New Beds and Planting Immediately

Community Community No dig gardening Preparing the ground New Beds and Planting Immediately

This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  dominicjames 3 years, 4 months ago.

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    Hi ,

    I have just discovered no dig through Charles books. I absolutely love the literature.

    I am just starting to garden. This is basically my first year , I’m very excited .

    I would like advice on my new beds.

    I have very weedy ground, thistles etc .

    I am placing new beds down at the moment and I plant to fill them with at least 6 inches of good compost .

    Will this suffice to suppress weeds and start planting straight into or should I cover with polythene for example for the first year also ? Or use cardboard as a bottom layer .

    I’m hoping 6 inches of compost alone should suffice and allow me to plant right away.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks for having this forum and the website and books .

    Really helpful and truly grateful.




    Hi, I am in the process of doing the same – building new beds on very weedy ground. I am going to put cardboard down first and then 6 inches of well rotted manure. I will probably finish with a little layer of finer compost which i will buy in bags. My thinking about this is that I want compost which doesn’t have lots of seeds in, for the topmost layer. You can definitely plant straight away, although its a bit early….?!



    Thanks very much for your reply.

    It is early . I’m just in the process of laying the beds down so it won’t be until next month earliest until I consider planting.

    I have been looking for prices on bulk compost.

    But I’ve concluded that not having the guarantee of what’s actually in the mix that I am actually going to just bulk buy bags of compost. It will actually work out around the same price for me and I will know that’s it’s not basically just topsoil .

    Theres a good array of various types available so I will make a mix .

    Is it okay to use bag types of compost to fill a bed ?

    I’m assuming so

    Thanks again and good luck with your future endeavours in the garden



    We had the same problem with thistles when we started out. Most of them are biennial so that helps. Also card and 6 ” of compost works well, where are you based? We are in South Wales and got bulk compost from green waste and it worked well even if it was a bit woody. It helps get started and mound up high the compost. When the perennial weeds poke through trowel them out and eventually they give up honestly. It does work good luck



    Hi randa,

    I’m based in the west of Ireland . Connemara.

    I’ve been in touch with places for mushroom compost but the price of delivery for the distance it has to travel is quiet high and the amount would be too much for me at the moment.

    Getting bulk bags of compost ranges from 80 to 140 euros .

    So I worked out buying individual bags would work out around the same and any extra expense would be compensated by the knowledge that it doesn’t contain a lot of topsoil.

    That is great to hear . Thanks so much. I’m so excited I can’t contain myself !!

    I’m in the process of erecting a polytunnel also so there will be plenty of activity in the garden this year !

    Thanks again



    Hi d I’m also in Ireland (East Wicklow) and found exactly the same. No good supply of council compost and came to the same conclusion! I plan to get some cow manure this year and compost that as the horse manure last year worked v well (eventually!) Keep all the old compost bags and use them to collect the manure next time.
    I would definitely use the cardboard under the 6 inches to help weeds as it will decompose as the roots grow down maybe just a thin layer though? I found it a life saver last year.
    Very jealous of your poly tunnel Im saving up for one!



    Hi Christine

    Yeah I’ve decided on a mix of bags and horse manure .

    I found a good supplier of horse manure , organic based here in Ireland . Gee up . It’s 145 a tonne. A bit pricey but what can you do.

    I built some compost bins a few weeks ago. We have a pony so we will use his manure for next season, we just started a bit late so I will have to buy some in to get started .

    Oh we were very lucky with our oily tunnel. It was given to us for free. A friend had one at his dad’s house and had no use for it , so said we could have it.

    It’s a nice size 15 X 26 feet . So I’m just in the process of getting it erected.

    Hopefully I’ll have it up in the next few weeks. There isn’t much soil depth where I’ve put it so I’ll have to do raised beds .

    I’ll remove the wood though next year .

    The cost of all the news beds etc … Is something I don’t want to think about

    But I’m justifying it by telling myself it’s for years to come and the yeild of veg and beauty of flowers etc will more than make up for it

    You should look at YouTube to see how you can make a poly tunnel with cheap materials .

    It’s quite easy and inexpensive . Eventually I’ll do another one like this .

    If you look up bealtaine cottage the woman has made her own and she’s had it for I we 10 years !!


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