Large area… a few questions.

Community Community No dig gardening Preparing the ground Large area… a few questions.

This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Wellies 3 years, 3 months ago.

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    Hi Charles,
    Our main veg bed is 25 or 30 m (I forget) by 50m.
    I have been shifting lots of top soil from heaps I saved from digging the flat pads for building our animal shelter and house. I shall be leveling this out over the next few days. That should give me about 3 more inches of loose topsoil on top of the 4 inches in the ground. The ground being grazing ground with thick grass.
    I will cover as much of the area as I can with black plastic silage clamp sheets.

    I am wondering if I should, rather than level this topsoil, Should I shape the long beds with paths in between using this top soil? My beds will not have wood sides so maybe I don’t want the height difference between bed and path too great if I then add compost later?
    We are under a set if planning laws that state we must produce an income from our land. Rather than being a relaxing hobby I need to get this area producing some income and wondering what first to get going in this area.
    I am making as much compost as possible but I don’t have enough to do this area in one go.
    Slugs are a problem at the moment. Ducks will soon be added into the area for slug clearing duties.

    I have four 1.6m x 1.6m compost bins on the go. These get turned over into four 1.2m x 1.2m compost bins. I have it working where I turned one bin and filled one bin each month so they are composting for four months in each bin so an eight month process. I am wondering if the 12 bin fulls (I guess about 8 cubic metres) is going to be enough to maintain this area plus other areas and polytunnels and if I could speed up the process. How often, and how many times do you turn your compost?

    Many questions….

    BTW.. I am now reading your How to create a new vegetable garden book.




    Wellies I don’t have time for forum consultations, in a few words you need to buy some compost in order to have decent income from selling, and best not to raise beds more than about 4in/10cm so they stay stable.



    Thanks for the reply.
    I think I will raise the beds a little as I level the soil out. As much as anything it will make it so I put the rocks on the plastic where the paths will be and I only walk where the paths will go. It will also capture some of the rainwater if I do it along contour.



    Hi Charles,
    I have decided I will create the bed shape and path shape in soil and then cover as much of the area with plastic as I can.
    In the early spring I shall drag the plastic along exposing the ends of several beds. I shall apply compost to the exposed ends of the beds and cardboard on the paths. Then plant in the beds. I shall slowly drag the plastic along as planting space is required and compost is made. I think if I expose, compost and cover about 1.5 metres per month I should get the whole area going within about 18 months.

    I have a deal going with the local electrical store. On Fridays I go and collect their cardboard from mostly new upright fridges and freezers. We got a good load today. It is too wet to use now so i am storing it until the spring where it will be used on paths.

    I have got a “new” mower for £30 off a friend. It mows wet grass very well so I have been grass mowing for compost today.

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