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Using horse manure on raised beds

I have got a load of well rotted horse manure and I want to revitalise my raised beds. What is the best modus operandi at this point of the winter? Do I spread and cover with plastic? Dubgard, Cork, Co Cork Posted: 24/01/2017

If you dig your beds, your can incorporate the manure.

If you use a no-dig system, the manure must be very finely rotted down, or it will prove too lumpy for seed sowing, though okay for transplanted vegetables.

Covering manure promotes rotting down, controls weeds and conserves nutrients. 


growing potatoes next to a hedge with box blight

My box hedge which surrounds the vegetable patch has recently been infected with blight. i am treating it and hoping for the best. However I am wondering if it is safe to grow potatoes in this area. I realise the two blights are caused by different fungi but am concerned that it will increase the likelihood of blight in the potato crop. could you please advise? jenifertag, Stradbally, Co Laois Posted: 02/02/2016

Box blight will have no effect on potatoes or potato blight, except that damp air promotes both diseases.
The roots of the box are more likely to have an effect on growth of vegetables including potatoes.


problem with alkaline topsoil

I want to start a vegetable plot, my garden had 10ins of soil on top of hard compacted stones and yellow subsoil and poor drainage,i scraped off the soil with a digger and removed 12 ins deep of subsoil i put back the soil and then filled in with new topsoil i tested the new soil and found it was alkaline is there anything i can do to remedy or improve the soil for vegetable growing,the garden is 24 ft x 14 ft any help appreciated. eddiemac, dublin, Co Dublin Posted: 26/09/2015

Vegetables need a good sunny area with deep fertile soil that does dry out too much in summer. 

The soil should be lightly alkaline for vegetables, and add in a 5cm layer of well-rotted garden compost or manure to improve soil structure and fertility, and top-up each year or two years to maintain organic matter content.

  Old railway sleepers for raised veg bed

Old railway sleepers for raised veg bed

I have a new raised veg bed this year that is producing very well. However I used railway sleepers at the front and sides of the bed without really thinking about the danger involved from wood preservative leaking into the soil. Do you know if the veg will be contaminated and what I could do to rectify this now? claregarden, Ennis, Co Clare Posted: 10/08/2015

The chances are that the tar might cause root damage and foliage scorching.

The preservatives are plant poisons as well as human poisons, but if the plants are unaffected, they are probably okay, but not definitively okay.

Old sleepers are generally not used for vegetables for this reason.




New house and want to grow!

New house nearly ready and we are putting gravel provisionally around most of house. 0.25 acre site. I want to start growing veg. Should i just get greenhouse ? or leave some ground as is for a tunnell ? or just leave some ground and grow direct in that. Aim is to grow kale / potatoes / onions - just enough for small family. Hopefully strawberries etc in greenhouse. Want to get this right cos if i get gravel all over then i might regret it or can i do everything i need in a greenhouse? mickman, , Co Cork Posted: 05/04/2015

Much depends on what you want to grow. If you want to grow vegetables, most of these are grown in the open ground, but there are also greenhouse crops, and the greenhouse can be used to raise plants for outdoor growing. Access to the soil of the greenhouse should be retained as it saves on watering.

More information at: http://www.garden.ie/howtogrow.aspx?id=345 and 




Raised beds for old garden and old gardener?

My veg garden gas been going for 9 years and is now tired and performing poorly. I am not really able to dig it anymore, nor have I farmyard manure to dig in. I see you're not really a fan of raised beds but I had intended to put them in to avoid digging and make it easier to renew the soil. My soil has moderate drainage. What do you think? I see you recommend red deal. Would cheaper white deal be ok and what about using treatments to avoid rotting? Rock Road, Johnstown, Co Kilkenny Posted: 21/02/2015

Raised beds can be used to set up a non-dig, or less-dig, system, by adding a layer of well-rotted compost, effectively a new topsoil, but raised beds are more prone to drought because of the open compost and better drainage.
Raised beds do not need to wooden supporting sides and the layer of compost can simply be piled up, although admittedly this is more messy.
Red deal is naturally rot-resistant, unlike white deal which rots in a few years if not preserved and wood preservatives are strong chemicals, not the sort of thing that people like near their vegetables. 


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