'm not going to buy more plants until I sort the garden out but guess what, I went to the dentist a few days ago and couldn't resist calling at the garden centre in the little road near by (just for a look you understand lol) and ended up buying a perennial Rudbeckia … but where shall I plant it is the 60 dollar question ! :D I dare say I'll find somewhere ...

23 Oct, 2019


Lol, my former partner used to laugh when we approached any garden centre, he knew if I was driving we would be stopping for a browse, and inevitably adopting one or more of the plants therein .... how we ever get anywhere on time Lord only knows ;-)
There is a green haze descending here, your raised bed looks ideal, good size and solidly built. I hope you won't mind if I share your progress with my youngsters who have mentioned creating something similar for me to reduce the back-breaking bending ..... I am no veg gardener but I don't really want to give up trying yet :-)

24 Oct, 2019


I don't mind at all Xela ... it's nice to share gardening ideas :) I am not enthusiastic about vegetables but I always like to grow a few easy ones.

Well Beryl is just as daft as me when it comes to buying plants. Whenever we went somewhere one of us would say 'I wonder if there's a garden centre near there' :D
After I came home from the dentist she didn't ask me how it went, but she said 'What did you buy in the garden centre then' ... haha !

24 Oct, 2019


Nice work on the raised bed & the slate path. Are you planting a cover crop?

24 Oct, 2019


Thank you … I only plan to grow some small vegetables in it next year. It will save me having to bend a lot.

24 Oct, 2019


Hywel my first thought was it would save you bending which is exactly what you have said ,well done it will be lovely to be able to pick your own freshly grown veg x

25 Oct, 2019


Thanks Amy, I am looking forward to growing things in it next year :) x

26 Oct, 2019

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